I worked as an intern at GR Japan for approximately two months during the spring vacation. I am glad I got the opportunity to experience the work environment at the company and I believe the internship will be useful for my studies going forward.
My tasks varied day-to-day, but I usually spent my time conducting research for various projects, translating documents from Japanese to English, editing and proofreading English text for clients, working with the staff to draft reports and PowerPoint presentations, and researching and writing internal research reports. I particularly enjoyed the research and drafting of internal reports, as I was able to take a deep dive into a particular topic and I believe the work I did directly contributed to the work of the firm.
My steady work schedule allowed me to undertake longer-term projects since the staff was able to anticipate that I would be available for work throughout the week. Other interns who worked only once or twice a week did not receive as many in-depth projects for logistical reasons. Also, by becoming a regular presence in the office, I was able to attain a bit of autonomy, allowing me to undertake projects and work independently and not merely as a student intern.
The staff at GR Japan was very welcoming and strove to give interns a fruitful experience. While I spent most of my time in the office, I was also able to attend a couple meetings and presentations outside of the office, including to a Diet member’s office and a couple client meetings. While I was able to briefly attend these kinds of events, I would have enjoyed getting more chances to participate in activities outside of the office.
The staff at GR Japan were also very willing to tailor the tasks to each intern’s strengths. I was initially concerned about my level of Japanese going into this internship, however the staff were very supportive and gave me a range of tasks that suited my language ability. Also, by giving me tasks in Japanese, including conducting research in Japanese and translating documents such as minutes from Cabinet meetings and ministerial press conferences, I was able to improve my Japanese ability in a short period of time.
Overall, I believe I learned a great deal during my time at GR Japan and would encourage other GraSPP students to take advantage of this opportunity.