First and foremost, I would like to seize this opportunity to express my deepest gratitude to Graduate School of Public Policy of the University of Tokyo for considering me an eligible candidate for the internship. I should also like most especially to thank, Nishizawa-sensei and Sato-san, who helped me and organized this wonderful program.
Two weeks of internship, vanishing away. I really felt like I got back to work. Every day I had to get up at 7:00 a.m. and reach office by 9:00 a.m. Thank you for Tokyo metropolitan system that allowed me to commute easily from suburb area to the heart of Tokyo’s downtown, where located head office of Marubeni Corporation and, above all, made it on time.
From the very beginning I was surrounded by friendly and hospitable environment. I was hosted by CIS & Europe Division of Regional Coordination and Administration Department. My feeling was as I am a Japanese graduate who just started career in one of the Japanese general trading companies. At the first day morning I was really surprised when I found business cards with my name on the desktop. Further during the first week company provided orientation course for me similar to that is delivered to new recruits. As is fit for Japanese, everything in my schedule was thoroughly planned and clearly defined, even who supposed to have lunch with me. Many thanks to Kikuchi-san.
Internship in Marubeni gave me a chance to look into sōgō shōsha from inside. Each business division presented their activities and projects (completed and existing) that provided a complete picture of company’s operations. Until recently, I did not even know that Marubeni constructed capital airport of my country. Through communication and excursion I was able to understand how they conduct business and where they have a presence as well as better understanding specificity of Japanese business culture and ethical standards.
With a twist of luck, I was privileged to meet with Vice-Chairman of Marubeni Corporation, who is also Chairperson of Japanese-Kazakh Committee on Economic Cooperation. We discussed with him the current economic situation of Kazakhstan and how Japan can contribute to its development via bilateral collaboration. Noting the forthcoming exhibition “Astana EXPO-2017”, which is not only effective platform to promote country’s image, but also to facilitate tourism, we had a talk about that issue and he shared his thoughts and vision.
In total I met with 39 people (excluding off-site meetings) with different backgrounds and at different levels of the hierarchy. With some of them we started our conversation with my limited Japanese and ended up with Russian or even my mother tongue. I think that is Marubeni’s advantage of being able to send its personnel to overseas offices to gain international experience as a part of employee development plan.
Most importantly, over this time period I forged new ties, got a substantial and an invaluable experience. And I believe that such experience in organisations overseas adds significant kudos to any type of career that should stand you in extremely good stead.