Tetsu D. (Intern, German, 2019)

Tetsu D.
Internship Program: Unpaid Internship
Company/Type: Affinity Co., Ltd.
Nationality: German

Tetsu from Germany summarizes his marketing internship at Affinity in Fukuoka.

Why do you like Japan?
My mother is from Japan, so I think I have a natural interest in Japan. 🙂
Besides, I love Japanese food and Manga. The Japanese language is also my second favorite language right after English. Japanese people cherish their own traditions and culture. This shows in a lot of amazing events like Obon or Yamakasa, and gives temples and shrines so much more meaning. Furthermore, the technological standard here is very high, and who would not like to be able to buy groceries at a convenience store on Sundays!

How do you like Fukuoka and what do you recommend others to do here?
Fukuoka is great. The food is amazing. I recommend to check out the stores around Tenjin in particular. You have quick and (relatively) cheap access to different locations via public transport. You should definitely take advantage of this to visit different parts of Fukuoka.

Why did you choose Asahi School?
I trusted them to do a good job at supporting my internship and my trust paid off.
From the start, I was set on doing my internship in Fukuoka. Thankfully, Asahi is located right in the heart of the city, and I thought that they would be perfect for assisting me through my time here.

Why have you decided to do your internship in Japan?
This is quite simple, I just wanted to be in Japan. I wanted to refresh and improve my Japanese language skills and get to know the business side of Japan. Other countries did not offer what I wanted for my internship.

How long is the internship? What are your working hours?
I work on weekdays and have the weekends off. I work 7 hours a day from 11:00 AM to 6:00 PM.

What are your main tasks at Affinity?
My tasks involve writing blogs about Germany and the German language, translating sheets and texts, as well as creating and editing sheets and charts. I also had the opportunity to hold seminars, create presentations, and even interview people on the street about Germany. Lastly, I have to write reports in different languages, and I prepare small gifts for our customers.

What do you like the most about your internship?
The fact that I have a lot of freedom and that my opinion has an effect on how things develop.
There are no stressful restrictions or conditions, keeping me motivated throughout the entire internship. In this regard, I also like the working atmosphere as I was trusted to do my work but could always ask for help.

Were there any (cultural) problems?
There are definitely differences but I was fine for the most part because I knew about most of them already. For me, the only difficult part was that I did not exactly know some formalities in detail, like handing over my business card with both hands while doing a slightly tilted bow or how to properly say that I was heading home. Since everyone knew that my Japanese was not perfect, that was not much of a problem.

Do you have any advice for people who want to do an internship in Japan?
Do not try to be too perfect. Just use your Japanese or English to the best of your abilities and improve from there. Be patient when problems arise since, in Japan, it is common to just wait and talk to others about it. The staff at Asahi Nihongo is always listening if you need something. There are so many secrets to discover, so you should try new things you do not know about every day (food, activities, etc.). Other than that, enjoy your stay!

Program: Unpaid Internship