Internship Experience #09 | Ms. Yumi Suzuki
Please introduce yourself.
I have completed an internship at a company in Singapore for about 5 months. It started from the end of November 2017 and ended on May 2018. After graduating from my university in Japan, I worked at a Japanese company for two years. I went to the United States for 1 year to learn English and I had a short language training course at a university in Taiwan to learn Mandarin.
What made you want to go on Internship abroad?
I wanted to get work abroad experience. I also wanted to work in an environment with international colleagues but without Japanese in order to learn business English practically.
Why did you choose Singapore as your internship abroad destination?
Singapore has a diverse culture and racial groups. It was interesting to me that people who have various backgrounds and ideas live in the same country together and speak English as a common language. In a multiracial society like this, I thought that foreigners like me would find it easy to work in Singapore.
In addition, Singapore is a business hub in Asia, I wanted to experience their work speed and efficiency. I would also like to brush up on my Mandarin & English proficiency.
Could you tell us more about your job scope?
I was a project manager assistant at a translation and localization consulting company. I mainly did the vetting for Japanese language translation, editing of translation, mail exchange with the translator and participated in meetings with the clients. I also assisted with the installation of a interpreter conference equipment and supported my other team members.
It was an environment without Japanese people, was there anything plus or minus?
The good point was that many colleagues liked Japan and showed curiosity about Japan. There were also many jobs related to Japanese, and I was satisfied to be able to help. It also means that my English proficiency has improved steadily. In the end I could understand my colleagues even though I didnt at the beginning.
On the other hand, it was hard to adjust the way of thinking for work here since it was different in Japan. Also, even if there was a cultural difference at work, there was nobody whom I could share my situation within the company.
What was the most impressive discovery in Singapore?
Japan is a popular destination among Singaporeans. A lot of Japanese daily necessities stores, grocery stores, restaurants, etc. are in Singapore because the quality of Japanese products is popular. Before coming to Singapore, I did not think that Japanese culture has penetrated so much.
Many of my colleagues were interested in Japan, Japanese culture and various Japanese restaurants and snacks. Some colleagues went to see the cherry blossoms at Gardens by the Bay during the spring season, or even brought “bento”—Japanese traditional lunch box to company. I remembered especially Japanese food were very popular such as “matcha” sweets with the name of Hokkaido, ramen, sushi, and bowls.
What did you do on weekends?
Since I liked going to cafes, I searched for small cafes on the Internet. Also, I used to go buying for ingredients as I cook at home.
Sometimes I hanged out with my friends, also I went to Johor Bahru (Malaysia) with Malaysian friends and colleagues.
Please tell us a recommendation in Singapore?
There are a lot of small fancy cafés and hidden delicious restaurants near Outram Park Station.
Please give a comment to future interns!
I recommend you to work in an environment with multi-nationalities. Working with people from different countries will be a chance to think what you want to do in the future as you will have various discoveries and widen your perspectives!
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