Japan is a place I had heard a lot about before going on my internship. But having never visited the country before, I wasn’t sure what to expect.
After living in Japan for three months however, I can say it exceeded the best of my expectations.
The people are lovely and welcoming, the food is delicious (and cheap!), and the sights are stunning. The biggest drawback is the ridiculous summer heat.
The internship experience
One of the main reasons I’d applied for the internship was because I thought it would be a great opportunity to experience and learn about Japan, while also getting to improve my technical skills.
Shuttlerock is a software company whose primary product is a digital content marketing platform. The company has a presence all over the globe, including offices in New Zealand and Japan.
As a Software Engineering intern, most of my tasks involved development on Shuttlerock’s LINE platform. The platform allows Line users to interact with company’s marketing campaigns through LINE, which is Japan’s largest social network. It was great to work on tasks which such a strong focus on the Japan market.
Interning at Shuttlerock was a great introduction to Japanese work culture. The office is mainly a mix of Japanese and Kiwis, which meant I was able to experience a good balance of both countries’ work culture without feeling overwhelmed.
The Shuttlerock team was an awesome bunch of people who were very supportive and were always there to help if I got stuck or had any issues.
Living in Japan
The best part of doing an internship in Asia is you get to have so many new experiences.
Some of the highlights of my trip including attending a yukata tea evening, going salsa dancing for the first time, and dancing Bon Odori in a summer festival. I met the mayor of Auckland while he was in Japan. And thanks to the Shuttlerock team, I experienced karaoke for the first time. While singing may not be my hidden talent, it was loads of fun.
Another great part about Japan is the excellent train system, which makes it quick and effortless to travel around. On my first weekend in Japan, I went up to Miyagi prefecture and explored the natural sights around Sendai. I would encourage anyone coming to Tokyo to hop on a train and explore as much outside of Tokyo as you can.
But, as cliché as it sounds, one of the most memorable parts of Japan are the people. They are always so friendly and keen to introduce Japan and Japanese culture to everyone. I learnt the most about Japanese history from people who I met only in passing but happily took time out of their day to show me around.
So, to anyone considering an internship in Asia, I would 100 percent encourage you to jump in and do it. It’s an opportunity like no other and I guarantee you will be surprised about how much you learn and grow during your time overseas.