Aixue (Yuki) Zhang
Communication and Education
Intern in the Human Resources Development Department
Yuki is from China, currently studying at Columbia University. She is pursuing a Master's degree in Communication and Education. Yuki interned at our Human Resources Development Department at Osaka Headquarters for 10 weeks.
Why did you want to intern at Sumitomo Electric?
From a career perspective, I pursued a major in film production during my undergraduate studies and am currently majoring in an education-related field. Creating films and videos that can play a pivotal role in education is one of my career goals. At SEI, I worked on producing short videos and strategies tailored for employee training, which perfectly aligns with my goal.
My personal interest in Japan is the other reason. Japan is one of my favorite countries, and I have traveled to Japan every year but didn’t have the chance for a long-term stay. I always hoped that I could have an opportunity to stay longer to deeply experience its lifestyle and culture, not just as a tourist. In the past, the language barrier was the main challenge to get such opportunities. Luckily, I found out about SEI's Global Internship Program this year, and it gave me this perfect chance I had been dreaming about.
What was the most interesting thing you learned from this internship?
I found it interesting to experience the differences in working cultures between Japan and the US. It was intriguing to observe and learn how communication methods, working styles and environments, thought processes, and problem-solving approaches differ between the two countries.
I also stumbled upon an interesting area: employee training. Because of the department I was in, I had the opportunity to be involved in content development for a new employee training program. It was a whole new field for me, but the experience was unexpectedly engaging. The program aroused my interest in the realm of employee training, and I would like to delve deeper into it in the future if possible.
What was a typical workday like for an intern at SEI?
Once I got to the office, my first thing was to check the calendar to confirm my schedule and set my to-do list for the day. Then it was the morning exercise time. After that, there would be a regular morning meeting where every team member would share their schedules for the day. Beyond that, I usually had one or two meetings with my mentors or other team members throughout the day, mainly discussing or checking my progress and asking for feedback. For the rest of the day, I worked on my projects and consulted with my mentor on problems I encountered.
How has the internship helped shape your career?
Before joining this internship, I had struggled for years to decide whether to work and reside in the US or Japan after graduation. As a result of this internship experience, from a long-term perspective, I found that Japan's working style and lifestyle are better suited to my personality and habits. This experience made me willing to commit to staying here in the future and potentially settling down.
What advice do you have for future students considering this internship?
I can say that, for me personally, the internship experience made this summer one of my most special and unforgettable ones. If you are interested in SEI, curious about Japanese business culture, or just generally interested in Japan, and you're still unsure about whether to give it a shot, don’t hesitate to apply. This is a special and unique experience that allows you to explore a distinct working culture and lifestyle, as well as get along with people from different countries. Also, if you encounter any problems during the internship, you needn’t be afraid to reach out to your colleagues and people around you, as they are super nice and supportive.