Wan-Yin (Anny) Liao

Japanese Studies

Intern at Human Resources Development Department

Anny is from Taiwan, currently studying at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. She is pursuing a Bachelor degree in Japanese Studies. Anny interned with us at our Human Resources Development Department at Osaka Headquarters for 10 weeks.

Why did you want to intern at Sumitomo Electric?
Despite the fact that I studied the language and culture, and spent a year in Tokyo doing exchange, there was still something that held me back when I thought about working in Japan. This internship was able to expose me to the Japanese working environment, working in Japanese and Human Resources as a career. It also allow me to explore more about the Kansai area.

What has been the most interesting thing you have learnt from this internship?

I would say it is meeting people. It’s really interesting to talk with not only employees in SEI but also non-employees that I have gotten to known through work such as vendors and interns, and hear about their thoughts regarding SEI, Japanese working culture, and globalization.

Coming from an anthropological perspective, SEI symbolized the traditional/typical Japanese working culture to me, and this internship felt like a 10-week fieldwork on Japanese corporate culture.

As my department focuses on employee trainings, I got to see the education SEI provides regarding company philosophies and skills needed at work. In addition, through the work and conversations I had, I got to understand how their employees work on a daily basis.

What was a typical workday like for an intern at SEI?
My project was related to training program assessment and outcome evaluation research. As such, I was either in the office researching more about training evaluation methods or doing participant observation in trainings throughout the day.

I had regular meetings with my mentor and supervisor regarding my work progress and life in Japan, as well as meetings to review and re-assess some of our current training programs. Along with that, I had the opportunity to meet people outside the company along with my colleagues, and also the chance to attend a training camp where I stayed in one of the training facilities owned by the company.

Wan-Yin (Anny) Liao

How has the internship help shaped your career?
It gave me a clear picture of how it was like to work in a Japan domestic team focusing on training in Japan. Through anchoring in SEI, I am able to adjust my expectations towards companies in Japan. I think working in an international company and with people of different backgrounds, it is important to know that in many situations, you have to meet halfway. I was really fortunate to have learnt this and understand more about my own working style and personality through this experience.

What advice do you have for future students considering to participate in this internship?
Go for it. No matter which aspect of SEI interests you, you will definitely learn something during your time here. It’s a large organization trying to revitalize itself step by step. Don’t be afraid to reach out and question. You are the one that brings #diversity and intercultural communication in SEI!