Monday, March 16, 2009

Thinking of doing an internship in Japan?





Now that the internship season is approaching I thought I would put down a  few tips for anyone interested in applying for an internship at a company in Japan:

  1. Doing an online search to see which companies may be offering internships is a good idea. Recently the number may have dwindled a bit because of the slow economy but that by no means stopped everything.
  2. Different companies may have different company cultures – some are more traditional than the others on issues like dress code, etc. If you have strong preferences one way or the other make sure you find out this bit of information about the companies you are applying to.
  3. Pay attention to the location of the companies you choose. Tokyo is a huge city and not everyone likes living in the center of the hustle and bustle or living in the more suburban parts.
  4. Apply early!!! People don’t seem to get the idea that the process for getting a visa is LONG. The company you would work for needs to get permission from the government in order to get you a working visa and that can take 3-4 months.  I cannot stress this one enough. It is very very important to act early.
  5. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. There may be others from other countries working in companies you are considering or there may be someone (not necessarily “international”) working on a topic you like. Fire off an email to them asking about their experiences. In the worst case, they would be too busy to respond but in the best case you can form a connection with them and connections are important.

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