Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Getting ready to leave Japan!

Hello again! What are you doing here?!

It's been quite a while since I posted on this blog but there are plenty of updates to come in the next few weeks. I've been very busy recently with a whole host of things such as final reports to send to both my company boss and the prefectural government, as well as very mundane tasks such as sorting out my shinkansen ticket back to Osaka and finalising my health insurance plan so that the Japanese government doesn't come looking for me once I've left the country!

As some of you may know, it was my birthday just over a week ago and I was very lucky to receive plenty of birthday wishes from my colleagues, friends and family. While I actually spent my birthday alone in an internet cafe looking at the flood of birthday wishes on Facebook, a couple of days ago two of my dearest friends actually came all the way from Osaka to see me (you know who you are and I love you both!) from the 14th until the 17th. We were hoping to go somewhere in order to get a nice view of Mount Fuji but a combination of 90% bad weather and 10% laziness on my part meant that we couldn't quite accomplish our goal. Nevertheless, I had a fantastic time with my friends, talking about some ... intimate.. topics (you know what they are) and drinking plenty of alcohol. It was both nostalgic and strange to finally hear people speaking the Kansai dialect again, but I was thankful to hear "se ya na-" (sou desu ne) and "honma ni" (hontou ni) once again.

I'm heading to the prefectural government headquarters on Friday to hand in my final report and give a presentation about my experience over the past two months, after which I'll grab my suitcase and head directly for the shinkansen back to Osaka. I'll be on the plane before midnight on the 23rd, marking my last day in Japan (FOR NOW MUWHAHAH!)

I will try to post one last update before I do, indeed, depart from this beautiful country, but if I don't quite have time, I'll definitely have plenty of updates and a wide variety of photos to upload once I get back to England and settle into my student halls.

While you're waiting, let me leave you with one photo!

I was very lucky to be taught Shodo (Japanese Calligraphy) by Mrs Ikegaya last night!
  I have a lot to thank Mr Ikegaya for! He's been my boss, my mentor but most importantly, one of my best friends over the past two months. Whenever I was in trouble he would come to my aid in an instant. He always explained things in detail so that I would understand but without ever making me feel stupid. 
Although we are separated by a hefty age gap, I know you're still only 21 at heart. Despite the difference in age, rather than a father I want to think of you as my big brother! 

I'm not sure if he will read this, but I just want to say:

Thanks Mr Ikegaya, 

Thanks Ken!!

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Meeting a very important person

me and the boss!
Today I was quite lucky to meet a very important person not only in the Shizuoka area but someone who is well known through Japan and even internationally! If I were not working at this company, I definitely wouldn't have any chance of meeting a person in such a high position. He is an old friend of my boss and they rose in the ranks of their respective companies together and eventually both became "erai" or people at (or very close to) the top. Today proved that business really is all about people, people and people.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Wait... what exactly is an internship?

I've been going on for a while about internships and my experience as an intern at a Japanese company, but exactly what is an internship? The words "intern" and "internship" don't really have any legal definition or basis in UK law, but there are a few definitions scattered around the web to give us a bit of an idea of both what interns should expect and what should be expected of them

Friday, August 31, 2012

Financial troubles

Last time I was talking about the various benefits to be gained from doing an internship. The post was extremely positive for the most part but I ended it on a more sinister note. Although it is good to put a positive spin on life and be optimistic about things, it sometimes helps to consider the worst-case scenario.

Friday, August 24, 2012

The benefits of doing an internship

In the current economic climate, it can be very difficult to land a safe, secure job. While even some of the more experienced employees are being laid off these days, people with no experience whatsoever find it hard to secure a job in the first place. While internships have been around as long as people have been willing to participate in them, they are becoming more common and sometimes even replace full-time/part-time employees as a (cheeky) way of cutting costs. But there are still many benefits to doing an internship!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Learning versus Doing

It's been about three weeks since I started working at Marutaka Techno, and I already feel like I have learnt more about business in these three weeks than in my two years at university in the UK (I won't count my year in Japan as I didn't really study much business). In my opinion, business is not really something that can be "learnt" in a classroom or lecture theatre.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Marketing to hotels and health clubs

So anyway I've been busy at work recently, searching for prospective customers in the UK to whom I might be able to sell Marutaka Techno's products. As Marutaka Techno doesn't sell directly to the end-user, I have to root out fairly large scale companies that might place substantial orders for our products. The company's products currently sell fairly well in hotels and spas across Japan, so I've decided to go down the same route for the UK entry plan.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Killing time with DVDs from Tsutaya!

Hey guys I'm back at the Manga Kissaten throwing away my money again! Although I've been having a good time for the last few days, I can't live (as I expected) without the internet!

Although I have an old TV, I prefer my clearer Mac screen and better speakers!

You're probably wondering..

"What in the world is 'Tsutaya'?"

Good question! I'm going to answer that right away!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Killing time in the Manga Kissaten!

Hey hey hey!

As you may have noticed, I haven't posted since last week ish! The reason is that because my company is on holiday for a week, I don't have access to the internet!

That's where Manga Kissatens (or Mangaki in short (or Mancs if you're a Mancunian like me)) come in! You become a member (about 300 yen) and you can go into one of the booths (by yourself) or get a slightly bigger one if there's two or more people and then use the internet, watch tv or just read comic books. There's also free drinks with unlimited refills so it's a pretty good deal! Some of the computers are a bit old here but some of them are brand new and can play the latest games at high resolutions!

Friday, August 10, 2012

Doing unpaid overtime on an unpaid internship!

I was supposed to go home at 5.20pm but... my boss took me to work today so I can't go back without him. Tonight is my welcome party at 7pm but now that it's about 6.30pm I don't think I'll be going home before the party!

As you can see from the photo.. all of the lights are off apart from my area and I'm not even doing anything!

So I decided to make a mess of my desk haha!

Right my boss is back so I better go!


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Fujieda, Shizuoka, Japan
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