After the 2021 Victorian Japanese Language Speech Contest I was lucky enough to be selected as an intern for ST Solutions Australia (STSA), a subsidiary of Softbank. This was due to my participation in the JCCIM Internship Program. I was able to take part in many workplace activities and roles during my 4 months at STSA. This was an invaluable experience as I am currently studying Japanese in my Bachelor of International Studies at RMIT. My career goals are oriented around intercultural communication in either a business or government setting in order to understand the differing cultural practices to western culture.
Before I undertook this internship I had little to no understanding of how a multinational company operated. I was surprised to find out that ST Solutions was only one of a plethora of companies under the Softbank umbrella. My interest and knowledge of Japanese processes was also heightened by the many virtual meetings I attended and took minutes for in both English and Japanese. This was between internal and external stakeholders based in other countries such as Singapore, New Zealand and India.
One of the main projects that I was involved with was the collaboration and presentation of a biotechnology based environmental solution to a forestry client. I was tasked with researching partner technologies and evaluating their compatibility to project briefs and client needs. This was done via reports and weekly meetings with a supervisor. Throughout my discussions with these partner companies, I learned a great deal about the range of environmental issues that forestry and governments face in Australia and Japan. I am also better informed as to what innovative technologies are available and are in use today that show great promise towards solving climate change and reaching a net zero emission goal sooner. The highlight of my internship experience was the presentation itself where I was allowed to solo present the proposal which included some of my slides, in particular an Acknowledgement of Country which Japanese clients were not used to but warmly welcomed.
Although not part of my responsibilities, I was also able to participate in some of the start-up processes for Softbank’s Pepper robot. I was intrigued about the implications and uses for a robot that can sense movement, facial features and various languages and am keen to learn more about how far this technology could be utilised as the world becomes more globalised. I am also glad to have the opportunity to network via company contacts and communicate with a range of professionals in a business environment. I am very grateful that this opportunity to network has been extended beyond my internship and has set me up for success should I come across similar business-related environments.
In summary, this internship has given me the experiential skills and knowledge needed to thrive in a professional and cross-cultural context. It has given me invaluable connections and the chance to practice my Japanese language skills in real world scenarios. I want to take this opportunity to thank ST solutions and all the subsidiaries and partners I have been in contact with these past few months for making this an unforgettable experience.