Kaho Tanaka: An Internship Experience with Mitsubishi FUSO

by Chloe Ramirez

Entering the working world for some can be quite intimidating. For Kaho, a third-year student at iCLA, applying for a three-month internship position in Mitsubishi FUSO was indeed challenging, but excitement surpassed fear by a dozen miles.

An integral part of Daimler AG (DAI), the Mitsubishi FUSO Truck and Bus Corporation, a center for light-duty truck and hybrid technology development, represents the unique combination of a German-style workplace, an international workforce, and a Japanese location.

“I was excited, every day, every moment! There are so many people from all around the world, and I learned a lot of new things which are very fascinating for me.”

Kaho entered iCLA under the EAE (English for Academic Excellence) program. Writing a CV in English was definitely a challenge, but being part of the program aided her immensely. A special session was also held by the iCLA administration office for students who were going on internships, which was also very beneficial to the students.

iCLA also gives the students a choice to go on internships, which is a great way to broaden one’s horizons and perspective. Kaho saw this as an opportunity to find out what she is and is not good at for her career in the near future.

“People we so so kind, friendly, positive, and unbelievably supportive. Whenever I had questions, they helped me a lot. There was always a good atmosphere in my office. My supervisor always asked me whether I had enough or too many tasks, and I was also asked about my opinion and suggestions. So it was really good!”

With butterflies in her stomach, she entered into the company wide-eyed and excited. She felt amazing. It was a different environment, Kaho thought, not a stereotypical workplace.

There are people from so many different countries like Germany, China, France, and Italy. In the company we mainly speak a mix of both English and Japanese when the need arises, but hearing other people’s mother tongue is also a great experience.

During her time at FUSO, Kaho had the unique opportunity to take on multiple meaningful roles within the company, including organizing a team-building workshop, translating documents into both English and Japanese, and gaining event planning experience.

One thing she liked about the work ethic in the company was the work schedule. “The earlier you come, the earlier you leave,” she says. In contrast to many Japanese work environments, overworking wasn’t common for the interns, and because she was in this setting, it motivated Kaho to work even harder throughout the weeks and develop valuable time management skills.

Outside of the internship, she was able to create a strong bond with her fellow interns, through dinner parties and dates out with her colleagues.

Just think: working as an employee for one of the biggest companies in Japan while being a student. Definitely a dream. And to be able to work with a wide variety of smart and understanding people just adds to the great experience Kaho had with Mitsubishi FUSO.