March 13 (Tuesday), 2018
The second internship for TUFS students studying in Russia was held on March 13. Eight students participated in the internship, which took place at Sony Electronics JSC. Read more
Sony Corporation opened a branch in 1991, immediately after the disintegration of the Soviet Union, and became one of the first Japanese companies to establish a Russian corporation. Today, the Russian branch has about 400 employees and distributes various well-known electronics to Russian consumers.
First, Ms. Svetlana Marinina, Head of HR, gave a presentation on the history and business results of Sony’s Russian corporation. Ms. Marinina explained that FY 2017 was a great year, with the company achieving 150% of its business target. However, not every year is the same; Russia’s political and economic state has a significant impact on business performance. In the market for consumer electronics, she explained, businesses need to pay constant attention to market trends and changes in consumers’ needs, a point that left a strong impression on the students. Ms. Marinina also introduced her analysis on the similarities and differences between the Japanese and Russian mentalities from a psychological viewpoint. Her comments and advice were intriguing, coming from someone with substantial experience working with Japanese colleagues.
Next, Mr. Maxim Balanuk, who heads up the Moscow Trainers Group and trains sales representatives at Sony dealerships, introduced various products and gave demonstrations, weaving Sony’s history into his presentation. The students were reminded of how Sony has developed many epoch-making products, including the WALKMAN, that have transformed lifestyles globally. Mr. Balanuk said that Sony’s vision was to produce content and services to deliver groundbreaking new excitement and entertainment. Faithful to that vision, the students were intrigued to learn, Sony chose not to commercialize the rice-cookers and calculators that it had developed.
The students were impressed by Ms. Marinina’s and Mr. Balanuk’s powerful and passionate presentations. Many commented, “Both were clearly proud of the Sony brand and products, and it was impressive how they thrived working in a corporate culture that emphasized freedom and flat organization.” In Russia, where it is quite common for people to change jobs, the company stands out with a high retention rate: 25% of the employees continue work at Sony for more than 10 years after taking their first positions.
At the end of the internship, Mr. Nobutaka Shimmura, General Manager of the Professional Solutions Group, gave a talk about his experience on working overseas. Mr. Shimmura actively utilizes his knowledge of Russian at work. In his talk, he emphasized the importance of using local language for communication. Because English is not the first language for either Mr. Shimmura or his Russian colleagues and clients, he knows that neither side can demonstrate its capabilities or convey all the necessary information if they communicate in English. For this reason, he tries to use Russian as much as possible. The students were very impressed and renewed their commitment to study Russian harder so that they could develop fluency in both business Russian and casual Russian conversation. Mr. Shimmura makes a habit of checking Russian websites every day to gather the latest news on the country, translates the titles of interesting articles, and then shares them with his Japanese colleagues. This was a valuable piece of insight for the students as they chart out future courses for their studies.
Mr. Shimmura added that it was the first time for Sony Electronics JSC to host an internship for Japanese university students, and employees from all divisions showed keen interest in the program. He took the students for a tour around the office, where the employees greeted the students very warmly. The students greatly appreciated their interest and cordial welcome.
|Time:||10:00–14:00, Tuesday, March 13, 2018|
|Venue:||Sony Electronics JSC Office (6 Karamyshevsky proezd, Moscow)|
|Participants from Sony Electronics JSC:||Ms. Svetlana Marinina, Head of HR
Ms. Oksana Kuropatkina, HR Manager
Mr. Andrew Skiba, Head of the Training Department
Mr. Maxim Balanuk, Lead of the Moscow Trainers Group
Mr. Nobutaka Shimmura, General Manager of the Professional Solutions Group (Graduate of Foreign Language Department, Osaka University of Foreign Studies (currently Osaka University School of Foreign Studies))
|Participants from TUFS:||8 students|
|Schedule:||10:00–11:20 “Outline and business results of the company” by Ms. Svetlana Marinina
11:30–12:50 “History of Sony and its products” by Mr. Maxim Balanuk
13:00–13:45 Talk on overseas assignment by General Manager Shimmura
13:45–14:00 Office tour