internship program

Summary of Internship Program: Work experience program in diverse fields in Japan and Russia offered to participating students from TUFS and the six partner universities.

Friday, the 11th of May, 2018
Internship at Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO), Moscow office.

In cooperation with the Moscow office of the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO), an internship was organized for 11 participants, of whom 9 were exchange students who had been sent abroad by TUFS under the Japan-Russia Student Mobility Program and another 2 exchange students who were privately funded, on the 11th of May.  This marked the fifth such internship.

 JETRO is an independent administrative corporation with branch offices in every prefecture of Japan, and74 overseas offices in 54 countries.  It currently operates two offices in the Russian Federation, in Moscow and St. Petersburg.  Its Moscow office employs 9 people, of which 4 are Japanese nationals.

 The primary role of the Moscow office is to support Japanese companies’ penetration of the Russian market, to encourage Russian companies to enter the Japanese market, to support the export of Japanese agricultural and food products, and to conduct surveys and provide analysis of the Russian business climate.  In conjunction with Russo-Japanese efforts at the strengthening of economic ties, JETRO also pays special attention to supporting small and medium enterprises (SME).  As part of this effort to support SMEs, the Moscow office participates in trade conventions such as “Innoprom” and “Word Food Moscow” to offer opportunity to showcase Japanese products to Russian companies.  The office offers support services to Japanese companies seeking to enter the Russian market through specialists with extensive experience in doing business in Russia.  Additionally, JETRO conducts surveys and seminars regarding issues concerning customs or copyright infringement.

 The internship began with a greeting from Mr. Kunihiro Nomura, who is the General Manager of the Moscow office, following which local staff gave explanations of the office’s day-to-day functions in Russian.  Afterwards, the interns had the opportunity to talk with Mr. Norimasa Shimada, and Mr. Hiroshi Saito about the work they do at the Moscow Office, how they spent their college days, and how they came to be employed in Moscow.  Shortly after beginning corporate careers, both men were assigned to a Tokyo research team and after working at domestic regional offices, they eventually were assigned to  overseas office.  The students found it common to both JETRO and other private companies that after securing employment they are using a language other than the one they studied at university, however they were particularly interested in the case of the JETRO Moscow office both Mr. Shimada and Mr. Saito found themselves using Japanese quite a lot.  This is because their main clients are Japanese companies.

Both of them spent a lot of time translating Russian documents when they worked for Tokyo research teams.  Moscow office’s library where the students were treated to a tour, featured many of the reports JETRO has published; this reinforced the primacy of research and surveying in JETRO’s work.  The Students were impressed with comments of Mr. Shimada and Mr. Saito based on their research team background, that they were fascinated to confirm with their own eyes the information they had absorbed through documents during their assignment at Tokyo research teams.

 Below are some impressions from students.

-As a student at a foreign languages university, I have long had the desire to find work at a company that did business overseas (particularly in relation to trade); this visit reminded me of just how important an institution JETRO is.  While I had long known of JETRO, in a vague sense, this visit provided me the first opportunity to understand in detail what JETRO does, and to realize the major role that JETRO plays in communicating with other countries with which Japanese companies do business.

-JETRO is not an enterprise per se, but is a dokuritsu gyousei hounjin (independent administrative corporation), so its interest is not in making profits, but it nonetheless provides an invaluable service, as I have come to feel.  According to JETRO staff, to apply for JETRO, dedicating oneself to Japan is not an requirement, , however knowing that one’s work  was beneficial to Japan as a whole would be quite fulfilling.

-Were I to work at entities such as JETRO dedicated to promoting trade and the overseas business expansion, I would definitely need to know a lot about business.  Up until now, I have hardly taken any business-related classes at TUFS, so when I get back to Japan I definitely will think about taking some.

-Listening to the two JETRO officials’ comment that during  job hunting they self-analyzed that they were not fit for profit making job, I realized how important it is to understand one’s own self clearly when deciding what kind of a job to apply for.

-I thought it was really impressive that JETRO’s function is not to make profit, but to support private companies’ diversified businesses in Russia and Japan.

A commemorative photograph taken before the reception

Outline of the Internship program

Date and time:
Friday, May 11, 2018 (Friday) 10:00-12:00

JETRO, Moscow Office
(8th Floor, BC “Europe-Building” 5, Bryanskaya st., Moscow, 121059 Russia)

JETRO officers:
Mr. Kunihiro Nomura, General Manager, JETRO  Moscow
Mr. Norimasa Shimada, Director, JETRO Moscow
Mr. Hiroshi Saito, Director, JETRO Moscow
Ms. Solangy Shaktar, Expert (Project coordination), JETRO Moscow

9 exchange students that were sent to Russia by TUFS under Japan-Russia Student Mobility Program, and two self-financed exchange students

10:00-11:00     overview of the day-to-day work of the Moscow office given by Ms. Shaktar
11:00-12:00     Greeting and tour conducted by Mr. Shimada and Mr. Saito


Wednesday, March 21, 2018
Internship at Yamaha Music(Russia)LLC

The fourth internship for TUFS students studying in Russia was held on March 21 and five students studying in Moscow participated in this opportunity at Yamaha Music (Russia) LLC.

Yamaha Corporation, a global company headquartered in Hamamatsu city, Shizuoka prefecture, is engaged in a wide range of businesses, including manufacturing of musical instruments, audio and visual equipment, components and devices, golf equipment, and resort operation. In Russia, it established a local subsidiary, Yamaha Music (Russia) LLC, that imports and distributes sound and acoustic equipment.

The internship started with a presentation by Ms. Anastasia Bakhmetyeva, Public Relations section manager, on the history and an outline of the company and its major products. Ms. Bakhmetyeva explained that among the world’s musical instruments makers, Yamaha is known for its wide range of products, and also for its unparalleled capability to develop and manufacture high-tech electronic instruments, such as the Silent Series, which allows musicians to practice silently on headphones without disturbing others, or give a remote performance over the Internet with its digital grand piano. She explained that the company supports artists globally, and sponsors an international festival in Russia of military bands that is held annually at the Red Square in Moscow.

Next, the students had an opportunity to take part in a roundtable discussion with Japanese expatriates. The students were surprised to learn that three out of the four Japanese expatriates in the company were alumni of the Department of Russian Studies at TUFS. Mr. Tetsuya Hatano, Manager of Finance and Administration department, said he has met many TUFS alumni since he started working in Moscow. It was encouraging news for the students to hear that many TUFS alumni were actively working in Russia. Ms. Yumi Fujiwara, Product Marketing Manager, Musical Instruments Sales & Marketing department, participated in the discussion, and the students appreciated the chance to ask questions about women and overseas assignment. The students appreciated having an opportunity to discuss a wide range of issues that are constantly on their minds, such as marriage, having children, and work-life balance. Ms. Fujiwara explained that Yamaha Corporation has various schemes to support female employees to continue and advance their careers, including a program for maternity and childcare leave, with some men already making use of this program. Through this discussion, the students learned that the benefits package offered by a company is an important element in choosing a future employer. On the topic of language, while the corporate language for communication at the company is English, the Japanese staff frequently experienced situations when they wished they had a better command of Russian. This episode emphasized the importance of being able to communicate fluently in Russian.

The students then moved to YAMAHA ARTIST SERVICES MOSCOW (YASM), located in central Moscow. YASM is one of the artist centers that Yamaha Corporation has established in seven major cities across the world. There are some rooms with grand pianos or digital pianos, and there is also a small music hall that artists and music college students can use for practice before concerts and competitions. The music hall was constructed making full use of Yamaha’s superior acoustics technologies so that it has the acoustics of a concert hall despite its small size. Here the students listened to a demonstration by YASM staff. YASM also provides user support service for owners of Yamaha’s musical instruments and hosts various public relations and educational events.

The students learned that, although Yamaha Corporation is categorized as a manufacturing company, its business is closely connected with culture-related events and services. This was an eye-opening experience for them, as it enabled them to realize that there are manufacturing companies that are engaged in a wide range of fields.

TUFS students having a friendly talk with expatriates from Japan
Group photo at YASM

Outline of Internship

Time: 09:30-12:30, Wednesday, March 21, 2018
(Kievskaya str. 7, entrance 7, office 37 Moscow)
(Leontievsky lane 11, Moscow)
YAMAHA MUSIC: Mr. Tetsuya Hatano, Manager, Finance and Administration department (Graduate of Department of Russian Studies, Tokyo University of Foreign Studies)
Ms. Yumi Fujiwara, Product Marketing Manager, Musical Instruments Sales & Marketing department, (Graduate of Department of Russian Studies, Tokyo University of Foreign Studies)
Ms. Anastasia Bakhmetyeva, Public Relations section manager
Ms. Elsana Gabaraeva, YASM, Senior Specialist
Mr. Evgeny Mikhlin, YASM, Specialist
Participants from TUFS: 5 students
Schedule: 09:30-10:30 Office tour and presentation introducing the history, overview, and major products of the company by Ms. Anastasia Bakhmetyeva
10:30-11:30 A roundtable discussion with Mr. Hatano and Ms. Fujiwara on international assignment
11:30-12:00 Move to YASM by car (with Ms. Fujiwara)
12:00-12:30 YASM tour, introduction of YASM and demonstration

Tuesday, March 20, 2018
Internship at Mitsubishi Electric (Russia) LLC

The third internship for TUFS students studying in Russia was held on March 20 by and eight students studying in Moscow participated in this opportunity at Mitsubishi Electric (Russia) LLC .

Mitsubishi Electric (Russia) started business in Russia from 1997, and has gradually increased the number of branches in major cities across the country. Its employees grew from 4 to 130 today. It offers an extensive array of products in Russia, including air conditioning systems, industrial automation, semiconductors, refrigerators, and large size displays. With the exception of consumer products such as refrigerators and room air conditioners, its products are sold to government organizations and major companies through bidding.

The internship program started with a presentation by Mrs. Olga Smirnova, the General Manager of the Corporate Management Division, on the history and the company profile. Ms. Smirnova joined the company as a receptionist 17 years ago soon after the company started its business, and worked up the corporate ladder to her present position as the company grew. She emphasized how on-the job-training after joining the company was important to her career. She explained that compliance is one of the major responsibilities of the Corporate Management Division today, including checking strict observance to avoid handling products that may conflict with economic sanctions against Russia or those that may lead to the production of NBC (nuclear, biological and chemical) weapons. The students took keen interest in this explanation. Ms. Waka Taniguchi, a locally-hired Japanese employee, proficient in both English and Russian, is currently responsible for this task. Ms. Taniguchi also attended the presentation.

Mrs. Smirnova, General Manager of the Corporate Management Division, gives a warm welcome to TUFS students

Mitsubishi Electric is also committed to corporate social responsibility, and supports orphanages, marathon events, exhibitions of Japan-related works at the State Museum of Oriental Arts, etc. in Russia.

The next presenter was Mr. Sergey Yurkov, the General Manager of the Streategic Development Division, who spoke on the theme “How to establish and develop efficient business of the Japanese companies in Russia”. The Strategy Development Division is responsible for future-oriented marketing; based on the historical data the division analyzes and makes projections on how the head office, customers and markets will change in the next 25 years, and, how the company should achieve success. Mr. Yurkov mentioned that Japanese companies are now experiencing difficulties competing with Korean and Chinese companies, and the important key for the future will be on how to communicate the strengths of Japanese products and services, and, on investing in future markets while creating demand. He touched on the important attitudes for those working in this field, such as skills to identify trustful and necessary information in today’s information society and building a professional network. His advices for the students included participating in various events for networking while they are in Russia, not just focusing on their studies.

Next, the students went on an office tour of the company. After the tour, General Director Hiroshi Furuta spoke about his experiences working outside of Japan. Mr. Furuta chose to join a manufacturing company rather than a bank or a trading company, because he considered it would provide him with more opportunities for international assignments. After working in the accounting division, he was assigned to the division that dealt with automobile components that he became an expert of. Although Mr. Furuta initially wished for an opportunity to work in a Spanish-speaking business, he never got a chance until now. His presentation was very helpful for the students to think about their future careers. Mr. Furuta pointed out that the key elements to a successful international assignment are good cross-cultural communication, ability to build a lasting relationship based on trust, fairness, logical thinking and transparency. His advice was that what ultimately matter is building attractive personality. The students were impressed by his speech based on his long-career and experiences. He added that he made a habit of always studying the local language wherever he was assigned, and is currently studying Russian. According to Mr. Furuta, this posting to Russia was like an unexpected gift from Mitsubishi Electric now that he is approaching the age of mandatory-retirement. One of the students commented that Mr. Furuta’s positive attitude is a source of inspiration, since he taught them a lesson that one should always enjoy cross-cultural communication in all types of environment.

eremonial photo with General Manager Furuta, in front of the reception desk

Outline of Internship

Time: 10:00-14:00, Tuesday, March 20, 2018
Venue: LLC Office, Mitsubishi Electric (Russia)
(2, bid. 1 Letnikovskaya Str., 5th Floor, Moscow)
Participants from Mitsubishi Electric (Russia) LLC: Mr. Hiroshi Furuta, General Director (Graduate of Department of Spanish Studies, Tokyo University of Foreign Studies)
Mrs. Olga Smirnova, General Manager, Corporate Management Division
Mr. Sergey Yurkov, General Manager, Strategic Development Division
Ms. Olga Preobrazhenskaya, Leading HR Specialist, Corporate Management Division
Ms. Waka Taniguchi, Administrative Specialist, Corporate Management Division
Participants from TUFS: 8 students
Schedule: 10:00-11:00 “History and Outline of the Company” presented by Ms. Olga Smirnova
11:00-12:00 “Strategic Development” presented by Mr. Sergey Yurkov
12:00-12:10 Office tour guided by Ms. Olga Preobrazhenskaya13:45-14:00 Speech about overseas assignment by General Manager Furuta

March 13 (Tuesday), 2018
Internship held at Sony Electronics JSC.

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.

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.

Group photo at the reception desk
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

February 6 (Tuesday), 2018
Internship held at a local corporation of Yokogawa Electric Corporation (Moscow)

An internship was held on February 6 in cooperation with Yokogawa Electric CIS Ltd., a local corporation of Yokogawa Electric Corporation, in which nine outbound students studying in Moscow participated.The main business activities of Yokogawa Electric Corporation are manufacturing and global marketing of automatic control systems used in plants and factories. It started business with Russia in the Soviet era and founded a local corporation after the collapse of the Soviet Union. With its office building and R&D department in central Moscow and an assembly plant in Zelenograd in the outskirts of Moscow, Yokogawa Electric CIS’s business extends throughout Russia. The internship program consisted of a briefing in Russian by local staff and a meeting with Deputy Commercial Director, Mr. Yasuo Saito, a TUFS Russian-language course graduate, followed by a visit to the plant.
The students participating in the internship wish to work abroad using Russian and expressed great interest in how Japanese companies are managed abroad, how representatives work in Russia and how Japanese staff communicate with Russian staff members. Many participants remarked that there are places where liberal arts graduates can work in sales and marketing fields at manufacturing companies and this internship experience was helpful in deciding future profession after graduation. Most of the students reported as follows: Japanese companies are promoting globalization and localizing their offices at the same time, in which the ratio of Japanese staff working at local offices is low and many projects cannot be completed without communicating with other countries. For these reasons, the students found English important. Some students reported that the internship gave them the chance to rethink the role of Japanese representatives in assigning work in overseas markets to local employees. At the plant they were impressed that local employees are very proud of their brand. It was a day when they could learn valuable things they could not learn through lessons at university.

TUFS Students of listening eagerly to Mr. Saito, Deputy Commercial Director
Excursion around the factory with Factory Director

Outline of Internship

Time: 10:00-18:30 February 6 (Tuesday) 2018
Venue: Yokogawa Electric CIS Head Office Building (Grokholsky lane 13, bldg. 2, Moscow)
Yokogawa Electric CIS Zelenograd Plant (Proezd 4801, 7-3, Zelenograd, Moscow Region)
Participants from Yokogawa Electric CIS: Mr. Yasuo Saito, Deputy Commercial Director
Mr. Vitaly Sergeev, HR Director for Russia & CIS and General Manager
Mr. Sergey Kornilaev, HR Manager
Mr. Yuri Turchin, Head of Training Center
Mr. Nikolay Andrianov, Head of Mfg Assemling & Test Centre
Participants from TUFS: 9 students