I am Yannik Meka, 22 years old and I am studying International Business Administration at the RheinMain University in Wiesbaden (Germany). As part of my studies I spent 2 semesters abroad and my choice was Japan. After a semester of studying in Japan, I started my internship here at Continental Japan in Central Controlling.
I’ve started my internship here in March and will stay until the end of September. So far my experience here at Continental has been great. Being an intern at Central Controlling gave me the opportunity to not just get actual experience from the theory I’ve learnt at university but also a great insight into the company as a whole and how a German company works in Japan.
From the work side of things what I really appreciate is the broad exposure I am able to receive due to the unique position of central controlling. I am involved in many topics like budgeting, forecasting, reporting & everything in between for not just one part of the company but rather all its business units or functions. One of my projects for example is to find out how much expatriates cost, which is very interesting itself not just because of the complexity of the topic but as well as the impact my work will have for the business units as it is the basis for things like the budgeting of their costs in the coming years.
The overall experience here was not just interesting because of my interest in controlling but also to see how a German company works in Japan with its very diverse culture. Seeing the differences between Japanese and German colleagues as well as colleagues from other countries was very eye-opening.
Apart from the work perspective, Continental here in Japan also has a lot to offer in terms of activities which enable you to get to know people from all over the company like a Chinese Culture day or a Mountain Bike race with Continentals very own cycling club.
One of my favorite activities has been the JSAE event held by the Powertrain division. The JSAE is an annually held congress in Yokohama where you can learn about current technologies of the automotive industries and the objective of the activity was it to gather information about certain topics and to present them at the end. The topic of my team was safety more specifically automated driving and how it can increase safety in the future. I knew the term automated driving beforehand but I was very surprised by how ambitious the goals are that the industry has set itself with technologies like ITS (Intelligent Transportation System), where traffic information gets shared in every direction including the traffic infrastructure and other vehicles. It is a very interesting topic to read up on ;-).
Apart from the interesting topics at the convention, the 2 best groups were rewarded with a prize at a great party at the end. Needless to say this was also a great motivation.
My group made the second place! 😉
In summary I can say that my internship here so far has been a great experience as I’ve learnt about controlling, the workings of a company, international business culture and made great colleagues here.