I’m Akihiro and this is my first blogpost for People@Continental.
I joined Continental Automotive K.K. in April 2016 and I am currently attending the new entry training program together with 12 other colleagues. We call this training program J.DRIVE (Japanese DRIVE program) and also everyone calls us J.DRIVE.
One of our activities within this group is having lunch meetings with Global internship students.
Starting last year, once at two months, J.DRIVE and Internship students have lunch together. We have had already four such lunch meetings where we met more than 10 internship students from all around the world: Germany, America, Brazil, Malaysia and others.
The advantages of the program
Why are we doing this? First of all, we get connected with young talents. J.DRIVE and Internship students are of similar ages so we can talk about career plans having the same perspective. Beside that we can spend a relaxing lunch time discussing about other topics that we share interest in. Secondly, we can exchange information about our experiences. We have different backgrounds, we come from different countries and I think this activity is creating the context to better know our cultures and not only our working or studying experiences. So far I had the chance to visit only Korea and Russia and the program offers me access to other countries’ cultures as well. Continental being a global company with employees from 26 different countries only in Japan it is for certain important to us to grow our intercultural sensitivity. Next advantage is that we can create interaction between the different departments. We are gathering from several Business Units and central functions therefore we can increase our understanding on what the others are doing. Last but not least, this activity is a good opportunity for J.DRIVE group members to increase English language skills which helps us a lot in our job.
These are the advantages that we’ve thought to before starting this activity, but there were actually also other effects. We, J.DRIVE and Interns, knew each other through this activity. We went out to eat Japanese foods together; we already went to Sushi and Okonomiyaki restaurants and now we are planning to go to a Ramen restaurant – Yokohama being one of the most famous places for Ramen in Japan, having also a museum dedicated to it.
Fortunately there are many restaurants in our location, Yokohama and definitely you can enjoy a meal if you come to Continental Japan! 🙂
So, there is a lot of international activity in Continental Japan, like this one, but also a Language Lunch and a Culture Day, all these contributing to the development of our diversity topic.