My Name is Daniela, I am a 24 year old mechatronics engineering student from OTH Regensburg in Germany. I started my internship at Continental Automotive Corporation (CAC) in Yokohama at ADAS Sensorics team in August 2016 and extended my stay until the end of May to also write my thesis here.
As part of my studies I wanted to spend some time abroad and since I was able to learn some Japanese at university, it is a great opportunity to improve the language skills at the same time as getting more practical experience as a future Engineer.
I arrived in Japan at Haneda Airport and took the train to my apartment in Yokohama. For me, who grew up in a small village in Germany it was very exciting to live in Japan’s 2nd largest city with 3.7 million other people. My initial anxiety about riding the train has vanished thanks to meeting some nice Japanese people who showed me where to get off at my station and even helped me with my luggage.
In my first week at CAC I already got invited to one of the monthly lunch meetings for the interns and the J.DRIVE members. It was a very fun experience to get to know everyone. We also had dinner sometimes with our colleagues. This was a great opportunity to get to know everyone better.
For the internship I have been given the task to help with the test analysis. Getting to know the various steps needed to confirm whether an algo is working properly on the hardware, how to find the cause of issues and a solution for fixing the problem is interesting, challenging and a very good experience.
My work also included using specialized tools for analyzing and simulation of the test data. Thanks to my colleagues, who gave me a detailed explanation, I was able to learn how to use them quickly. So when other interns joined my department, I was able to help them when they had questions about a task. We enjoyed developing our knowledge of the automotive industry and specifically sensors with their various functions together.
Other very fun events organized by Continental for example were the Oktoberfest at Osanbashi Pier at the port of Yokohama. It’s located in the very beautiful Minato Mirai area with a beautiful view of the harbor, especially while sunset and at night when you can see the illumination of the city. During the party many colleagues did funny and amazing performances they had prepared. The Hanami – Cherry Blossom Viewing – was also a lot of fun. We joined the One Continental Challenge together and folded the longest Origami chain made of paper horses. Everyone proved to have some great teamwork skills.
I have made many new friends among colleagues of different divisions and from all around the world. We spent time together going shopping for a Kimono, attending a fireworks display at the beach and go to the Shibuya intersection on Halloween to see all the amazing costumes and having a good time together.
As you can tell by now, I have had an awesome time in Japan, experiencing the bustling city life and beautiful scenery of mountains and the sea. If you plan to do an internship abroad, like good food and getting to know a culture that is very unique, I highly recommend you to take the chance and go to Japan!