Japan, with its beautiful landscapes and new cultural aspects, was overwhelming! On my first day some of the interns from Continental introduced me to the city of Yokohama with a view on the skyscraper landmark tower, the third highest tower in Japan. All of the interns in Yokohama, regardless of the department, know each other very well and our apartments are located in the same building. This makes it easy to get to know each other and meet spontaneously in the evening for a drink after the working day.
In my first working week I was introduced to my team and received my project for the internship. The project‘s goal was to develop a process for defining individual customer strategies. This task includes doing a research on which information are relevant to consider for defining the strategy in the first step. In the second step I started with the implementation of the process with two pilots. This task was a big but exciting challenge for me and I learned a lot.
In the end of my first working week I went out with the Conti interns and we ended up in Tokyo doing Karaoke. Karaoke in Japan is totally different compared to Germany. In Japan you reserve a room individually for your group and only your group hears you singing.
After one month another intern joined the team and we had a welcome dinner together with our colleagues with nice dishes like sashimi (a variation of raw fish which is perfectly prepared) and an awesome karaoke night. The food in Japan is very nice, especially raw fish. I still cannot decide which food I prefer the most as everything is so tasty. During my travels in Japan I often tried the regional specialties and it was really worth it to do some research about it in advance.
My favorite place to visit was the Prefecture Wakayama and one of the reasons is that I ate the best raw tuna there. I went there with some interns to visit the highest tori gate worldwide. In this area there is also the Kumano Kodo pilgrim route which we walked in one day. This pilgrim path offers a fantastic landscape and is registered as World Heritage. There are several paths and all of them end at the Hongu Taisha Shrine.
My last travel destination was Sapporo in the Hokkaido Prefecture. My colleague and me went there to enjoy the fluffy snow of Japan and be part of the famous Snow festival. The festival takes places once a year at three locations in the town: the Odori Park, Susukino street and the Tsu Dome. The Odori Park was full of snow sculptures and many of them were formed as minions. At the Tsu Dome they offered a lot of activities like snow slides or throwing snowballs and we tried to made Origami.
The combination of working abroad, discovering a new country and getting to know colleagues from all over the world was really great. I am happy that Continental offered me this totally new experience of living abroad. I will never forget this experience and I’m already planning to come back to Japan, which is from now on my second home.