Before staring my 3-months internship at the Hamakita plant in Japan, whenever I told someone what my next big challenge will be, the reaction I would get was: “Ah, Continental, their tires are great”. And indeed they are, but Conti is much more than that and my experience as part of Continental Automotive Japan and division Chassis and Safety proved it.
As an Industrial Engineering student who would like to work as a Financial Controller the challenge for me was even bigger and the internship itself even more
interesting. I have learnt a lot about the production process, about all processes within the plant and also got a real experience as an intern in the Finance and IT department, being supervised by the plant controller himself. Although I was sure from the very beginning that it will be a life changing experience, it exceeded all my expectations and I am sure if I had to choose again the place for my first internship abroad it would definitely be at Conti and definitely in Japan. Why? Let me explain…
Firstly, Japan is one of its kind and Japanese are too. I have never met kinder, calmer, more hard-working people. And no matter I am only 21 years old now, I have met a lot of people during my numerous trips in Europe. Because of being surrounded by such people, my staying was so pleasant and I was going to work every day with a big smile on my face (although some days the humidity was trying to kill my enthusiasm). The surrounding atmosphere, spectacular mountains, big cities, historical places only made the view picturesque as if it was taken from a novel. One of a kind.
Second, but definitely most important to me, was the everyday learning experience and the way it was happening without me even noticing it sometimes. With every new task or conversation with my supervisor I felt that my view of how the processes at the plant and at Continental Automotive are happening get clearer and clearer. I would start feeling more confident in myself and speak up my mind. I have never felt pressure on myself by any of my colleagues, only huge support and not only related to work, but also related to my adaptation and nice staying in their homeland.
I will do my best to remember every lesson, every taste, every beautiful temple, but what I hope I will never forget are the people who made this experience what it is – the first huge step up the ladder of success.