Internship at ROHM’s European Headquarters: Gaining insights from the electronic business
Recently, Emely Kemper completed an internship at ROHM’s European Headquarters near Düsseldorf. The 20-year-old has a strong affinity to Japan: She already lived in Osaka – the third largest city of Japan – for one year as an exchange student. Currently, she studies Applied Business Languages and International Business Management, with a special focus on Japanese business, at the University of Bremen.
Now she reveals to us her highlights of both her time in Japan and her internship at ROHM’s European Headquarters:
Emely, which were your personal highlights during your internship at ROHM?
Overall, I found it really interesting how a company works and how the departments are connected to each other. I couldn't imagine that before. Most of the time I have spent in the Legal Affairs department where I was able to look at contracts and NDAs. I was always allowed to attend department meetings, which I also found very interesting. Another highlight for me was the Quality Assurance (QA) department. Its staff explained all the processes to me in detail. For example, I analyzed a component under the microscope, x-rayed and lasered it. I enjoyed this experience a lot.
Quality Assurance engineer Sowmya Karnati explained the different steps of ROHM’s quality assurance process to Emely.
Besides, I gained some impressions of ROHM’s Human Resource (HR) department. For example, Katrin Troll-Mateiu takes care of ROHM’s Japanese expats arriving in Europe and everything that is connected with it, such as finding a flat and a suitable school for their children. She is also the contact person when the Japanese colleagues don't feel well - a "feel-good manager". This was very inspiring to me and I could well imagine doing something related to Japan for my professional career, too.
Speaking of Japan, you spent a year in this country as an exchange student at the age of 15. How did this decision revolve and why did you choose Japan as a destination?
Since I have always been very enthusiastic about learning new languages and exploring different cultures, I decided to spend a year abroad.
Enjoying an intercultural atmosphere: During her stay in Osaka, Emely has found a second family in Japan.
I chose Japan as I had always been fascinated about this country: It started when I was a child. Back then, I watched anime which were only available in Japanese or with subtitles. The language sounded so nice and that’s why I started learning it. Studying Japanese was very interesting and above and also challenging because it is so different from Latin languages. Since Japan is the best place to learn the language, I decided to do my year abroad in Japan.
Taking a look on the Japanese mentality: What did you think is special about it?
What I found very different is especially the indirectness of the Japanese, whereas Germans are very direct. We get to the point relatively quickly by stating what is wanted or expected. That's not the case in Japan at all as you need to read between the lines. That's often very difficult, especially if you don't speak the language perfectly or if you simply don't know it. For the Japanese, it's totally clear what's meant, but you yourself oftentimes have to guess. That's something you have to get used to. For example, you have to pay attention to little hints. I had a hard time with that at first, but once you understand it, it works to some extent.
What is relatively similar is punctuality, which is very important to the Japanese. Japanese people are very respectful and polite, everyone was always very nice to me there. I haven't had any bad experiences of anyone being rude to me. Nobody took advantage of me because I didn't know the language.
What are your favorite Japanese dishes?
Yakisoba is definitely one of my favorite dishes. It consists of soba noodles with fried meat, usually served with salad. My host father often cooked this, it was very tasty.
Yakisoba is one of Emely’s favorite Japanese dishes.
Also, Japanese curry is very delicious – I can also highly recommend it. My host grandmother often cooked it. It's called “kare” in Japanese. On top, I enjoyed typical ramen noodles and sushi. And yakiniku, which is like BBQ - with meat.
Coming back to your studies, why did you choose the degree program "Applied Business Languages and International Business Management"? Is it related to the international experiences you have gained?
I enjoyed my year abroad so much that I want to incorporate it into my studies, especially along with the Japanese focus. I then came across this degree program and found it very interesting that the business aspect is also included. The program contains eight semesters in total, as the program also includes a year abroad. With the next winter semester in a year's time, I will spend one year at university and also complete an internship in Japan in the second semester. I hope that I will get into Ritsumeikan University in Kyoto. This is a partner university of our university in Bremen and the only one in Kyoto. Most universities are in Tokyo. The Japanese capital is a great city, of course, but in Kyoto I would also have the opportunity to visit my host family and friends very close in Osaka. Kyoto was – a long time ago – the capital of Japan. There are many traditional shrines and temples. It's also much more pleasant that it's not as crowded there as in overpopulated Tokyo. It is certainly easier to make connections in Kyoto.
Emely’s Top 3 favorite places in Osaka:
1. Shopping in Shinsaibashi und Nanba & Cup Noodle Museum
„These are both districts of Osaka, where mainly young people go shopping. I also found the Cup Noodle Museum funny where you can put together your own noodles and paint the corresponding cup.”
2. Osaka Castle
“This location includes a beautiful park. It is especially neat there in the spring when the Sakura (cherry blossom) blooms.”
3. Universal Studios Osaka
“This is an amusement park with many great roller coasters, a part of USJ is dedicated to Harry Potter for example including Hogwarts castle and Butter Beer.”