Edwin Felix, 23 years – The Netherlands

 

As an ‘Asian Business administration’ student, I had previously gained experience by doing an internship at a commercial company. However, I wanted to learn more about the public interest, human development and social responsibility. These I find valuable competencies that are often neglected at a “traditional” commercial internship company.

At ICA Japan I learned how to apply my business-skills to an organization in the NPO-sector. I did this by closely working together with an ICA Japan affiliate who is engaged in the revitalization of rural areas in Japan. I was able to contribute with my analytical research skills and gained a lot of knowledge about Japanese culture while doing so.

One of my most memorable assignments was the chance to visit one of our project sites in Minamisouma, Fukushima. By assisting during this 3-day visit to the region, I was able to get a better understanding about the purpose and importance of ICA Japan’s activities in Fukushima. Talking with the people who had to forcefully leave their homes because of the nuclear disaster, gave me a unique first-hand insight on the current situation and shaped a better understanding of how people are affected by disasters like the one in Fukushima.

Internally, the main languages are English and Japanese. This international environment allowed me to participate in ICA activities despite my limited Japanese, while at the same time helped me improve my Japanese proficiency. If I did have questions, the staff has always shown to be very approachable and eager to help.

At ICA Japan you can be more than an assistant intern. You are given the tools, knowledge and guidance to be an active member of the team, and you are respected and treated that way. This made the internship much more meaningful and satisfying than I anticipated. I wish everybody who plans to engage in an internship at ICA Japan a lot of success and prosperity at this wonderful organization!