Aidan Hall, a Neuroscience Major at Pitzer College, joined IBM Japan this summer for a two-month internship in HR. In this article, Aidan shares how those two months transformed his world.
By Aidan Hall
I was inspired to work at IBM Japan for two reasons. The first was working in Japan. Japan had been my home for eight years, and the culture was not new to me. But I had never experienced the shafu, or working culture of Japan. I wanted to experience how Japanese workers work together, especially at an international company like IBM. The second was to apply my interests to the processes of HR. Studying Psychology along with my major, I often looked into interpersonal interactions and the effects on a person’s well-being. Working in a major-scale company, and a very diverse one at that, I wanted to learn from real-world practices in the workplace and to apply my studies to create better experiences for workers.
“Interns are plugged straight into IBM’s workforce”
When I began my Summer Internship with IBM Japan, I wasn’t sure what type of work my internship would entail. I had heard so many horror stories from friends of mindless work from large companies, and at first I was afraid this is what I would be doing. Through this internship, however, I learned that even the interns are plugged straight in to IBM’s workforce. After initial tours, my first two tasks were given. First, to help plan and support a college recruitment event and secondly, to create an English version of the touring script to IBM Japan’s HQ office.
“What might have been thought of as ‘intern work’ never was”
Working through these tasks not only let me get to know IBM a lot better, but to meet and cooperate with my team members. What might have been thought of as “intern work” never was, because everyone on the team did their part to contribute evenly. After these tasks, I was able to attend multiple high-level meetings about HR processes in IBM, gaining even more knowledge that I was able to apply through my internship. These conversations allowed me to understand what’s important to this company, the steps IBM is taking in terms of Diversity and Technology, and the experiences the company offers new hires and executives.
“Though I was a temporary worker, I truly felt a part of the team”
Becoming fluent in internship and externship programs, as well as the processes of branding and creating online hubs allowed me to create two projects that I pitched to teams with great reception. I was even allowed into a creative space investigating company innovation, talking through culture and voicing my thoughts amongst executives and leaders. I was able to take the knowledge offered to me and, with the enthusiasm and support of my team, drive my projects forward. Though I was a temporary worker, I truly felt a part of the team.
My experience allowed me to expand my business knowledge, learn the working culture of IBM and Japan, and use my talents to create something meaningful and useful to the future of IBM. The tasks and projects I headed were a part of IBM’s growth, and with that I truly felt like a part of the system.
Being given the tools and space to learn and create gave me an experience that I was sad to have been over.
As an intern at IBM, rest assured, you won’t be given stacks of paperwork to staple together. Rather, you will be given the tools to create your success and assisted to develop your leadership potentials.
Do you find Aidan’s story interesting and would love to get the chance to experience this? Why not take some time to check out our IBM Japan recruitment website and follow us on Facebook and Twitter for more information