“Is it worth doing an internship?” For some university students this question usually pops up before summer break. In this KBB segment, I discuss this topic with Kazuki Takahashi, co-founder and COO of Flamingo Inc., a start-up with their office in Kimiyozu-Gojo Kyoto, Japan. We look at both sides of the coin. From a student’s perspective and from a start-up’s perspective.
As a student
“It is an opportunity for students to gain experience in a company”, Kazuki says. There are usually two types of internships offered in Japan. One type usually takes one to two days, which are quite popular in Japan. These 1-2 day internships are more about attending events, finding motivation, and building community of similar backgrounds and interests. The other type is usually for more than one month. The benefit for a student is that you get to be a part of the company culture.
What do you want to gain from this experience?
How much time are you willing to invest?
What questions would you like answered from this experience?
For both types there are advantages and disadvantages. “You can spend time with talented people, clarify your vision, and work towards your dreams,” Kazuki explains. On the flip side, there is no real disadvantage in doing an internship. Of course, to get the most out of the experience, it is better to do some research into the industry and company you are interested to see if it fits your career goals.
Here are some tips from Kazuki:
- Choose an environment where you can use your background and expertise.
- Seek out influential mentors and talented people you would like to meet and work with.
- Gather more information about your interests.
“Above all have passion”, Kazuki points out. “Achieve something with that passion. As a student you do have time, so do something with that time.”
As a start-up
Kazuki states, “Start-ups can get motivated from talented interns and external influences.” There are several benefits to the start-up when having interns such as increased motivation, working with talented people, and the most important thing
How do start-ups benefit?
- Get motivation
- Get more talented people
- Tap into another field and create new things
“We are looking for someone with passion and time”, Kazuki mentions. As a typical day at the office would look something like this. On the develop side, as it is an app in the iTunes store, the intern would spend most of their time writing code for swift and ruby on rails. On the business side, as the app is directed to international students, the intern would hold meet-ups and events, screen potential users and of course attend business meetings.
“The key advice for other start-ups is to communicate with its members and to get involved”, Kazuki suggests.
A huge shout out to Kazuki Takahashi of Flamingo Inc. for his time and sharing his experiences with us. Flamingo Inc. will be launching their app in Tokyo soon, so please check out the links for more information about upcoming events.
Thank you for joining us on Kansai Business Break and we look forward to connecting with you again during our next segment.