I had applied off-campus. The company, like many others, posts openings for prospective students on its career website and LinkedIn. How this works is that one is expected to fill a form online, following which they have a couple of online rounds like logic and reasoning and psychometric and record a video interview. After this, I got a call from the HR and the concerned department and they took a telephonic interview. They asked about my previous experience, intended career path, and technical skills and typical HR questions.
Job Profile and Work
I was selected for VKP data analysis and calculation automation for Daimler AG at Kawasaki, Kanagawa, Japan. I had to formulate cost-cutting potential algorithms for a set of points on the gap between best-fit and best-practice and devise Quick Calculation Tool Automation, which essentially supports costing on a common platform in Japan, Germany, India, and the US.
I was happy for my intern and I felt that I’d not get such an ideally suited internship, so I didn’t look for more or sit for TNP interns. However, I was a bit worried about the food since I’m a vegetarian.
It was very different from what I’ve seen with my father in India. It is a multinational company, so people of very diverse backgrounds worked there. Kawasaki has offices of Mercedes and Mitsubishi Fuso as well (subsidiaries of Daimler) and there were Germans, French, Indians and of course Japanese. I received weekly or fortnightly assignments which were a great learning experience, but the most amazing experience was working with people outside an academic setting in Japan. People were extremely punctual and efficient, and at the same time huge fun and loved to party. Unlike what I’ve seen in India, the hierarchy in positions was much less marked among the employees and everyone sat and worked together. Japan is culturally very different from India, so that’s there for sure.
It’s surely a different place. At 8 am in the morning, a piece of music would play, and everyone in the office exercised for 3 minutes on their seats, which was perplexing! The funniest experience has to be the reactions I received when I told someone that I’m vegetarian. My manager said he thought for an entire week how he would “nurture” me if I were his daughter. :p
Motivation and Takeaways
It was an absolutely amazing experience. I had very bright peers, and Japan is a dream country for me since I’ve grown up watching it on cartoons. It helped that my major was mechanical engineering and I applied for inclination towards analytics because it worked in my favour in this case. Overall, the experience in a different country with a world-class company was overwhelming, to say in the least. The takeaways would be a very rigorous corporate experience and application of skills very differently from what I had in mind.