Saturday, July 14, 2007

July 6, 2007 Night out in Osaka

I thought my day had reached its climax when, around lunch time, a big ugly box that sits on top of one of the cupboards, suddenly started making very funny noises :o) First it went "krhcchkerkchkchchr", followed by a nervous "pling plong plang plong", and then the voice of Okada-san, our Human Resource person, announced that there would be a security check in the afternoon.
Umezawa-san had noticed my looks watching the box and she smiled: "Yes, they do make the sound by hand", which was immediately followed by another "pling plong plang plong" - I just had to burst out in laughter imagining Okada-san standing in front of a microphon, creating funny melodies on an ancient xylophon *g*

I really can't imagine why they just wouldn't tell me where the room with that thing is located *mischievous grin*

But near the end of work, Simon sent me an email asking what I'd be up to in the evening, so I decided to stop by in Osaka to meet him. Simon is an intern at Bayer Yakuhin (Health Care), and he was also at my welcome dinner during the second week.

An impressive amount of people crossing a minor road...

HEP Five, an entertainment complex / Shopping Mall

We had quite a fun evening, meeting up in Yodobashi Kamera to do some Tech shopping and laptop looking, spent a while walking around Osaka and then Simon took me to the apartment of a manager friend of his, who is currently on a business trip and left him his keys!

The apartment was amazing, really big for Japanese sizes, very fancy wood furniture, a giant flat screen, designer couches and lamps - and all of that in the center of Umeda, one of the busiest areas of Osaka. Bayer managers from overseas seem to be quite well taken care of over here :o)

Simon and I talked a lot and it made me think very hard on my way home... Simon is 22, has started his own business with 18, is studying event management and came to Japan for a 3-months internship. He has quite a bit of practical experience, plus speaks Japanese fluently because his dad is Japanese. That's probably why his internship is taking a very different course from mine. He is preparing three meetings for around 100 doctors and media people from all over Japan to coach them on new products that Bayer has developed (if I understood correctly). He's organizing those meetings, writing the budgets, traveling to look at the places, taking part in all kinds of sales meetings, designing new incentive systems... Don't get me wrong, I am definitely not complaining about my internship - I am very happy with the intense training I'm receiving and am not entirely sure whether I could handle a task like Simon's, even if it was in English.

But it made me think what I got out of my studies so far. I have been studying my current major for 2 years (well, or 8 months, depending on what you take as major), but I don't really feel like I am using any of the stuff I learned in university. What I am using are presentation skills, IT-skills (which I had before), and more or less common sense - and right now I can't think of anything out of the management majors that I am actively using...

People keep telling me that you rarely use stuff you learned in university, so I am hoping that I picked up a number of skills during studying that I am not entirely aware of...

It's just a little shocking that Simon, who in theory has studied as much as I have, is just so much further than me! Even more reason to add another internship around Xmas! And what I get out off all this thinking is that I want to use my time at SBU more actively, and I want to do a good job - I would like to have Mr. Amling and Eric think by the end of the internship - hey, that investment wasn't wasted on her...

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