http://mistletoe.co/en/

Mistletoe

Content Marketing Intern

June - August 2018 • Tokyo, Tokyo Prefecture

What I liked

Mistletoe was very helpful in providing everything we needed to transition not only into a new internship at our respective startups, but into Japanese working culture in general. Additionally, they were extremely kind to giving us housing in the Shibuya, one of the best areas in the city of Tokyo. Overall, I had a very enjoyable and meaningful summer internship experience with them.

What I wish was different

This has more to do with my specific portfolio startup, but I wish there was more existing infrastructure and a bigger team as I was quite alone when doing work for the company. Although I learned a lot, I wish there was more for me to work off of.

Advice

Keep an open mind and work hard. Learn as much as you can from Japan and the internship, and do not take cheap accessible Japanese food for granted.
1 person found this helpful

Curriculum Designer Intern

June - August 2018 • Tokyo, Tokyo Prefecture

What I liked

I specifically interned for the International School of Science Japan (now the Manai School of Science and Technology). Since I was assigned to work in ISSJ's founding school project, I was given a lot of autonomy as to how I want to build a curriculum from scratch. The touch base system I had with my direct supervisor was flexible. I also frequently met with the core team and sometimes shared my progress reports with them. Our meetings were mostly me getting feedback for my work and/or justifying the features I included in the curriculum. I was also involved in ISSJ's summer camp in Hokkaido wherein I was also given a lot of autonomy as to how I wanted to conduct my own workshop.

What I wish was different

I think it would have helped if I was able to share my progress and acquired feedback more frequently from the core team and/or other members of the team. A diversity in feedback would have been very helpful. Another downside of the project, which I think was exacerbated further by the "vagueness" of instruction in Japanese working culture, is the lack of more specific, concrete deliverables. I was given a lot of abstract instructions and most of them were only derivatives of the company philosophy. While it was helpful to know the purpose of the organization well, I had to navigate and translate those concepts to something actionable by myself.

Advice

Engage as much as you can with the people you work with! Japanese working culture in start-ups is a lot more casual and open-minded than their infamously strict and stringent corporate culture. My company's core team listened to all my ideas and encouraged me to develop them because they were looking for novelty. For an intern to really maximize the experience in Japanese start-ups like this one, they have to reach out to their supervisors for feedback and brainstorming.
1 person found this helpful