Pick Up

Performance of an intern with specialized knowledge and skills dramatically changed how overseas personnel are viewed

Hagihara Farm Production Institute Co., Ltd.MJTEC Co., Ltd.

企業企業MJTEC Co., Ltd.


インターンインターンNoor Haslinda Hanapi

Malaysia/Master's degree at National University of Malaysia/Mechanical & Materials Engineering


Looking to intern from overseas with specialized knowledge and skills for her views on management and overseas business expansion in the future

Q.Why did your company decide to take on interns? What did you aim to achieve?
An acquaintance with a fellow manufacturing company told me one day about the outcome of taking on a foreign intern for two months, and how the results had been even better than he expected. I decided then that I would find a highly capable person from outside Japan to develop a foundation for expanding our business overseas and to help build a corporate environment that would facilitate working together with foreign staff. Our company already had several foreign staff members, but they did not have any specialized knowledge. To identify new opportunities for utilizing overseas personnel, I wanted to take someone on who had the specialized knowledge and skills. I learned about this program last year from the Internet, and the deadline for registration had already passed. I checked the website every month after that, waiting for this year's sign-up to begin. Finally, I applied. It was ultimately decided our intern would be an instructor at a technical college in Malaysia who was currently teaching classes on the production process for processing machinery.



Changing goals to match the intern's abilities.
Frequent feedback and follow-ups are imperative.

Q.What kind of internship did you run? What difficulties did you face and how did you resolve them?
Before she began to do actual work at our company, I talked to her about how manufacturing is done in Japan and we discussed what she, as a Malaysian, thought about what I told her. I think it was good that she only began internship after we talked at such length. Since at first I didn't know exactly what knowledge and skills she had, I did not set terribly ambitious targets. After it began to seem that she was doing well, I decided to utilize her perspective as a foreign engineer and help improve operational efficiency at the company, and so I changed her goals.
I communicated the goals of the internship to my employees and entrusted her actual instruction to worksite supervisors. The employees, initially dubious of her effectiveness, came to know her skills after working with her, and developed such trust in her that they became comfortable with giving her work to do. I received daily reports from her and those in her worksite, frequently giving feedback and following up. This trilateral relationship has, I feel, helped make things go smoothly.



Working together changed how employees viewed foreign nationals

Q.Comparing before and after the internship, what effects did it have on you, your employees, or your organization?
Working alongside an intern with specialized knowledge and skills effected a change of mindset among those employees who thought that only Japanese staff can handle important work. They seemed to have realized that both Japanese and non-Japanese can achieve the same quality of work as long as they have a basic technical knowledge, and it appeared that their way of looking at foreign personnel changed. Another achievement is having come to the realization that, when taking on foreign staff, it is essential to follow up with them on a daily basis. The daily reports she submitted to the Program Office were also a useful tool for communicating with interns. I will use the wisdom gained from this experience whenever we once again work with foreign staff.
Furthermore, with respect to improving work efficiency and thereby addressing a company priority, we were able to solve a number of problems by virtue of the technical suggestions offered up by the intern. More specifically, she designed and built special tools for use in operations, cutting work time by nearly 70%.



When I get back home, I want to teach my students what I learned at my internship

Q.What did you get out of the internship?
Before coming to Japan, I was teaching classes on the production process for processing machinery at a technical college in Malaysia. I applied for this program in order to get first-hand experience working for a Japanese manufacturer and use that knowledge in my teaching. My time at MJTEC taught me new skills, including how to lower the costs of production. And in working together with MJTEC employees, I learned the kind of knowledge, attitude, and aptitude required of people who work in machining. When I go home, I will share with my students the skills and experience I gained through this internship and cultivate people who can accomplish great things in Malaysia or elsewhere after they graduate.



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