“So… what did you actually do at work?”

One obvious question I’ve been getting from family and friends is… “So, what are you actually doing at Mizuno everyday?” I decided to wait until the end of my internship to provide a more encompassing description of my past six weeks, but now my six weeks have come to an end as I prepare to leave tomorrow. ☹

Well, I was working in the Corporate Communication Department and my official title was Brand Marketing Assistant.

My first day in the office was spent learning all about Mizuno’s Communication department as well as lessons on things like the official guidelines for the use of the Mizuno Runbird logo and the company’s suggested font. Since I have a weird, nerdy

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Sean and I on our first day in the office at the Mizuno Headquarters building in Osaka.

interest in logo design and fonts, (I used to drive everyone crazy over font usage for the yearbook and newspaper in high school) I was thriving.

Throughout my internship, I was able to use the experience I had in Adobe Illustrator to help produce some promotional materials. I was also asked to help create a press conference photo backdrop for the release of a new Mizuno Pro Golf club and then got to go to the release in Tokyo. The only issue was that the programs like Illustrator, since I am in Japan, are all in Japanese. Who would’ve thought?  It became a really fun test of how well I knew the keyboard shortcuts (for some things like saving, it was better to just ask my supervisor for her help. Thank god for my supervisor, Hiroe.)

I also worked on a project to begin the process of archiving old Mizuno advertisements as well as a project concerning Mizuno’s Facebook presence. Being a college aged student, this was really interesting to see where Mizuno was with their Social Media presence now and what steps they were taking next.

Another interesting thing I was involved in while I was here was the MVC, which is Mizuno’s weekly video update program that all employees watch to remain updated on what’s happening in the company. When we arrived, we were filmed giving a short introduction that was played to all of the Japanese employees. I also hosted one of the global MVCs played to employees all over the world and we helped film at the Mizuno Pro Golf Event footage that could be used for the MVC.

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I accidentally stood in a shadow and ruined the picture, but after helping film the Mizuno Pro Golf Event, we had some fun taking pictures with Taichi-san, a member of the PR team in the Tokyo office.

Yesterday, Sean and I gave a final presentation. Since we were the first Mizuno Interns for many years, it was unclear at first exactly what sort of presentation this would end up being. However, with a lot of guidance from our supervisors, we ended up creating a proposal for a new shoe that would target the young American consumer along with a marketing campaign and strategy to sell it to the targeted market.

The presentation was originally only supposed to be for about ten people. One day, however, when we met with our supervisors to review our progress and they decided to invite pretty much anyone who spoke some English on their floors and tried to move it to the biggest meeting room. That was booked, so instead we settled for the not-at-all-intimidating board room (it was intimidating). Even though the stakes were raised, I felt it went well and was happy with what we were able to do in such a short time! It was great getting presentation experience outside of the classroom and in front of people in an industry that knew their stuff and could rip up apart if they wanted (no one did, thankfully, they took pity on the interns and what holes were inevitably in the presentation- we were only here for six weeks, after all) We did get a lot of positive feedback, and people even asked to have the presentation sent to them.

There were many other amazing things we did over the course of the six weeks for work, too, like traveling to Tokyo twice to work at two different Mizuno events, getting a tour of the Yoro factory, and going on market visits with our supervisors. Along the way, we met countless people who were so incredibly nice and helpful. I can’t give enough thanks to everyone we met.

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Another one of the incredible employees that made the experience so great was Su-san. She took us to Tokyo to have us help work a Mizuno running competition. Not seen in this picture: the Japanese summer heat and humidity.

Overall, this internship was an absolutely incredible experience. I was able to learn so much in a short period of time and gain knowledge in a real (Japanese) work environment. I also received positive reinforcement that working towards a career in marketing is the right move for me and will be something I really enjoy.

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