My Summer as an Intern at UNIC Tokyo
Hi, my name is Rasmus.
I was so fortunate as to be given the opportunity to do an internship at UNIC during my summer holiday this year, an opportunity that brought me all the way from Denmark to the hot and humid summer weather of Tokyo. I had no previous experience being in a Japanese workplace, and I had certain preconceptions about formal settings where there would be suits, ties and people with stern expressions. Suffice to say that I was forced to reevaluate this image pretty quickly.
On my first day I arrived in wearing a suit and, not at all contrary to my expectations, a tall young Japanese man who was wearing a suit and a stern expression to match came down to greet me in the lobby and proceeded to lead me to the office. It turns out that he was intern as well, and also the only person in the office who was wearing a suit.
I was pleasantly surprised to find that the atmosphere at UNIC Tokyo is really friendly and relaxed. The staff members are all very kind and, while the interns only stay for a few months, they are usually very internationally-oriented and open-minded people. I had the pleasure of being a part of a great team of interns, and lunch breaks were usually one of the high points of the day for me, which is why I personally did my utmost to make sure they were carried out in a timely manner every day at 12:30 exactly.
As an intern, one is given a combination of daily tasks as well as short- and medium-term projects, some of which allow for a bit of creativity on the part of the intern. I happened to intern in the middle of the summer, which is not exactly the busiest time of the year, but I still got the chance to participate in the China-Japan-Korea Roundtable Conference established by the Global Compact Local Networks. The conference convened UN officials, scholars, businessmen and university students to discuss how the private sector can take a proactive approach to implementing CSR policies that are both financially sound and also to the benefit of society and the environment.
Working as an intern at UNIC was for me a valuable experience where I got to learn a great deal about the different organizations of the UN. However, more than anything I appreciate the people I got to work with, staff and interns alike. I feel like I have made some great friends and only two weeks after finishing my internship, I am already starting to miss the office and the people I met there.
I am sitting in front of my laptop in Denmark writing this and I am able to look back at some wonderful memories. Therefore, on a final note, I would like to thank all the people who spend this summer together with me at the UNIC Tokyo office.