Sophia Seki Fox ’20 Interns with Japan Convention Services

My name is Sophia Seki Fox and I am in the Class of  2020. I am a Management and Business Major and a Studio Art Minor. I currently live in Brooklyn, New York. This summer I was an intern at Japan Convention Services (JCS) located in Chiyoda, Tokyo.

I decided in March, after visiting my grandmother in Japan, that I wanted to find an internship in Tokyo. My mother’s country of origin is Japan, so, since I am proficient in the language, I reached out to friends and her former co-workers living in Tokyo. A family friend recommended that I look at Japan Convention Services (JCS) because its mission statement aligns with my desire to promote communication and create connections across various mediums. JCS’s mission states, “Since our founding, JCS has been contributing to the development of society through communication. As a corporate citizen in society, we hope to bring happiness to all those connected with us and to ultimately spread this happiness throughout the world.” JCS is Japan’s leading professional congress organizer (PCO) and language service provider. Established in 1967, the company has aided more than 8,00 international conferences and events held in Japan. I sent the company my  resume, cover letter, and headshot and was secured for an internship by late April. I began work on June 5th and ended on July 14th. I worked from 9:30 am to 5:30pm, Monday thru Friday.

At JCS I engaged in specialized application and design skills (Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Premier, and Excel). I worked the promotion production team to create a narrated “self-introduction” video. In the PR division, I acquired knowledge about the PCO and MICE (Meetings, incentives, conferences, exhibitions) industry, was an assistant in event planning and operations, had the opportunity to sit in on various seminars (on topics such as tourist marketing, PCO proposal planning, and startup/technology events), and gave 20 minute conversational English lessons to various co-workers. I created and presented two short lectures in front of Japanese college students. The first was a five minute presentation in front of 60 students at Sagami Women’s College where introduce myself and my life in America. The second was a 20-minute presentation in front of 44 students at Yokohama School of Commerce on the ways in which Japan could be made more accessible to Americans in order to increase tourism. I included and spoke in English and Japanese for both of my presentations.

I am extraordinarily grateful to have had the privilege be an intern in a different country. My experience at JCS gave me the opportunity to explore Japanese culture (in the workplace and otherwise), while connecting with a plethora of new people on personal level. In college, I have decided to combine my lifelong passion for visual arts with my newfound interest in subjects such as marketing, management and entrepreneurship. I believe a piece of artwork represents a medium, a bridge, that links the imagination of both the artist and the viewer. In business, I believe creativity promotes communication and an exchange of offerings that connect customers, clients, and society alike. In this same way, the conferences planned by JCS bring people from around the world together. At JCS, I was able to witness and see the importance of the strategic, operational and logistical planning of these events. Additionally, I was able to develop confidence in my public speaking. This internship has provided me with practical application skills, cultural knowledge/exposure, as well as social abilities that will certainly benefit me as I  move towards a professional career. I advise my peers to look for an internship that will challenge you in as many ways as possible!

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