Although I have been in Japan for already a whole month, starting at Moriumius has already been a new experience.
Firstly, I was interested in this internship opportunity at Moriumius because of the numerous learning opportunities it could potentially present to me. As I am currently hoping to strive towards a career path that will be community-focused and/or diversity, being able to take around 10 weeks to understand how Moriumius works as a NGO to accomplish that very mission was an opportunity I did not want to pass. Secondly, it was an opportunity to practice my Japanese skills. I have been studying Japanese at the University of Michigan for three years now and since this is my first time in Japan, I wanted to test and train my skills as much as I can. The third reason that swayed me towards this specific opportunity was that I was also already doing a GIEU volunteer opportunity in Ishinomaki that was focused on community revitalization after the 2011 tsunami and earthquake, and I thought it would be nice to connect my experiences working there to another program that was created after the disaster in the Tohoku region.
With this in mind, I arrived at Moriumius hoping to really understand the inner-workings of a NGO and how they create and execute projects and daily tasks to promote their mission. Also, as I am an International Studies Major with a concentration in International Security Norms and Cooperation, most of my studies have been an interdisciplinary approach towards human rights, international relations, and peace-making. Since these are all topics that encompass the interactions of states and organizations on an international level, I wanted to take the opportunity to understand more about organizations that are more inter-state focused. Furthermore, since Moriumius largely focuses on sustainability, I hope to learn different methods and approaches that they use that I can incorporate into my own understandings of community-driven service and towards my career. Overall, I hope that I will challenge myself this summer with the numerous opportunities presented with this internship, and that I will endeavor to work hard to promote Moriumius’ mission so I can better understand my own.
Although this is my first time working at Morimius, it is not my first time at Moriumius so I think it really helped me with maintaining expectations. I visited Moriumius for a day with my GIEU program so I was able to interact with the other interns already there and ask them questions, so by the time I arrived at Moriumius I had a largely advantage compared to the other interns of knowing what to expect. Also, since I was the last intern to arrive at Moriumius, having the other interns around me was a great way into easing into a new space.
While the labor-intensive nature of the work was not shocking to me because of what I had heard from the other interns, the long days at work is still something that I am adjusting to. While I had previously been expecting to work a 40 hour/week schedule, each work day is closer to 12 hours alone. Added with the fact that the days off are inconsistent, I think this lifestyle will take me some time to properly adjust.
Since I have only just started working there and I am still being introduced to the basics everyday, I can still say I look forward to my internship. I hope to learn a lot more about the Ogatsu community and Moriumius, and I am excited to all the things ahead.