I actually started my internship a couple of weeks ago but luckily I wrote down some things that stuck out from my first week! Going into this opportunity, my main concern was what the culture would be like at a Japanese bank. Would it be the same as a “normal” bank just under foreign ownership? Would it be a totally foreign environment? I wasn’t sure but I knew that either way, it would present a great opportunity for me.
During my first week, I quickly found out that the culture wasn’t one of extremes, rather it is a hybrid of Japanese culture and American finance culture. A lot of aspects of the bank, such as the level of risk that is taken and what departments hold the most power are more Japanese. At the same time, a lot of the members of my group are guys and girls who went to schools like Michigan and share a lot of my experiences.
This combination certainly has its challenges but it allows me to interact with a lot of different people and improve my interpersonal skills. A simple research project can require me to talk to a guy who went to UNC, a girl who has lived in Japan her whole life and a guy who is from Australia. The international diversity is something I look forward to learning from and using to improve my own skills over the course of the summer. I am excited to see what the rest of my internship at SMBC holds!