I’m always learning or doing or seeing new and different things, and this week has been the peak of it all.
My boss assigned me this individual project, and I did not realize the scale and the difficulty of this project until I started and it hit me: being a consultant for a Japanese high-end fashion brand.
A Japanese high-end fashion brand with me, a sophomore in college with no consulting experience and limited Japanese skills and industry’s knowledge.
I thought it was a team project until I realized no one was working on it except for me. My first task was to identify which product acquires new customers the most and which product converts new customers into loyal customers by using Google Analytics to analyze data from the company’s product performance, financial statement, market segmentation, customer database, and etc.. The goal of this project was to increase the brand’s revenues and retention rates for new customers. I felt really overwhelmed yet excited for this new learning opportunity and experience. Because my boss really believed in me and helped me throughout the project, I felt more confident and really wanted me to push myself more. In the middle of this project, I felt stuck because I couldn’t find the answer but because I was doing complex data analysis which was more advanced than my boss expected me to do, he wanted to help me and push me even further. It was hard but I’m here to learn, and I want to take every chance that I have.
Coming in, I did not realize that I will be doing consulting work which is daunting just by hearing the word “consulting”. I never liked consulting, but through this internship I realized how satisfying it was to be able to solve problems and help others while doing what you love. This really made me reconsider what I want to do with my degree after college.
On the other hand, I have a supervisor that really wanted me to learn Japanese, therefore she kept pushing me to be more fluent in Japanese. She’s also specialized in market research, therefore she wanted me to do a lot of foreign market research and present her with research proposals. On one hand I have to do quantitative research and being a consultant for the tasks assigned by my boss. On the other hand, I have to study for the Google Analytics Individual Qualification exam, learn Japanese, and do qualitative research (and learning how to use various Google programs through it) for my supervisor. Yes it is really overwhelming, but I’m learning so much and acquiring skills that are so important for my career. It’s all worth it, and I love what I do every day. I want to become a sponge that can absorb all the possible knowledge and skills while I’m here.
I’m lucky to have such amazing coworkers from this internship. One of my coworkers lent me her yukata (a casual summer kimono) because I wanted to wear it but never had the chance to. It was one of my best experiences in Japan as I got to wear the Japanese traditional garment, eat Japanese traditional sweets and food, and walk down the street where the popular and traditional festival Tanabata was taking place. It felt as if I just stepped into another world and absorbed into that rich culture in that moment. As I got to experience and see new things in Japan, it really made me appreciate the beautiful differences in all of us.