So last week when I was trying to figure out our next potential candidate for the “expose” post, I was wracking my brain trying to find someone that could truly give us a glimpse into the “INTERNeX experience”. Little did I know but I had this person right in the office with me sitting across the room. Can you guess who it is? It’s Shinya! This once shy Japanese boy came to Canada and managed to see more places and do more things in one year then I’ve done in the past nine years that I’ve lived here. So yeah since he did just about everything that was possible and participated in every one of our programs he is the perfect candidate!
What is your name?
My name is Shinya but my “Canadian” name is Max
Where are you originally from?
Why did you choose Canada as the location of your placement?
Well I’d been to Australia and New Zealand so Canada just seemed like the next stop for me
How did you find about INTERNeX International Exchange?
I found about it through the Japanese Embassy
Which program(s) did you participate in throughout your stay in Canada?
Well I actually participated in all three of the programs offered by INTERNeX
haha O.k. well let’s take this one program at a time then…What was the first program that you enrolled in?
Initially I started off with the hospitality program because I thought that this would be the best opportunity to improve my English skills and truly immerse myself into the Canadian culture. I was placed in Lake Louise, Alberta and for the first month I was a Dishwasher then when the second month came around I continued to do Dishwashing but in addition to this I was both a server and a clerk in the resort gift shop. After a total of 3 1/2 months working at the resort I moved back to Vancouver and applied for the PR/Communications internship offered by INTERNeX at their Vancouver office. The reason why I chose to taken on this position was because I thought that this would be able to take my experience to the next level and be that final step towards breaking me out of my shell. I was an intern at the office for 5 months but due to the fact that the internship was unpaid I had to find another means of gaining an income so I could continue to stay in Canada. Thankfully INTERNeX was gracious enough to set me up with a coffee shop located just a few blocks away from the office in Gastown. It was at this location that I worked as a Barista for 4 months. Then during the 2009 Christmas Break I decided since I’d already done the other two programs why not do it all…so i enrolled in the Ranchstay program. For two weeks I was placed on a mixed farm in Montana where I had many “firsts”. For the first time in my life I rode horses, fed cows, herded buffalo and took care of numerous farm animals. This was definitely something that will stay with me forever. And last but not least, most of you know that Vancouver was the host of the 2010 Winter Olympics so before I returned home I thought what better way to end my trip then to try and get a job in the Olympics…so that’s what I did. I hired on as a member of the event service staff who were responsible for assisting media personnel and essentially acting as security by ensuring that everyone had the correct accreditation in order to gain entrance into the media tent. Throughout the few weeks that I worked there I met a considerable amount of athletes/celebrities. Some of the most memorable ones are Aiko Uemura, the Japanese Mogul Skier, Russian Figure Skating silver medalist, Evgeni Plushenko, Gold Figure Skating Couple, Tesse Virtue & Scott Moir, and last but not least BC Premier, Gordon Campbell
What was one of your most memorable moments of your entire stay?
I would have to say it was throughout my entire hospitality placement. It was such an entirely new and scary experience for me. For the first time in my life I was living all by myself in a foreign country where I knew no one. At first it was really hard but the staff that I worked with soon enough became my family and all my previous fears were completely gone!
If you to choose one program that you would recommend, which one would it be and why?
The internship program because it really helped me to grow on both a personal and professional level. Even though it is not a paid position the benefits that you reap are invaluable and it truly helped me to make lifelong connections with people from all over the world. Every day I was exposed to something new and I cannot even begin to explain how this has made me who I am today
What are some of the skills that you gained from your internship placement?
Good customer service skills, communication skills both intra and inter personal, building trust and numerous web site building skills
What one place/event/festival would you encourage people to check out?
Definitely Stanley Park. This amazing park, less than a mile from downtown Vancouver, is one of the city’s main tourist attractions and offers over 1,000 acres of an evergreen oasis. The park is full of wildlife and sometimes there is just nothing better then just to relax and take in the natural surroundings…it truly made me forget at times that i was still in the city
So what are you planning on doing once you return home to Kobe?
First i am planning on going back to University and to continue on with my environmental studies and I am also working on maintaining my connection with INTERNeX by recruiting Japanese University Students for the Ranchstay program. So it’s not really over yet…
If you have any more questions or queries about our programs please do not hesitate to contact us at the office:
INTERNeX International Exchange
Suite 200 – 211 Columbia Street
Vancouver BC -V6A 2R5-
Phone: +1 (604) 662 8149