Shinya a.k.a MAX

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?
Kobe, Japan

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-
Web: http://www.internexcanada.com
Phone: +1 (604) 662 8149
Email: info@internexcanada.com

INTERNeX Family Interview #4

What is your first name?
Patrick.

Where are you from?
I am from the Netherlands. More specifically it’s actually an Island in the South West, known as Zuid Beveland.

What languages do you speak fluently other than English?
Fluently?…just Dutch.

What position do you hold at INTERNeX? And for how long have you been working here?
I am the placement manager for the Paid Vancouver Placements and also a marketing coordinator. I have been holding this position for the past three years now.

What made you want to become involved with INTERNeX in the first place?
Well I started off as an intern actually and then I was offered a more permanent position once my internship had ended.

In what ways do you think INTERNeX is unique from other international placement agencies? What does INTERNeX specifically offer that no other company can?
Our motto actually highlights why we are unique; it says “Undersell and over deliver”. Yes we are a company that strives for profit; however, monetary gains are not our main driving force. Our entire team is dedicated to making our candidates better global citizens, so first and foremost we are all about our candidates. Secondly, I wholeheartedly believe that INTERNeX is always ahead of the market so we truly set the standard for this industry. We have led the way for other companies to realize that the path to true success is to customize the programs to the candidate not the other way around.

What changes within INTERNeX have you personally witnessed since you have joined the team?
Even though I have only been a part of this company for the past three years I have seen an innumerous amount of changes. However, I will highlight the ones that I see as the most important. First and foremost, our company, our systems, and our staff have become more professional. Since our expansion in terms of our international reach our work load and ultimately work hours have extended so no more leaving the office early to catch the hockey game haha. Secondly, in terms of our candidates the amount of things that they can participate in besides from the program in which they are placed has exponentially increased. And with this increase in activities I have really witnessed the fostering of a true community amongst our INTERNeX clients.

Where would you like to see INTERNeX in the next 10 years? Do you have any New Year’s goals for the company?
Well I would like to see INTERNeX as a global brand for our industry. We can set the standard on a global level and introduce our personalized services to the rest of the world. I would also like to see us sending Canadians abroad so we address both sides of our international exchange markets. And on a more personal side I am really invested in expanding and successfully promoting our wildlife/environmental volunteer program.

Tell us one interesting thing about yourself that not a lot of people know?
When I was twenty years old, my father, my uncle and I climbed a mountain in Africa. This mountain was called Mount Kilimanjaro and it’s actually the highest peak in Africa at 5,895 meters (19,341 ft). It took us seven days to climb this mountain because if we went any quicker we would have suffered from altitude sickness, which can actually result in death if you do not take the time to acclimatize.

If you could live anywhere in the world where would it be and why?
Hmm well there are many places that I would love to travel to but being a tourist in a country and being a resident are two very different experiences. But I would love to live in Pantanal, Brazil and open up my own eco resort.