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Jo An from Hong Kong and Valentina from Austria, both students of Japanese from Homerton College at Cambridge University, joined us in our new office as interns, bringing their language skills and knowledge of Japan to bear in a number of projects. Cambridge University Japanese studies newsletter Japan and the World  describes the department’s activities, featuring our internship programme.

During their time here the interns received a basic training in investment banking and financial accounting before being tasked with preparing a presentation for a meeting in Birmingham, which they attended. Whenever there was an opportunity they both joined meetings and everyone was happy to answer their questions.

In her final year at Cambridge Valentina wrote a dissertation on the subject of the Japanese space programme. “I always wanted to be an astronaut, but researching this was the next best thing.” In recent years the programme has become topical because of potential military applications.

Jo An is combining her Japanese with a final year at Cambridge in business studies. Gideon met her in the summer in Kyoto where she was finishing a year at Doshisha University. Her research was also on an original topic, Japanese student clubs (“bukatsu”)

The idea of the internship was mentioned at a roundtable in May this year in the faculty, where Gideon talked about his experience in investment banking after graduating, alongside others who had pursed a career in journalism and academia, chaired by Professor Barak Kushner.

Professor Mickey Adolphson and Dr Vicky Young attended our Integration and Revitalisation seminar at Japan House, Vicky also our office opening party in June. We look forward to further future collaboration.