My interest in the Japanese language and culture started in late 1999. Pokémon was very popular at the time, and like most ten-year old boys, I was hooked on Pokémon. My interests in Pokémon grew into an interest in the culture that developed so many of the games and TV shows that I was interested in. I started learning Japanese in December 1999 independently through books and websites. During my last two years of high school, I also attended a Japanese language school named Sakura Gakuen, which offered language courses every Saturday morning. During my undergraduate career at Cal Poly, I became involved with Japanese Cultural Exchange, the university's Japanese club. My passion for the Japanese language and culture, combined with my dedication to the club and its mission to showcase Japanese culture to Cal Poly and to San Luis Obispo, led to becoming vice-president and ultimately president of the club. After a lucky break that I received after meeting two researchers from Fujitsu Labs at a file and storage systems conference and inquiring about internship opportunities, I finally have the opportunity to go and work in Japan.
I am very excited about this internship opportunity for a few reasons. For one, I will have the opportunity to experience Japanese culture first-hand. It's one thing to read about the world's diverse cultures, but it's another thing to actually experience them. I am also very interested in finally being able to use the Japanese that I learned over the past decade and to learn more of the language. Languages are a "use-it-or-lose-it" type of proposition; when I am placed in an environment where not knowing Japanese may mean not eating, my language skills will improve dramatically. Finally, I am very interested in the internship itself. I am very interested in pursuing a career in computer science research, and I am glad that I have the opportunity to work in a research lab in an area that I am very interested in: computer storage systems. My internship affords me the opportunity to see how research is done in industry and how research careers are in Japan.
I am very excited about this internship opportunity! I will be there from January 12 to the beginning of August. I will keep you all posted about my time in Japan!