Azusa OSHIMA (Graduate School for International Development and Cooperation)

Job offer from MOTHERHOUSE Co., Ltd.

Interned at Non-profit Organization IMAGINUS, India  (August-September 2017, 53 days)


- Why did you choose this company?


Under the principle of creating a brand in a developing country that can do well globally, IMAGINUS makes clothing in developing countries such as Bangladesh, India and Nepal and sell the items in directly-managed stores in Japan, Taiwan, Hong Kong, etc. I was interested in the fashion business from before and also, I was interested in business using international cooperation as an approach method so I decided to accept the job offer from MOTHERHOUSE because of their advanced model in this kind of business.

  Business with developing countries often means offshoring to establish a base in a developing country, or social businesses such as fair trading that aim to improve income for those in impoverished classes. However, MOTHERHOUSE uses materials found in developing countries to create products with workers in those developing countries, who have high level skills. Instead of the superior/subordinate relationship between advanced countries and developing countries which can often be found in offshoring or social business, MOTHERHOUSE demonstrates a model of a fashion brand built upon business relations that are equal.


- What influence has your internship had on your job-hunting activities?


My G.ecbo internship triggered my love of India and from the beginning of my job-hunting activities I had the idea that I wanted to still be involved closely with India in my work. That inevitably decided the course my job-hunting activities would take. I visited various companies and industries to attend briefings but I felt the most excited when I thought about working for MOTHERHOUSE and I felt strongly that it was the company that I wanted to work for. I was worried as to whether working at a company that mirrored my internship could narrow my perspective but I went with my gut feeling and decided to have faith in my interest in developing countries. My internship experience was helpful in choosing a company and trying to visualize myself at work.

- What was the best thing you got out of your internship?


Powers of perseverance and practical skills. India has a very hot climate and I suffered from heatstroke. Also, in my activities there I often came up against things over which I had no power to control such as people’s personalities or political conditions that made it difficult for me to do my survey and other things. In the midst of that, I developed perseverance to try again at doing something that didn’t go right the first time. Also, if one method didn’t work out, I would try another way and this developed my practical skills.


- What advice can you share with those who are graduating after you?


Doing an internship overseas by yourself may seem like very difficult but if you throw yourself into it, you can probably find a new version of yourself, one you could never have imagined. The day before I left for India I was so scared that I shed some tears. Not everything in the internship is fun, and I came up against many difficult and trying things. But after I came home to Japan, I had new-found self-confidence when I realized what I had accomplished. I can take on new challenges without being afraid. The years spent at graduate school may seem long but actually they pass quickly. Each person can spend his or her time as they choose but I believe that trying hard at something with trial and error and using one’s own brain, will always be a great lesson in how to grow as a person. The G.ecbo Program is a great opportunity for such growth so if you have even the slightest bit of interest, you should take on the challenge.