Reflection on Apprenticeship
(submitted by Virgina Russolo to meet the requirements for Apprenticeship)

From February until May I worked as an intern at the Italian hand-bag company called Furla. I assisted the visual merchandiser, Keiko Hashimoto, for all of Furla’s stores in Japan. I learned the theory of visual merchandising and I also set up windows of Furla shops like the one in Ginza and Roppongi. In April I went on a two-day trip with my boss outside of Tokyo to help set up from scratch a new shop inside of a mall. During the summer, in July, I traveled to Bologna (Italy) where I worked and assisted at the new collection’s launch at the company’s headquarters.

The experience was extremely positive, I was always able to satisfy my boss. I learned a lot by working for this company. I learned the process behind creating shops’ displays as well as learning how to use Illustrator (computer program used by the company). During my three days in Bologna I learned how to be independent and focused on the job and practiced balancing humbleness and determination. I was also lucky enough to meet with the company’s creative minds and ask questions about the work to understand if I wanted to pursue something of the sort in the future. Apart from this, going to the office usually three times a week after school helped me learn how to effectively manage my time outside of school. I had to show a lot of commitment to keep up my focus both at school and work on the same day. It was a very useful experience in which I developed my skills to work with other people, communicating in a business environment and developing my creative skills and learning how to apply them in it.

Counting my presence at the offices three times a week (for usually 2 hours and a half) for almost five months, the two-day business trip and the three-day collection launch I worked beyond 260 hours.

Example of my calendar (month of April):

Photos of notes, my work at the Ginza and Roppongi shop, mall displays and the Furla headquarter:

Learning Outcomes:

Awareness of Strengths and Areas for Growth
I developed my creative skills in a new field.

Undertaking New Challenges + Developing New Skills
I pushed my boundaries by working with adults in a work environment. I learned how to manage my time outside of school. I practiced communicating and networking as well as being responsible, on time, humble and determined.

Planned and Initiated Activities
I contacted the manager of Furla Japan and asked for an internship. With him and my boss we laid out a plan for my internship.

Worked Collaboratively With Others
I learned how to work with my boss as well as all the other people in the shops and in the workplace.

Showing Perseverance and Commitment
The most difficult thing was to put myself out there and avoid being shy, something I think I succeeded at. It was also very tiring to go to work at the office after a whole day of school.

Connections to Academic Subjects
I found that the rules of visual merchandizing, which revolve mainly around balance, helped me a lot in my visual arts course at school because I developed a deeper sensibility to the relationship between space and objects. I was also asked to participate in the company’s photographic contest and received some helpful feedback on the photos I took for it.

This experience has made me more curious about working in the fashion industry and I wish to know more about the designers’ job. It is very fascinating for me to see how to use creativity inside of a company.

Medical Internship in SF
(submitted by Kai Iwamoto to meet the requirement of Apprenticeship)

This summer, I took part in an unpaid internship under an orthopedic sports medicine surgeon in SanFrancisco. I worked for 10 hours everyday from 7:30 to 5:30 everyday shadowing the doctor. I was able to take part in patient questioning, patient briefing, observe x-rays, observe MRIs, and also observe surgeries.

I was able to learn a lot more about medicine and the doctor business than I thought and I became more and more interested in becoming a doctor. I was able to learn about the great interactions between the doctor and patient, but also learn about the hardships that come with being a doctor. However, after a long day of working, it is a good feeling to know that you were able to solve their painful problems.I learned that I will have to put in my 150% to become a doctor and through the whole process of university and medical school. I also learned that medical student are very competitive, so I will have to believe in myself and not let anyone push me down.
During this internship, I learned that my strength was communicating with the patients and accurately debrief them and pass on the information along to the doctor. However, I had no extreme prior knowledge on the diagnoses so my weakness was identifying the patient’s diagnosis. there were two other medical school interns, so I was able to work with them, and they would let me shadow their studies as well. This kind of collaborative working led me to become more involved with the office, as well as become more curious about the orthopedic practice.

This internship has taught me a lot about the office, the patients, and the process of becoming a doctor. Overall, it has made me very excited for the future and I cannot wait to see what the future holds for me.

Working En La Cocina
(submitted by Helena Herzberg to meet the requirement of Apprenticeship)

I believe that I have had the most convenient part time job a young teenager could have. I am given the freedom to decide when and how much I want to work. In a nutshell this means sacrificing 6 hours of my evening in the kitchen below my room. My father works at the Germany Embassy in Tokyo, which means that he has to throw the occasional receptions. I, many times in desperate need of money, started to voluntarily work in the kitchen hoping to get paid. Ever since I have worked before, during and after the parties, whether we had 10 or even 100 guests.

In the kitchen itself I have several jobs. Sometimes I will have to make small preparations, such as cutting vegetables or fruits, or I will be in charge of washing glasses and further cooking utensils. Since I will be leaving home in less than a year, I believe that I have acquired the most basic cooking and communicative skills required in a kitchen environment. As far as I can remember, I was barely capable to peal an onion before I started to work. Now I can put together proper ingredients and cook the most basic dishes. In addition, I have often been challenged in terms of communication and organisation. Cleaning glasses and utensils is surprisingly not as easy as it sounds. If we have more than 50 guests we do not have enough glasses to continuously offer them new drinks. My maid and I have therefore developed a synced rhythm. I get small breaks from the sink for approximately 10 minutes, during which I can eat/drink/sit, while he will go out to collect the empty glasses. Filling two trays he will return and I will put on my blue gloves and will get right back to polishing the crystal wear. This will last for perhaps 20 minutes and then the whole cycle starts again.

Next to that, I have to somehow manage to keep the others helpers supplied with the appropriate utensils. This means that I am required be familiar with the recipes and what is required of each.

Every other night, I also get the honour to prepare the desserts. This is what makes me love this job the most, besides the fun atmosphere that the other workers create around me. Due to my mother, who puts together unique and new combinations of dishes, I have had the opportunity to prepare the most basic, but also strangest desserts. The basics include brownies, ice cream dishes, puddings and teramisu. Applying an interesting twist to these I have created a) a delicious chocolate pudding only made out of tofu. Can you imagine that? People will believe that they are ingesting tons of calories, while in reality it will be the healthiest pudding they will eat their entire life. And b) I have created bowls made out of chocolate to serve ice cream in. Nobody will notice until the bowls starts to melt in their hands. Unique and delicious (I believe).

As the end of my senior years heads towards me I am confident that I will leave the nest with basic, but also special skills that I will hopefully be able to apply in another kitchen. Whether I will cook for friends or have another part time job involving food – I feel adequately prepared.


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