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Global Training Program - Working in Japan
Stephane - Councilor
Panasonic Corporation, Tokyo
1. What is your name and how long have you been working for Panasonic?
Hello! My name is Stephane. I am French and joined Panasonic France in November, 1995. I will soon reach my 14th year with the company.
2. What brought you to Panasonic?
I joined Panasonic France after I graduated from university. Since I have a background in both engineering and business, I thought Panasonicís B2B components business would be the right place to experience a real business within a multicultural environment. Moreover, I had a very good feeling about the people I met during the interview. I still remember how organized and constructive the interviews were, not only clearly describing the job itself but also how Panasonic wants to run the business, highlighting company values and philosophy.
Therefore, beyond the products, the customers and the wages, something extra attracted me, and I felt that I could grow within this company.
3. What is your current role in Panasonic?
First of all, the Panasonic division I work for is responsible for the sales and marketing of electronic components and solutions to any customers who integrate these into their own finished products.
Before coming to work in Japan, I was in charge of the French Sales Branch of Panasonic Industrial Europe. Now for a period of 2 years, I will be working in the planning department of the divisionís Japanese Headquarters where worldwide industry sales are consolidated, analyzed according to regions, markets, customers and products. Furthermore, I joined specific projects focusing on leading growth strategy in emerging countries and also strengthening/optimizing global business operations.
4. What is your career goal and dream?
In my opinion, the most important thing is to challenge myself with new experiences and through them have fun with team members. My career goal is to contribute to my company widening the skyline, always keeping an open mind for something more. My dream is to make something which was believed to be impossible until now.
5. What is most rewarding about being in the Working in Japan Program?
At first, this a life-changing experience to live abroad and even more to reside in Japan. My time here is limited, so I feel itís flying by and I have already completed half of my assignment. The most rewarding part for me is learning Japanese language and being like an open book absorbing new things everyday. Moreover, working with Japanese colleagues and in a purely Japanese working environment is very different from working in a western company in Japan. This is a great chance to truly get into the real Japan. Another very interesting point, from the first day I arrived here, is that I really felt welcome as a member among my Japanese colleagues which is an essential Panasonic working style, cooperating with each other.
6. What is the benefit/contribution you would like to bring to your business unit after completing the WIJ Program?
By acquiring a better understanding of global operations and life experience in Japan, I expect to contribute by taking a wider view of European issues and a greater sense of Panasonic values. Additionally, speaking some Japanese will be an asset for faster and smoother communication between European and Japanese colleagues.
I am so glad that success stories like mine can be shared to encourage people to realize the experience of their lifetime. I really think we should accelerate this program for global employees. There is true benefit here for the individual and the company.
- Manager, Panasonic Corporation of China
- Senior Engineer, Panasonic Corporation Singapore
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