Undergraduate Blog / Career Development

Building Company Culture

The first day of my internship was actually the first day of the company’s new branch in Tokyo. I walked into a completely empty office and was immediately greeted by my boss and my teammates. As a team, the first thing we all did together was build the desks and chairs from IKEA for the office. It was a simple but effective team bonding experience that personally helped me get to know everybody and learn more about the company. Everybody from the boss to the interns were building and conversing, and this immediately showed me what this company’s culture was like. While everybody did have formal roles, no one let their titles or pride get in the way of helping each other and working as a team, which honestly impressed me. Opposed to the more rigid and strict business culture which is traditionally implement in Japan, I was relieved and frankly much more excited to start my internship at this company.

This experience on my first day made me reflect and realize the importance and effect a company’s culture can have on employee productivity. Finding a company whose business culture fits with your values and preferences can completely be a make or break aspect of an internship or job, which makes it that much more important to make sure you know what kind of business culture you personally thrive in. This is not to say that more structured business cultures are toxic by any means. If that is what you prefer, you should go for it! What is most important is knowing what kind of business culture motivates you and whether or not your company’s business culture aligns with your preferences or not. Doing a bit of self-reflection and research could make your next internship/job that much better in the future!