Published: March 23, 2017
Takato, Salaz, Padilla

2016 was the inaugural year for the first formal CU program to connect alumni and friends with CU students in overseas internships each summer. Thanks to Danielle Rocheleau Salaz, CAS Executive Director, CAS developed relationships with three Tokyo companies who each hosted a student for up to six weeks in 2016. The internship resulted in life-altering experiences for each of the students, and made a lasting impact on the company employees as well.

Selected student interns:

Adam DeRosa, a senior in International Economics was selected for Mitsubishi Corporation. Adam had never visited Japan before and didn’t speak any Japanese.

James Hage, a senior Japanese major, was selected to work at the US Meat Export Federation (USMEF). James had studied abroad in Akita, Japan, but had not spent much time in Tokyo, nor had he worked in an office setting either at home or abroad.

Francisco Kaito Padilla, a senior in Chemical Engineering, was selected for the Chiyoda Rubber Company, a perfect match for his academic interest. Francisco is half Japanese and has traveled to Japan for family visits throughout his life, but had not experienced Japanese business culture.

The students earned Asian Studies credit for the internship, completing coursework over the summer in addition to performing tasks such as translating company websites into English, compiling and drafting reports, and meeting with customers and vendors. 

From the participants:

“… just because one has not had proper Japanese language training does not mean they shouldn’t learn and try to speak the native tongue as much as possible. This is simply out of respect. I firmly believe that making an effort is far more courteous than simply not trying.”

Adam DeRosa, Intern at Mitsubishi

 “This internship is surely a great program and valuable both for an intern student and us, a company. We learned much about how the foreign students think about a company, and how we can deal with it. We believe that this program will develop a better relationship between CU and Chiyoda Rubber, and it will help CU to be globalized even more.”

Kazunori Takato, President and CEO, Chiyoda Rubber Company

“Having James as intern was an invaluable experience for our office. He applied his knowledge and work ethic to contribute to our project. We hope to have an intern again next summer if possible.”

Takemichi Yamashoji, Japan Director, USMEF

“I hope this first internship went well on your end, because I have no doubt that it will provide me with more opportunities and the ability to pursue my dream of working a job I love in Japan. I know you’ve put a lot of work into creating these internship opportunities, and just know, I really, really do appreciate it.”

James Hage, Intern at USMEF

As is evident from these quotes, we felt the first year was a success. Partners are currently reviewing summer 2017 applications, and we hope that this year’s interns will find the program just as rewarding. 

 We particularly want to recognize the support we received. Internship host Chiyoda Rubber Company is owned and managed by CU alumnus Kazunori Takato (MATH ’73). Another alumnus, Akira Horie (MMktg ’54), retired senior managing director at Mitsubishi Corporation, helped us establish the internship at Mitsubishi. USMEF is based in Denver; Greg Hanes, Assistant Vice President for Marketing and International Programs, serves on the CAS Advisory Council (see page 2) and helped facilitate an internship in their Tokyo office. CU alumnus Koji Fukumura has provided scholarship funding to support the program. Steve Rose and Education Abroad helped ensure that this would be granted official CU study abroad program designation. The personal support and engagement of these individuals and their colleagues have helped to foster a warm and welcoming environment for each of the interns.

We are enthusiastic about expanding beyond Tokyo and into other Asian countries and are also working to identify additional financial support for this program. If you would like to contribute or have suggestions for people or companies to approach, please contact us. 

Danielle Rocheleau Salaz

CAS Executive Director, 303-735-5312