My Internship at a Japanese video game company: Part 1 Getting the Internship.

If you told me when I was 14 playing Brave Fencer Musashi on my PlayStation for the 24th hour that I would one day live in Japan and intern at a video game development company in Shinjuku, Japan, I'd tell you to get out and go eat a big old bag of natto. Well, I did in fact, go and do just that. Not that eating a bag of natto part. Here's how I went about doing it and how maybe you can too.

Before I begin, For those of you good enough at Japanese to navigate websites completely in Japanese, here is a webpage for the company I interned with that you can use to apply. They're called MBA-International. Pretty strange name for a video game company, but the CEO was super nice, so I'll cut them some slack.

First, I should mention, doing a video game development internship wasn't my main goal, I simply applied for the Jet Internship Program  aimed at JET ALTs with at least JLPT N2 level Japanese, so if you lack this qualification come back when you get your N2. Next, I originally planned on getting the internship working at a translation company in Tokyo. It was a luck of the draw, in other words. Here's a breakdown of the process.

1. Show interest in the program by E-mailing the program coordinator.
2. Fill in the application documents and select your top 3 choices from the list of internships and turn in the documents by the deadline.
3. Wait for the results to come in and schedule an interview to test your Japanese abilities and see if your character is compatible with your preferred internship.
4. Wait a couple of weeks and get the results for your internship placement.

As it were, my background in scripting and designing learning software was my biggest asset, so naturally, I wound up getting placed at the video game development company, MBA-International.

The dates were set for July 29th to August 2nd. I was stoked, but a little nervous about how it would go. After 3 years teaching In Japan, I would finally put my Japanese to the test in a new environment with people who only spoke Japanese and didn't necessarily have any interest in working with a foreigner. So, I got to studying video game programming languages, and quickly found, I was way in over my head. I got a book on C++ for videogames and found Object Oriented Programming would take more than a month to wrap my head around, so I just went with a CSS/HTML web page. How embarrassing, I know. Still, as I would learn, the programming was just a small part of what I would learn about working with a Japanese Tech Company. I'll tell you more about the process of getting situated in Tokyo and how the internship in the next couple of parts in this series.