AFAM Internship Program Report

Ms Fatima Naana Afia Ismail

February 13th, 2022

My name is Fatima Naana Afia Ismail from Ghana, a member of the African Association of Miyagi (AFAM) and an International Business student in HAN University of Applied Sciences in the Netherlands.

As a partial requirement for the attainment of my bachelor’s degree, I initially planned to do a half year internship with a company in the Netherlands. However, I had to return to Japan due to the COVID-19 pandemic and consequently, find a suitable company for the internship here in Japan. Through the initiatives that the leadership of AFAM took on my behalf, I was privileged to have my internship at Hitachi Solutions East Japan (HSE) in Sendai for a period of five months starting from September 2021 to January 2022. I therefore wish to express my sincere gratitude to all who helped to make this possible.

Due to COVID measures, I found myself working both at home and the office but that did not affect my determination and work output. I worked with very experienced senior colleagues in various departments such as the business planning department, the human resource department as well as the Employee satisfaction improvement division of the company. In all of these departments, I had first-hand experience of the working world where I could see practical application of some of the theoretical concepts taught at school being applied in real life situations. It was an incredibly rewarding experience for me as I was able to learn a lot from my supervisors and also took part in the day-to-day activities in these vital areas of the company. Among other things, I learnt about the company’s general workflow, decision making processes, the importance of teamwork and meeting deadlines. I also learnt some Japanese work ethics which undoubtedly, continues to be the bedrock of the successes in Japanese business world. The internship also offered me a great opportunity to learn a lot of business oriented Japanese terminologies and also improve my Japanese in general as I had to work and do presentations in both English and Japanese most of the time. It was quite a challenge sometimes to present periodical reports to my supervisors at the workplace in Japanese and also to my supervisor at the university in English, but it paid off in the end.

Indeed, the experiences gained are so invaluable and would surely go a long way in shaping me personally and professionally and I am truly grateful to AFAM and HSE.

Ms Fatima Naana Afia Ismail @ HSE

AFAM President at the internship ceremony

Mr. President, members of management, divisional heads, invited guests, ladies and gentlemen.

It is a great honor for me to be part of this celebration, the end of an internship ceremony at Hitachi Solution East Japan (HSE), of Ms. Fatima Naana Afia Ismail, a member of African Association of Miyagi (AFAM) and an international business student of HAN University of Applied Sciences in the Netherlands.

An eminent Ghanaian educationist Dr James Emman Kwegyir Aggrey of blessed memory once said, “The black keys of the piano give good sounds and the white keys give good sounds too, but the combination of the two gives the best melody.”

Hitachi Solution East Japan (HSE) continues to epitomize this saying by making it possible for the continued fruitful cooperation between AFAM, a predominantly African Association and HSE. This cooperation has once again culminated in today’s event and on behalf of AFAM, I wish to express my profound gratitude to the management of HSE and indeed, the entire staff that worked round the clock for the realization of this internship.

HSE has always opened its doors for us and AFAM is very grateful for the support you continue to give our students by way of internship opportunities. It is an invaluable experience that will go a long way to shaping our future leaders and AFAM owes so much gratitude to the leadership of HSE for making this possible.

Among other objectives, AFAM was formed to foster cordial relationship between the people of Miyagi and Africans living here. We continue to do so through various activities such as African cultural expositions, introduction to African cuisines and virtual country tours. We have also been at the forefront of interacting with the people of Miyagi by participating in local festivals, school sports events and spending quality time with the elderly in aged homes.

Our efforts have yielded some dividends and I am proud to state that AFAM is now a fully recognized organization by both the Sendai municipality government and the Miyagi prefectural government.

Also, in line with helping to achieve education for all as envisaged in the United Nations World’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), AFAM strives to assist our students in their educational journey and internship opportunities for them continue to be one of our priorities.

It is therefore gratifying to note that organizations such as HSE has always been ready in helping our students gain meaningful work experiences through internships.

AFAM will continue to create such bridges of friendship among our respective societies and it is my fervent hope that HSE and other corporate bodies that share our dreams will continue to support us. 

In concluding, I wish to congratulate Naana, as she is affectionately called, for the successful completion of her internship with HSE. AFAM is proud of you and I hope you were able to learn a lot and also created professional networks, during the course of your internship which I believe will go a long way to shaping your future.

To HSE, I will say let’s continue to strike both the white and the black keys of the piano together for a melodious tune that will surely make our world a better place.

Thank you.

Isaac Yaw Asiedu
President, African Association of Miyagi (AFAM)


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