NISSAN GLOBAL TOP
NISSAN DESIGN Offsite Internship  Long Term Program, Interviews from the participants
A summer to remember. We’ve gotten one step closer to our dream through the Nissan internship program.

The first NISSAN DESIGN Offsite Internship program started this summer, embodying Nissan’s desire to transmit Japanese monozukuri DNA—the spirit and craft of manufacturing—to the next generation. We asked five participants in the first of these long-term internships what they thought about the program when they applied and how they view it now. We asked how it had changed their mindsets, what they learned from their internship, and what they think about monozukuri.

<Interviewees>
Mr. Yoshifumi Watanabe
Mr. Mitsuaki Maekawa
Ms. Aiko Sanda
Ms. Eriko Kouji
Mr. Go Fukushi



Opportunity smiles in various ways, but we all share one dream—car design.
The long-awaited acceptance email arrives. Our hearts rejoice at being chosen.
The first day of the internship. Our hearts are thumping with tension and anticipation.
Days of design and to-do lists; each one of us is surely learning something of value.
Two months seems like a long time, but it actually flew by. What we’ve gained will help us fly farther.
Opportunity smiles in various ways, but we all share one dream—car design.

Interviewer: Thank you for joining me today. I’d like to start by asking what initially got you interested in the Nissan Design Offsite Internship?

Yoshifumi Watanabe: “I saw it in the news first. I had no idea such a great program like this existed. ‘Cool!’ I thought, and got more information.”

Mitsuaki Maekawa: “I found it on the company website. Nissan has caught my attention recently because it produces such well-designed vehicles. Car design is not a major subject in my school at the moment, but I definitely would like to pursue a career in this field.”

Aiko Sanda: “I was thinking about getting into an internship program somewhere. When I was checking the employment bureau at school to see what programs were available, I found this one. I thought it was a huge opportunity for me.

Ms. Aiko Sanda

Ms. Aiko Sanda

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The long-awaited acceptance email arrives. Our hearts rejoice at being chosen.

Interviewer: So each of you found out about the Nissan Offsite Internship Program in a different way. I think there must have been many others applying for the same internship at your schools, and I’m sure you must have been anxious and wondered whether you would be chosen. What was your reaction when you got the email saying you’d been accepted?

Eriko Kouji: “My design specialty is actually graphics, so I wasn’t expecting to be chosen. When I got the news, it really struck me. ‘WOW! I can’t believe it!’ I thought.”

Aiko Sanda: “The first thing I thought was ‘I’ve got to report this to my professor who was supporting me!’ ”
Mitsuaki Maekawa: “I applied, saying to myself ‘I have nothing to lose.’ When I found I’d been chosen, I was determined to do my best.”


Mr. Go Fukushi

Mr. Go Fukushi

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The first day of the internship. Our hearts are thumping with tension and anticipation.

Interviewer: The Nissan Offsite Internship Program is very unusual when compared to the internships most companies sponsor. Nissan worked hard to create an optimal study environment, setting up an exclusive venue for the program and professional teaching staff. What was your impression on the first day?

Go Fukushi: “It’s terrific! All the tools and equipment that I need for work were waiting to us! And Nissan officials showed up on the opening day. That made me nervous, but at the same time it convinced me that the company was devoting a lot of energy to this program.”

Yoshifumi Watanabe: “The first thing I noticed was the background music quietly playing in the room, and that the place was filled with a nice fragrance like an air freshener. It amazed me to think that the organizers worked so hard to prepare an environment to help us focus on work.”

Mitsuaki Maekawa: “It surprised me to see that the furniture and decorations all took design into account. Every item that comes into view gives you a sense of style.”

Eriko Kouji: “The open space is so relaxing. The designers are frank and kind. I was nervous at first, but now I am at ease.”

Ms. Eriko Kouji

Ms. Eriko Kouji

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Days of design and to-do lists; each one of us is surely learning something of value.

Interviewer: This nearly two-month-long program is almost at an end. I imagine you’ve picked up various skills and knowledge. If you were to cite one example of the benefits of this Nissan internship, what would it be?

Yoshifumi Watanabe: “Working professional designers from Nissan gave demonstrations right in front of our eyes, and offered us advice. There’s no other chance like this!”

Go Fukushi: “This was my first experience of having to deal with tasks among many competitors. It was really inspiring.”

Mitsuaki Maekawa: “It’s the fact that I’ve met lots of different designers. I was always concerned when I found my way of work was different from others. My worries are gone now, though, because I’ve learned that I can go my own way.”

Mr. Yoshifumi Watanabe

Mr. Yoshifumi Watanabe

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Two months seems like a long time, but it actually flew by. What we’ve gained will help us fly farther.

Interviewer: You’ve probably experienced a lot of things, not only practical knowledge and skills, but also the sensitivity needed for creation, including working together with colleagues. How do you plan to use what you’ve gained in this internship?

Yoshifumi Watanabe: “I learned that open-mindedness is needed to create good things, so I always want to keep my mindset open.”

Eriko Kouji: “I’d like to do something fun, by making good use of what I learned! I want to design something bizarre or create stunning designs to wow people.”

Mitsuaki Maekawa: “I realized how much I like making things. I’ve got to take in lots of cool and fashionable stuff to create amazing stuff of my own.”

Aiko Sanda: “Design comes from one’s inner self, so I wanted to see a lot of good things and enrich my inner self.”

Go Fukushi: “In this short time, around two months, I’ve received a lot of encouragement. I will always look back to this memorable experience, and I am looking forward to continue exposing myself to high-quality design environments.

Mr. Mitsuaki Maekawa

Mr. Mitsuaki Maekawa

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NISSAN DESIGN Offsite Internship
The NISSAN DESIGN Offsite Internship program is meant to nurture a new generation of designers who inherit the excellence in spirit and craftsmanship of Japan’s creative DNA. We set up a special studio in Nakameguro for the program, with fixtures and fittings similar to our actual design studio. In this creative environment, we provide practical opportunities for students eager to explore the world of professional car design, including the chance to interact with instructors who are professional car designers at Nissan.
NISSAN DESIGN Offsite Internship