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Deepshikha Nair is a 3rd year Undergraduate pursuing a B.Tech in Civil Engineering.
About the Company:
JFE Steel Corporation is one of the world’s leading integrated steel producers. The company – part of JFE holdings group, manufactures steel products by leveraging its world-leading production and technology-development capabilities. Main products include a variety of steel sheets, stainless steel, plates and pipes.
I am interning in the Civil Engineering Research Department at Keihin site of the East Japan Works of JFE Steel Corporation. Together with the Nishinomiya stainless steel manufacturing plant, the East Japan Works is a leading example of how urban steel mills can operate in harmony with the community and the environment.
The department selects one or two students from around the world every year for summer internship ranging from 2-4 months. The selection procedure at JFE Steel is very straightforward and hassle-free- it’s only resume based. That’s right! no SOP, no GD or PI – just your regular two page tech resume. From what I perceive, they mainly give importance to your CGPA, performance in courses related to structural engineering and research work (if any) in areas like design and analysis of structures (preferably steel), and bridge engineering. Remember, Japan is an earthquake prone area, so most of the research in this department is focused on making earthquake resistant steel structures.
The internship work schedule was described to me on the first day itself. I spent the initial days exploring Abaqus software and reading some theory. My primary work here is a study on lateral buckling of beams through FEM analysis performed in Abaqus. Further, I would be comparing the results with the theoretical ones obtained by conducting eigen-value analysis in Matlab. Meetings are held regularly to discuss progress of my work. Even though language is a barrier here, my supervisor is very supportive and ensures that I have no trouble in doing my work. Questions are encouraged and doubts are always cleared. There are no harsh deadlines. The onus is on you to work efficiently and produce good results. Also, the company does not believe in the concept of PPO. It only hires post-graduate students. So for those of you seeking internships that offer PPO, JFE Steel is probably not a good choice.
My department wants their intern to gain an insight into the working of their steel plants, fabrication of beams and columns, and a holistic view about all the structural work undergoing in the company at various locations across the country. This means that I get to travel officially to the various sites and get to know in detail, about the ongoing operations and top-notch lab facilities of the company. Each time, I am left amazed- their quality control, high safety standards, emergency preparedness, environment-friendly approaches and how cutting edge technology is constantly being infused into their work stations to produce steel more efficiently…everything is just commendable.
Weekends are mostly spent exploring the wondrous country. There are numerous places to go – Tokyo Sky Tree, Akihabara, Fuji-Q highland, Nikko, Hakone, Kamakura, Disneyland, Yokohama, Odaiba, Mt. Fuji- are all not very far from my place. The public transportation system here is efficient and one of the fastest in the world. Even the bucolic and serene Kansai region consisting of Osaka, Kyoto, Nara, Kobe is just a two hour ride away from here! (Of course, by the bullet train 😛 )
People in Japan:
People here are extremely hardworking and most of them work diligently for close to eleven hours every day. But they also love drinking and celebrating. There is a party almost every week where you can approach and get acquainted with anyone present there. Highly recommended to attend these.
My co-workers are benevolent, humble and have a deep respect for one another. Frankly, I have never seen anyone angry here till date. They also treat their interns very well. Few of them have even gone out of their way to make my stay here very comfortable. Everyone takes such good care of me – I almost feel pampered!
I am still in denial that I have little time left in the city. The experience has been very enriching so far but I am not ready to leave. Not just yet. ☺