If you watch the video above, you’ll see two people absolutely loving the State Fair of Texas and all it’s fried-food glory.
But there’s a little more going on here.
In January, Haruka Kaneda joined our Corporate Communications team as a trainee from Toyota Motor Corporation. She quickly became part of our family. Have we had fun teaching her the ins and outs of American culture? Absolutely. But Haruka has taught us plenty as well.
We decided that our experience with Haruka was worth sharing with all team members before she goes back to Japan at the end of the year. So, we looked for the most unapologetically American setting we could find – the state fair easily met all our requirements – to show how valuable these cultural experiences can be. And, we also ate more fried food than anyone should ever be allowed.
To introduce this video, we asked Haruka to give us her thoughts on her time at TMNA:
This has been an amazing year because I learn new things every day.
When I came to the United States, everything was new to me.
I had never worked in an English-speaking country, driven a car on the right side of the road or eaten such a big steak!
Every day, I am inspired by the creativity of TMNA team members. You have taught me how to create unique events which attract people to Toyota. Things like auto show press conferences, media events and the North America Business Update meeting.
I have also learned the importance of work-life balance. While TMNA team members work hard, they treasure time with their family. I think this culture is very cool and it was a good opportunity to reconsider the way I work.
Professionally, the most memorable moments came at the Special Olympics Unified Cup in Chicago in June. My role was to support Japanese executives from TMC. I was very moved to see the athletes with and without disabilities unite as teammates to strive for a goal together. They respect each other and they showed us the importance of teamwork.
I have also gotten to travel the country on my time off. From Yosemite to the Grand Canyon to the Grand Tetons, the scenery was so magnificent. I felt how great Mother Nature is and how small human beings are.
When I go back to Japan, I will absolutely miss everything at TMNA: my Corporate Communications teammates, the work environment, our beautiful campus, and the friends I’ve made in Texas. The list is endless. I’m so glad for this chance to work at TMNA. Now that I understand TMNA’s and TMC’s respective strong points, I will take my experiences back to my team in Japan.
By Haruka Kaneda and Dan Nied