“The internship gave me an idea of what job to do next”

Toru Hirata works as Event and Marketing Assistant Manager in Singapore. While studying at the prestigious Sophia University in his native Japan, he accepted an internship in the USA. Since then, his work has taken him to several different countries, “I love meeting customers and being out in the field,” he says.

Toru Hirata, Event and Marketing Assistant Manager, UD Trucks

How did you find out about our Internship Program?

My university is part of the Volvo Group’s Academic Partner Program and I picked up one of their brochures. When I saw there was an opportunity in America, I jumped at it. My family lived there for a while when I was a kid and I wanted to experience working in the US.

What made Volvo Group seem like the right fit for you?

I’ve always liked Volvo and wanted to work for a major international manufacturer. I’d previously worked at a media company and found it didn’t suit me. I wanted to work with a physical product.

What was the most valuable experience for you during your internship?

The importance of being inquisitive. If you don’t know something, just reach out and ask.

What would you say to anyone considering an internship here?

Go for it! It gave me a concrete idea of what I want to do in my professional life. As a result of my internship, I’ve worked in South Africa, Dubai, the US, Japan and Singapore. I don’t think I would have experienced that working anywhere else. I’m so glad they picked me. I don’t know what I’d be doing if it hadn’t been for that experience.

What does your current job involve?

I manage customer events and create marketing content. We’ve recently arranged events for the Rugby World Cup in Japan. I work on films, photo shoots and anything content related. It’s sometimes difficult to quantify marketing in terms of sales. But when we succeed, it makes it much easier for our sales staff to attract customers. Creating more touch points for customers ultimately results in increased sales.

How does the experience you gained affect your work now?

I still keep in touch with my colleagues in the US. They are really pushing forward with marketing automation and that is something our team is pushing for as well.

FACT BOX

Name: Toru Hirata
Title: Event and Marketing Assistant Manager, UD Trucks
Location: Singapore
Qualifications: International Business and Economics Degree from Sophia University in Tokyo
When I’m not at work: I play basketball with my friends

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