Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
Of course! My name is Brey Caraway and I am a senior Texas A&M engineering student. My major of study is in the emerging field of Mechatronics. Mechatronics is a multidisciplinary field of engineering that combines and applies the elements of mechanical, electronic and control systems. I will graduate in December of 2020 and I’m here to do an internship with Hacarus this summer.
So, what made you decide to apply to Hacarus?
I really wanted to come back to Japan and experience the culture on a long-term basis compared to the last time I was here on a vacation. I wanted to get industry experience and become affluent with the work culture so that hopefully one day after I graduate, I can potentially find work here in the Kansai area.
Interesting! So, what first attracted you to Japan, and particularly to the Kansai area? I find it interesting you mentioned that.
Yeah, so I’ve always really been interested in Japanese culture. I’ve practiced kendo and Iaido for a number of years in the past, so I’ve had some prior long-term exposure to the culture. A few years ago, when I decided to come to Japan on vacation, I got hooked on the Kansai area in particular because I really enjoy the culture that Kyōto and Ōsaka have. I think there is a special kind of essence or vibe that is unique to this area compared to the rest of Japan. All the history and temples here are really special and I enjoy the area a lot.
So, now that we’ve talked about what made you come to Japan, Kyoto, and Hacarus- what are your responsibilities here?
Right now, I am working directly with Hacarus CMO, Adrian and help out with marketing-related activities – its really hands-on and I appreciate getting assigned real tasks each and every day. In the future, my plan is to utilize my craftiness and skills in 3D modeling and printing to develop some showcase items that Hacarus can use for demonstrations in the future.
Did you have any prior experience to what Hacarus is dealing with, for example, in the medical industry or manufacturing industry or sparse modeling and techniques being used?
I was familiar with deep learning and visual inspection systems prior to learning about Hacarus, but I wasn’t familiar with the sparse modeling technology and how it is being applied as a solution to industry problems. Despite that though, I do understand and know it’s potential. I’ve had work experiences before with companies like Amazon that have large scale operations with millions of products worldwide being handled by robots and transported over conveyor systems. I think Amazon could gain a lot from being able to efficiently identify damaged products with their Kiva robots or even packages being transported along their conveyor systems. The implementations in visual inspection technology are incredibly vast and there is a lot of need for it in optimizing industrial processes.
I know that prior to applying to Hacarus you weren’t specifically thinking about getting into technical marketing but that’s mostly what you’re doing now. How do you feel about that?
Well, yes, it is not necessarily an aspect that is focused on in the university’s engineering curriculum and it is not as technical in an engineering aspect but, it is something of interest to me. I’d like to be able to get more experience in it because I feel it brings out the business aspect of engineering. Engineers play a pivotal role in society. They aid in the design and development of every building and nearly every product that you come into contact with. Engineers can create a groundbreaking and revolutionary product but, without the right marketplace and excellent marketing to be successful, the product is inevitably doomed to fail. So being here with Hacarus gives me a rounder perspective in the whole entrepreneurial scheme of things. Being able to get this exposure in marketing is really kind of cool and I hope to be able to use the knowledge in my future.
Could you tell us a little about expectations you had before coming here and your thoughts on having been here for this week and a half? Is there anything you have in mind you’d like to do from now on?
I’m kind of, taking everything on a step by step basis. “Five problems at a time” as our CMO says. To be honest, I was a little nervous in coming because I want to make sure that I perform well and exceed everyone’s expectations. I’m kind of a perfectionist and strive for excellence in my work. I want to make sure that I’m coming in and doing well so that everybody is satisfied with the work that I do.
You’ve been here for a week and a half- what have you been doing in Kyōto? Have you been doing any Kyōto-like activities or going to temples? Since you’ve come here before, is there anything new that you’ve been trying or seeing?
Unfortunately, for this past week and a half, I have not had the chance to do anything exciting. I’ve been wrapping up a few other school assignments that I need to take care of before I can really do anything fun. Hopefully, within the next week, I can get all caught up on everything and have a little bit more free time in being able to do extracurricular activities. Last time I was in Kyōto, I was able to go to a few of the landmarks. I’ve been to Fushimi Inari shrine, Kyōto Imperial Palace, and Nijō castle so I was able to see a lot of what Kyōto has to offer then. Hopefully, in the next few weeks, I’ll be able to branch out and do a few new things.
Okay, that’s great! I’d hope that you’d be able to get back into Kendo- do you plan to join any kendo clubs while you are here? That would be kind of cool!
Haha, funny that you mention that. The other night I was walking home and overheard a kendo keiko, so I know where a club is but it would be a bit difficult for me to participate. I don’t have any of my equipment with me and it’s been a while since I’ve had the opportunity to practice, so I have the feeling I would only embarrass myself. I know kendo here in Japan is greatly cherished, a bit stricter, and for foreigners it’s very difficult to get involved in clubs. But, being able to at least watch a keiko or tournament match here would be really cool.
Is there anything you’d definitely want to do before going back to the states and school?
Mmm, I don’t know of any particular thing. But I think I would like to be able to go to Lake Biwa. I think there is a matsuri that’s going to be happening there in August so that would be kind of nice to be able to go see. I guess if anything, my definite thing would be to participate in any of the matsuri that will be happening before I leave.
Could you talk a little about what are your work values?
My work values would revolve around doing the best that I can. I strive for perfection and I want to make sure that everything that I do, as well as my work, is up to the best of my abilities. Delivering on a good solid product and doing honest work while being a reliable and appreciated colleague is most important to me.
Thank you! I’m glad to hear that you’ll be applying your values to working here at Hacarus. What do you like about working at Hacarus? Is there anything you see about Hacarus that might be of help to look for in your job hunting- or overall, what do you like about being here so far?
I enjoy the fact that it’s a 5-year milestone startup company which is really kind of cool. It’s such a great milestone to achieve and it’s nice to be able to be part of a great work culture and mission. Everybody here is so awesome and friendly and it’s nice to be able to be part of a growing business that I know has the potential of doing great things in the future.