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Summer 2019

Summer Diaries: TOKYO GAS CO. LTD

August 12, 2019
- Ashish Kumar

Since the very beginning of my sophomore year, I had a dream of interning abroad but neither did I have a superb 9+ CGPA( In fact far below than that :P) nor did I have any interest towards research profile. Noticing the latest boom in the field of Machine Learning, I dived deep into this field and thus found my interest. During the summer of 2018, I interned at Stockroom followed by the internship at Tokyo Gas in summer’19. Interning abroad has undeniable benefits. Work experience in an international setting stands out on your resume and gives you a definite boost in the job market. An internship abroad is also a great way to meet locals, immerse yourself in the culture, and can be an entry point for eventually working abroad.

Learning Data science and Machine Learning

I started to learn data science at the end of my 3rd Semester. I started with Machine learning by Andrew NG on coursera. This course dealt with all the mathematical and theoretical aspects of machine learning. Parallelly I also learned the basics of coding in python. Once I was done with these two, I started reading blogs and solving some famous datasets on Kaggle. Even after these I felt that I was weak in the implementation part and thus moved to Machine Learning A to Z course on Udemy. Then I brushed my skills on dozens of datasets which boosted my confidence. To strengthen my statistics, I went through the Stats 110x course on edX. To study deep learning, I switched to Deep learning specialization on coursera which is set of 5 courses. It was simply the best. I continued reading blogs on deep learning and discussing tech projects with my friends. Blog reading and discussion played a crucial role in increasing my understanding of the subjects.

Making it there

I got my internship at Tokyo Gas through a HR agency named Webstaff that visited IIT Roorkee campus for hiring in September 2018. Webstaff outsources our resumes to Japanese companies who are willing to hire tech interns generally in the field of Machine Learning, Deep Learning and Software Development. The application and selection process is generally a long one and requires a lot of patience. The CGPA cutoff was 7 for all branches except CSE followed by resume shortlisting. The selection process had 4 rounds.

1.Coding Round- Generally 2 coding questions and a few MCQs on Machine Learning, Deep Learning, Competitive programming, Web Development and SQL are asked. This, according to me, is the most important round. Even if you are applying for Machine learning profiles, sound knowledge of data structures and algorithm is a must. Keep in touch with your friends from other IITs so that you can get an insight into the types of questions being asked.

2.Group Discussion-The main aim of this round is to check how nicely you will be able to communicate in a foreign-land. The topic of the GD is very basic. In my case, it was related to freedom of speech on social media. It should be a cakewalk for someone who is able to put his views calmly and confidently.

3.HR Interview- In this round the interviewer checks how eager the candidate is to work in Japan. Basic HR interview preparation should be enough and knowledge of Japanese culture will be a bonus. After you clear all the above rounds, you are made to fill an online portal where you can update your skillset and projects along with your video resume. On the basis of your skills and projects, you are further shortlisted by the Japanese companies for a final interview.

4.Final Interview- I was shortlisted by Tokyo Gas. My interview was 20% tech and 80% HR. This percentage may vary on the company for which one has been shortlisted. Good resume know-how and the ability to explain projects clearly is a must. The biggest blunder that I made was focussing only on Machine Learning and not studying competitive programming. Most of the companies that visit our campus for Data Science and Machine Learning have competitive programming in their tests. Getting an on-campus internship offer solely on the basis of knowledge of Data science and Machine Learning is very tough.




Tokyo Gas is the largest natural gas utility in Japan and was founded in year 1885. Their business mainly deals with supply of city gas and electricity in the capital and neighbourhood areas. With a total of 17,000 employees, it is one of the gigantic companies of Japan. Here, I worked on 3 major projects. In my first project I had to predict LNG consumption of consumer companies for near future using machine learning techniques. This project was the first step towards the overall optimization of the filling process. In my second project, I had to predict energy trading prices in the energy sale market. Tokyo gas is involved in trading of electricity and the basic idea is similar to stock market trading. In my third project, I was given GPS, gas usage, water usage, electricity usage and air quality data of different customers and I had to analyse and give insights to the company regarding the daily activities and point out the trend and seasonality.


My work there started at 9:00 and ended at 5:45 and the environment was very relaxed. It was so good that even working till 8 didn’t feel like a burden to me(Thanks to unlimited coffee supply). People in the office were very polite and helping. My data analytics team had the best Japanese brains with degrees even from MIT and Stanford. The people there were very helping. Once I was down with cold and took a day leave. My colleagues sent Indian food and sweets for me at my doorstep to recover. Such small incidences had a deep impact on me. Language was a major issue there. My team and HR planned a lot of events for me like Saake party, Barbeque party and Cruise trips so that I didn’t feel left out.


About the place

Most of my childhood was spent watching Shinchan, Doraemon and other Japanese anime. So, interning in Japan was like a dream come true for me. My office and apartment were located in a very posh area of Tokyo. Generally, the weekdays were busy but during weekends every second felt worth enjoying. Never in my life will I forget the gadget shops at Akihabara, beaches at Enoshima, dazzling lights from Tokyo skytree, clubbing at Roppongi, Cruise trip around the Tokyo Bay, Guinness record holder rides at FujiQ Highland and the heart throbbing view of Mount Fuji (Of course there were some sleepy weekends too). I tried a lot of Japanese dishes including Ramen, Soba noodles, Udon noodles, yakitori and of course sushi. They have a taste of their own and for sea food lovers, it’s a paradise.


Tokyo’s weather is very pleasant. The temperature during May and June varied generally from 15 to 30 degrees. One day, one of my Japanese colleagues almost had a heart attack when he googled the temperature of my hometown and it turned out to be 47 degrees.


pic The accommodation I got was the best you can expect. I was provided a rented riverside apartment with great services like spa and lounge. The view from my room was mesmerizing.



Summing up

Foreign industrial experience is very rare and the exposure teaches you a lot. Working with highly diligent people always motivates me to strive harder for better results. At multinational cities like Tokyo, you get to meet people from different parts of the world and learn from them. Working for a company like Tokyo-gas with a latge customer base and building product that can potentially influence millions was a life time experience for me. To all the juniors who are targeting foreign internship through Webstaff, I would suggest them to brush up their coding skills and pitch some good technical projects at the interview. Good Luck!