Ganbaru Internship

Ganbaru Internship Experience...

Ganbaru means to ‘give one’s best effort’ in Japanese. JCCCW Ganbaru Interns are an invaluable part of our team who directly contribute to JCCCW cultural and historical programs, annual events, and our office operations.

The Ganbaru program is an opportunity to gain valuable work experience and acquire meaningful skills while also contributing to the community. Students will develop a deeper understanding of issues such as culture and identity through project work, trips to local museums and community centers, meeting our multi-generational team of volunteers and work closely with JCCCW staff.

We are looking for motivated applicants who can work in a dynamic office setting and have the self-initiative to accomplish tasks and seek ways to contribute in a busy environment.

Applicants with an interest in Seattle history, Asian American history, community engagement, education, art and culture should apply. This is a great opportunity to gain first-hand experience in a non-profit setting and learn how an organization accomplishes its mission.

The JCCCW is located in the International District/Central District of Seattle in historic buildings that have housed the Japanese Language School (JLS) since 1911. Interns will be stewards of the JCCCW and support our mission of sharing and promoting Japanese and Japanese American culture and heritage.

Learn more about our internships and complete our online application below.  Deadline for winter internship is November 11, 2018!


Time Commitment

  • WINTER, SPRING and FALL quarter Ganbaru Interns must fulfill a minimum of 10 hours per week in the office. JCCCW office hours are Monday-Friday 10AM-5PM.

  • SUMMER QUARTER interns must fulfill a minimum of 20 hours per week in the office.

Requirement to Join Ganbaru Internship:

  • 19 years of age or older.

  • Enrolled in a community college, university, or graduated from college within one year to the start of the internship.

  • Be able to commit to a regular weekly schedule.

  • Be able to join JCCCW weekend events during the quarter - 2 to 4 events each quarter.

Recommended Qualifications to Join Ganbaru Internship: 

  • Strong verbal and written communication skills.

  • Able to handle multiple projects in a fast-paced environment.

  • Cross-cultural, intergenerational or community volunteering experience.

  • Strong interpersonal and collaborative group work skills.

  • Keen interest in learning about Japanese and Japanese American history and culture.

  • Knowledge of or experience with Japanese cultural arts.

2019 SESSIONS     

Start and end dates are flexible. Application due dates are not.

WINTER 2019: Starts January 14; Ends March 22; Application due November 11 (2018)

SPRING 2019: Starts April 8; Ends June 7; Application due February 17

SUMMER 2019: Starts June 17; Ends August 30; Application due April 21

FALL 2019: Starts September 16; Ends December 6; Application due August 25

We look forward to receiving your application and welcoming you into the Japanese Cultural & Community Center of Washington!


JCCCW offers internships in several different areas. Each intern will focus on one or more of the following programs but will be expected to assist staff in daily operations, preparing for annual events, and other important projects. Interns are expected to also assist in setting up for events. 

Programs Assistant

Assist the JCCCW's Cultural Arts Coordinator in planning and running JCCCW educational cultural programs and activities. Responsibilities include: Plan activities for our annual festivals, from planning, developing instructions, and leading activity during the event; assist staff in the brainstorming and development of cultural programs; assist staff with event planning logistics; create decorations or displays by hand with art and craft supplies; research and produce professional explanations on Japanese customs, events, or traditions for our guests.

Knowledge of or experience with Japanese cultural arts are required. Japanese language proficiency desired but not required. 

Communications and Marketing

Assist the JCCCW Marketing Coordinator in many different facets of communications including: help manage the Hosekibako Instagram account; develop content for the JCCCW's Facebook, Twitter, and main Instagram account; write articles and community event content for JCCCW's e-newsletter and print magazine Kakehashi; brainstorm outreach and event promotion ideas with staff; research projects on JCCCW audiences and messaging; create multimedia video and/or photo stories for all communication verticals. 

Social Media Marketing experience is desired. 

Graphic Designer

Assist the JCCCW Marketing Coordinator in designing and producing marketing material including newspaper advertisements, brochures, and event signage/displays. Graphic design interns will assist in the editing of JCCCW print newsletter Kakehashi as well as the planning and development of JCCCW publications.

Experience with Adobe Suite is desired.


Ganbaru Internship FAQs: Commonly Asked Questions

  • Is the Ganbaru Internship program open to Graduate students?

    • Yes.

  • I don’t speak Japanese. Is Japanese proficiency required to be a Ganbaru intern?

    • No. Japanese language proficiency is not required, but may be helpful.

  • I’m not a native English speaker. Can I apply?

    • Yes. Applicants from all backgrounds are welcomed.

  • Do I have to bring in my own laptop to work?

    • No. Laptops and workstations are available for interns to use.

  • I am 18 years old, can I apply?

    • Yes, if you will be 19 by the start of your internship.


  • What must I submit within my application?

    • We require an online application to be filled out, as well as your resume and cover letter.

  • Can I submit an application and send in my resume later?

    • No, your application will not be considered unless it is submitted with all of the required components through our online application page.

  • What is the ideal length for an internship?

    • One quarter is the minimum, but candidates who can commit longer are heavily preferred.

  • It’s been a week since I submitted my application and I haven’t heard anything back! What should I do?

    • All applications are considered and applicants will be contacted whether or not they are accepted. Please email Intern Coordinator at regarding the status of your application.

  • The application asks about intercultural experiences. What kind of experiences should I mention in this section?

    • We are interested in candidates that exemplify stewardship, sharing and engaging people in community and culture.

  • How do I cancel my application?

  • I’m interested in multiple Ganbaru positions. Can I do more than one at once?

    • It is possible and dependent on the applicant’s interest level and availability. Please explain your interest in your cover letter and application.


  • Can I extend my internship after I finish my quarter?

    • Yes, we encourage staying on for more than one quarter.

  • I will be taking a week-long vacation during my internship time, will that be a problem?

    • In the ‘Availability’ section please note the vacation. The Intern Coordinator must be notified in advance so we can accommodate the schedule change.

Internship Benefits:

  • How is an internship different from volunteering?

    • Interns generally commit more time than regular volunteers and are assigned to accomplish specific projects while at JCCCW.

  • Will I receive academic credit?

    • The JCCCW does not provide academic credit but Ganbaru Interns may independently arrange to receive credit from their home college or university. The JCCCW Intern Coordinator is happy to assist in whatever requirements are needed (e.g. essay prompts, signing off on hours, etc)

  • Is the Ganbaru internship paid?

    • The Ganbaru Internship is an unpaid internship.

  • I would like to pursue a career outside of non-profits. Why should I consider an internship at a non-profit Cultural Center?

    • JCCCW relies on intern and volunteer participation to operate. This means that our interns gain valuable, hands-on, challenging project-based experience as a team member as opposed to being relegated to mundane tasks. The lessons on how non-profits work and the context of working in community will inform any person looking to build professional skills and a work portfolio.

  • Is the JCCCW Ganbaru Internship a good fit if I’m interested in the JET Program?

    • Yes, JCCCW internships provide experience which fosters international awareness and intercultural exchange. Many past interns have gone on to join the JET program.