Business in Japan: Experiencing business and culture first hand

Students visited the Canadian Embassy in Tokyo
Students visited the Canadian Embassy in Tokyo.

This past February a group of F.C. Manning School of Business students travelled to Japan as part of a unique field trip for the class Business in Japan taught by Dr. Conor Vibert. 

In preparation for the trip, the Business in Japan course focused largely on students learning about Japanese business and culture in the classroom. Then, during reading week, students traveled to Japan where they toured companies such as Daikin, Toyota, and Manulife, among others. 

Business students, Niambi Landy-Philpott and Jacob Newcombe say the trip was an exciting way to experience Japan outside the classroom. 

“We got to personally see how companies operate in Japan and explore what we studied in class.” says Jacob. 

Niambi says traveling to Japan was an opportunity to see the contrasting differences between companies and businesses in Japan and Canada. They learned about work culture in Japan and saw how some of the business concepts taught in class applied in the workplace. 

“Although there are some similarities in how companies operate in the two countries, there are also striking differences,” she says. “It was interesting to see, for example, how some employees work up to 12 hours a day. More than work, it’s part of a lifestyle.” 

Jacob says the reason for this is that business and culture in Japan overlap. Like Niambi, he says a big part of touring the companies was learning about the hierarchal structure in some of these places. 

“The hierarchy in companies is clearer in Japan than it is in Canada,” he says. “It’s something both employers and employees truly respect.” 

During the trip, students visited the Canadian Embassy in Tokyo, as well as Doshisha University. Acadia has welcomed exchange students from Doshisha in the past and some of those students shared their experience at Acadia. They also extended an invitation to students who would like to study in Doshisha in the future. 

“Doshisha students said coming from a big city to a small town in Canada was a cultural adjustment” Jacob says. “They also talked about the benefits of studying in our tight community here at Acadia.” 

Both Jacob and Niambi agree the trip allowed them to explore the relationship between Japan and Canada outside the classroom. 
“Japan is one of the strongest economies in the world and we have a growing relationship with them,” Jacob says. “Traveling to Japan, we were able to understand and look closely at this mutually beneficial relationship.” 

As part of a class assignment, students shared their trip to Japan on various social media platforms. Jacob and Niambi say this was a great way to raise awareness about the class and the trip. 

“By sharing our trip on social media, we informed our community about the traveling opportunities at the school and the programs offered to students” Niambi says. “It was a way to connect with current students and alumni, and for them to know what they can experience in a class like this.” 

Jacob says at first, he wasn’t aware of what the trip would entail, and awareness on social media could give future students an idea of what to expect and how to seize opportunities like this at Acadia. 

“I would definitely advise students to make the trip,” he says. “I can learn all about Japanese culture in the classroom, but it will never compare to experiencing a country in person. I definitely learned a lot more than I thought I would.” 

Learn more about the F.C. Manning School of Business here.

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