Putting studies into practice
September 12, 2018
Over the summer, Violette Khammad ‘18 and Julia Kulczyski traveled to Japan to put their King’s education into practice as part of the Cross-Cultural College’s Global Career Seminar in Japan program.
The internship “absolutely blew away any expectations I had in previous experiential learning courses,” Kulczyski says. “I will continue to advocate for this program. I would strongly advise any and all students unsure of their future career to apply for this program.”
Khammad graduated from King’s with an Honours Double Major in Political Science and Sociology last June. Kulczyski is currently in her fourth year of the Bachelor of Management and Organizational Studies degree specializing in Organizational and Human Resources.
The program took place from August 1 – 11, 2018 at the Kwansei Gakuin University (KGU), located in the Kansai region of Japan. As part of the program, teams of five students (three Japanese students from KGU and two Canadian students from partner schools including King’s, Mount Allison University, Queen’s University and the University of Toronto) worked collectively to provide strategic recommendations to real-world organizational issues.
Khammad’s team was tasked to provide solutions for long-term retention of foreign employees at ORIX Corporation, a financial services group headquartered in Minota and Osaka, Japan.
Before they could begin to create their presentation, however, the participants had to learn how to communicate effectively with each other. This included making everyone feel comfortable enough to share their ideas, reading body language and social cues, and navigating different ideological, social backgrounds and ways of thinking.
“I was familiar with the concept of cross-cultural communication for many years now, but this experience really opened my eyes on what international students may go through in a new setting, but also more broadly, how important it is for business people to adapt their approaches and communication styles internationally according to the society they visit,” Khammad says.
Kulczyski’s team worker with EIJI Division, a Japanese clothing brand looking to enter the North American market. Like Khammad, she was able to develop her skills in cross-cultural communications, as well as social media marketing.
The experience not only gave her confidence in her abilities, but she also learned patience, the importance of collectivism, and the values that other cultures can teach us.
She is especially proud to say her team produced a marketing plan currently in play for EIJI Division. She developed many business relationships while working as part of the program and says “EIJI Division is now a second family to me.”
Other teams focused on finding similar solutions for organizations and companies such as the Canadian Embassy, IBM, Schneider Electric and Garuda Indonesia Airlines.
As part of the program, the students received some preparatory international business lectures by visiting Professor Jean-Baptiste Litrico from the Smith School of Business at Queen's.
“The diversity in industry opportunities and the in-depth experience of the Japanese work place is unlike any other,” Kulczyski says.
To learn more about opportunities with King’s Outgoing Exchange Program, visit https://www.kings.uwo.ca/current-students/student-affairs/kings-international/outgoing-exchange/