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Nolan Russ - Business and Culture in Japan

Published: Monday, 27 Jun 2016
Author: Cheryl Ann Benner
Department: Office for Education Abroad

Name: Nolan Russ

Status: Junior

Major: Supply Chain Management

Hometown: Wixom, MI

Program: Business & Culture in Japan


The study abroad program I participated in this summer focused on the business and culture of Japan. The program was a 17-day adventure and an amazing experience. One thing that being a student has taught me, is that the amount I learn is dependent upon my willingness or desire to learn. Going abroad is a great learning opportunity and I am very glad that I went. I highly recommend it to my colleagues.


While in Japan we had many opportunities to attend company presentations and corporate visits. Through the tours and presentations I learned the value that companies provide to their market because of their specialization in what they do best. I plan to implement some of lessons I learned in Japan into my work life.


During our stay in Japan, we visited a company that specializes in transportation. I can now use this corporate visit as a comparison for future transportation companies I come in contact with. This was an amazing example of how Japan is efficient with their space. As a student studying supply chain I very much enjoyed this corporate visit and I hope to use this visit as a reference when working with transportation in the future. Our group was encouraged throughout the program to question how Japanese business reflects the culture in it. Many of us realized the importance that businesses placed on providing the highest quality of product/service over a consistent time.


The experience of studying abroad in Japan has affected me on a personal level as well as an academic. On the academic level, I have learned the value that Japanese businesses achieve for their customers through their structured system of providing high quality products consistently. On a personal level I have been influenced very much by the collective morale of the Japanese. Going to Japan has taught me that Japan is a collective society. This means that the Japanese achieve success or failure collectively, which is very team focused. During the stay I learned that following all of the rules is very important to a collective society. In Japan I noticed that the people are very patient to follow every rule. This has helped me gain perspective on the reason we have rules. Also operations of everyday life flow a lot better in an ordered society when all the people follow the rules.


Throughout the activities I experienced in Japan the overarching themes and lessons have been instilled into me. This was an amazing opportunity and it will influence my daily life going forward. I had an exposure to a new culture and I have now seen how my culture differs from others. The experience that I had abroad will be a part of my life forever.