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WIL program students gain international business experience with Tobu Group in Japan

WIL Program, an opportunity to develop professionally and to grow personally.

In partnership with Musashi University and Tobu Group, 15 motivated Deakin University students travelled to Japan as part of their 2-week Work Integrated Learning (WIL) program. From over 60 applications, only 15 students were selected via interview process and were given the chance to explore Tokyo whilst developing their business consulting knowledge.

As part of the program, the students worked together in teams of 5 on business consulting for the Tobu Group, a group of companies with a focus on distribution, leisure, transport and housing. The core business of the parent company is Tobu Railway, which has the second-longest private railway network in Japan but its subsidiaries also includes Tobu Top Tours Fast Skytree Ticketing Office, Tobu Top Tours Asakusa Tourist Information Centre and Marriott Ginza Courtyard Hotel.

Working alongside the companies, the students were given the opportunity to provide advice on how Tobu Group businesses could improve their customer service, online digital media presence and prepare for the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo. They created business reports analysing the company, the industry, their current online presence, the businesses’ daily operations and the customer service experience for foreign guests. They also presented their findings to the businesses at the end of the program.

"I was very impressed with the quality of the work undertaken by students in the Japan WIL program. They undertook projects for organizations in Tokyo including The Tobu Marriott Ginza Courtyard Hotel and Tobu Top Tours. The work they did led the organisations involved to better understand how to market to overseas consumers and change their social media strategies" explained Professor Alexander Newman, Associate Dean (International) within Deakin Business and Law School.

Students also had a visit to the Australian Embassy where they met with Mr. George Manetakis from Austrade, who presented to the students on Japan and Australian relations and addressed the current state of the education sector. The students were able to question Mr Manetakis and receive context around how foreign tourism and businesses work in Japan from a government perspective, this was very valuable research for their projects. Along with their hard work, they also experienced Japanese language lessons, lectures at Musashi University, a trip to Mt Fuji and to Nikko, socialising with Musashi University students, daily discussions around business and personal development, as well as free time to explore Tokyo. Five of the 15 students were also given the chance to stay at Marriott Ginza Courtyard Hotel for a night.

“I’m very glad I chose to come on this program. I’m finding Japan much more interesting than I initially thought. There’s a good balance between coursework and free time to experience Japanese sites and culture. The students on the program have been fantastic and easy to get along with. Really enjoyed seeing the countryside and the views around Mt Fuji” said a student.

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