MIT Sloan School of Management Visits Japan

Tanaz Sowdagar
MIT Sloan MBA 03

Kazutoshi Tominaga
MIT Sloan MBA 02

Cambridge, MA, March 10, 2002 - Thirty five students from MIT Sloan School of Management will be scrutinizing the innovation and technology strategies of leading companies in Japan. It's an important time to visit Japan in the midst of uncertainty and speculation as what will become of Japan's economy. Students will leave Boston on Mar 22 and return on Mar 31, traveling to Kyoto, Nagoya, Hakone, and Tokyo. The delegation will meet with top management and officials of such major institutions as Toyota Motor Co., NTT-DoCoMo, Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry (METI), and Hitotsubashi University's Graduate School of International Corporate Strategy.

MIT Sloan students have independently organized a Spring Break trip to Japan this year, aiming to provide opportunities for students to enrich their academic learning by interacting with the Japanese business organizations and environments, both in private and public sectors.

The students are eager to observe Japan's economy first hand by interacting with Japanese businesses. “I am more interested in old economy than new economy projects, particularly in health care” says Abdullah Almarzouq, a Sloan MBA '02. Trip participant and Sloan MBA '02, Scott Burns is excited to understand innovation processes in Japan. “I'm especially interested in seeing how the general population is using NTT DoCoMo's new 3G service and then talking to the top management about issues that they are currently facing.”

In preparing for their travels, MBA students explored a list of issues faced by the Japanese economy and industries in classroom sessions taught by Sloan faculty members. Sloan School's Professor Eleanor Westney, whose current research focuses on the internationalizations of R&D, particularly those associated with Japan, addressed the challenges faced by the traditional business systems and practices in the Japanese corporate infrastructure. Professor Rudi Dornbusch of MIT's Department of Economics and the Sloan School projected candid and prominent views regarding what will become of the next stage in the Japanese economy.

In addition to the academic and industry learning experiences, visits to Kyoto and Hakone hot springs complement the cultural experiences.

The trip is being sponsored by Bain & Company, Booz Allen Hamilton, CSK, e-solutions, Globis, IMCA, Kirin, and Nomura Securities.

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