Chris Thompson and Hao Lou Develop Tokyo Site for Business Global Consulting Program

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The College of Business Global Advisory Program (GCP) is going to Tokyo in May, thanks to the leadership of the professor of the College of Arts and Sciences Chris Thompson and professor at the College of Business Hao Lou.

Tokyo is one of two new locations for the GCP this year, noted Lou, who serves as co-director of the Tokyo program with Thompson. Tamarindo, Costa Rica is also a new site, along with returning sites in Belgium, Brazil, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary and Italy.

“I couldn’t think of a more dynamic duo than Dr. Thomson and Dr. Lou to lead this exciting addition to our suite of experiential opportunities at the Center for International Business Development and Education,” said Andrew Pueschel, Director of CIBED. “The benefits of this interdisciplinary leadership collaboration will have lasting positive benefits for participating students and/or the global partnership relationship, for years to come.”

Like many of Ohio University’s activities in Japan, this one also dates back to OHIO’s 50-year relationship with Chubu University in central Japan’s Aichi Prefecture. But OHIO’s connections — both faculty connections and an extensive network of alumni across the country — now extend far beyond Chubu.

Every year since 1973, OHIO and Chubu have exchanged faculty as part of a visiting professor program, offering students and faculty the unique opportunity to enjoy a truly international learning experience. Faculty members who come to OHIO from Chubu University are called Robert Glidden Visiting Professors. OHIO faculty members who travel to Chubu University are Kohei Miura Visiting Professors – named in honor of the founder of Chubu University.

Thompson, a cultural anthropologist who teaches Japanese in the Department of Linguistics at the College of Arts and Sciences, was selected for the position of visiting professor in 2018. Lou was part of its selection committee, having served as an exchange professor several years earlier. So it was natural for Lou to contact Thompson when the College of Business wanted to add a Japan destination to its popular counseling program that prepares students for the challenges of the global business environment.

From left to right, Akemi Hiraide of Musashi University's Office of International Programs and Professors Brian Masshardt of Musashi University and Chris Thompson of Ohio University.
From left to right, Akemi Hiraide of Musashi University’s Office of International Programs and Professors Brian Masshardt of Musashi University and Chris Thompson of Ohio University.

“Hao actually sought me out because his destination in China was being scrapped. We talked to Chubu about doing this in Nagoya, but they were lukewarm about it, so with Chubu’s blessing, we contacted Musashi University in Tokyo where we also send students Dr. Brian Masshardt of Musashi decided to hire us immediately as we would be able to provide our own placement sites using our extensive network of alumni from the OHIO in Japan,” Thompson said.

“Expanding the Global Consulting Program to Tokyo is such a great collaboration between the College of Arts and Sciences and the College of Business. We are thrilled that OHIO students will benefit from Dr. Thompson’s expertise and research in Japanese language and culture in combination with Dr. Lou’s expertise in global business. With the help of the OHIO Japan Alumni Network, our students will engage in a life-changing experience where they can learn from and contribute to the bilingual workplaces run by our alumni,” said Sarah Poggione, acting dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. .

Chris Thompson with volunteer teachers from Iwate, students and alumni from OHIO, Chubu and Iwate Prefectural University.
Chris Thompson with volunteer teachers from Iwate, students and alumni from OHIO, Chubu and Iwate Prefectural University.

Placement in former workplaces

“I have been involving our OHIO alumni in their Tokyo workplace for years, while developing the Japan Global Engagement Project, formerly known as OU-Iwate Prefectural University (IPU) Tsunami Volunteer Project” , Thompson said. In 2011, a magnitude 9 earthquake struck the Pacific Ocean west of Japan, sending a wall of water over 100 feet high through some coastal communities. More than 20,000 people died. In addition to hands-on volunteer help, Thompson’s project continues to examine the cultural impact of the disaster and how communities are recovering, most recently as a group of students and alumni gathered to The 10e year of activity on the weekend of September 24 in Iwate.

“As a cultural anthropologist and linguistics faculty member, I have always been interested in where our OHIO students can work in Japan using their OHIO degrees and the Japanese skills we We have been able to teach them. Additionally, we have OHIO alumni who are also Japanese through our exchange programs. So we will be placing Tokyo Global Consulting Program students in workplaces run by OHIO alumni. OHIO,” said Thompson, who noted that knowledge of the Japanese language is not a prerequisite for the Global Counseling Program.

Chris Thompson with Akisa Fukuzawa (Master of Sports Management '85) next to him, Futaba Kaiharazuka (MA in Development Studies '00) behind the table, and Nobu Kaiharazuka (BA of Business Administration '99) with his mask in the kitchen of The Noubu bistro.
Chris Thompson with Akisa Fukuzawa (Master of Sports Management ’85) next to him, Futaba Kaiharazuka (MA in Development Studies ’00) behind the table, and Nobu Kaiharazuka (BA of Business Administration ’99) with his mask in the kitchen of Nobu Bistro.

Among the sites where students could intern are a French restaurant run by two OHIO alumni, an NGO (non-governmental organization) that facilitates interaction between Japanese people and residents of Japan from various African countries that is run by an OHIO graduate, and a Japanese event planning company where a recent OHIO graduate is a sales representative.

“All of these locations were deliberately chosen because they are bilingual working environments where everyone works in English. Otherwise, it would be impossible to provide a meaningful experience for our students in such a short time,” noted Thompson. Another site is a sports management company linked to the Tokyo College of Business.

“The alumni connections I have cultivated are the foundation for sharing these experiences with the College of Business and the OHIO campus. It is no secret that many students who study Japanese at OHIO are business majors. And Dr. Lou, who understands the value of those connections and how alumni relations work outside of the United States, offered me the chance to work with him with his great experiences leading programs in many parts of the world to develop something truly unique,” ​​said Thompson.

Three exchange teachers, left to right, Dr. Hironobu Fujiyoshi, Dr. Chris Thompson and Dr. Yutaka Hirata.
Three exchange teachers, left to right, Dr. Hironobu Fujiyoshi, Dr. Chris Thompson and Dr. Yutaka Hirata.

A growing presence in Tokyo

Thompson noted that the relationship with Musashi University is not as visible as the Chubu partnership, but is just as dynamic.

“Many OHIO professors and administrators don’t even know of the close ties that OHIO – especially the Ohio Intensive English Program (OPIE) and the Department of Linguistics – have had with Musashi over the years. ” , Thompson said.

Additionally, Dr. Charlie Morgan, associate professor of sociology in the College of Arts and Sciences, is on sabbatical in Japan this year. He directs the OU-MU exchange program.

Currently, eight OHIO students are on exchange in Japan this semester, four in Chubu and four in Musashi.

For more information on the Center for International Business Education and Development at the OHIO College of Business, or at Global Advisory Programcontact Puesche at [email protected]

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