Overseas Business Expansion

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We were able to make our overseas business feel closer to home, and access and share the kind of consumer perspective that doesn’t show up in the data…

Link Solution Co.,Ltd.Link Solution Co.,Ltd.

Host companiesLink Solution Co.,Ltd.

Tokyo/Management Consulting

InternsNguyen Hai Ly

Vietnam/Quantitative Finance, Graduate School of Economics, Faculty of Economics, The University of Tokyo

InternsNguyen Phuoc Bao Ngoc

Vietnam/Foreign Trade University, International economics


In addition to having the interns help with marketing in our target countries, we wanted to make our staff at head office feel more connected with our overseas businesses…

Q.Why did your company decide to take on interns? What did you aim to achieve?
Our main line of business is to provide management consulting for Japanese companies. In 2015 we embarked on our first overseas venture, which was to open a nail salon in Myanmar. We are looking into expanding into Vietnam next. But one issue we faced was that, since there isn’t much common ground between our domestic and overseas operations, our Japanese staff here at the head office don’t have much interest in or sense of connection with our overseas businesses. For that reason, we wanted to take on interns from those countries in order to strengthen our overseas businesses as well as to do marketing for the beauty market in Vietnam, the country that we are considering setting up business in. We also applied for the program in that hope that, by building a greater sense of connection between our Japanese staff who work on our domestic operations on the one hand and our overseas businesses and people from other countries on the other, we could develop the company culture and contribute to our future work overseas.


Details of the Internship

From marketing for the Vietnamese venture to developing business plans, the interns did an incredible job!

Q.What kind of internship did you run? What difficulties did you face and how did you resolve them?
The program office recommended several Vietnamese candidates, and we ended up taking on one international student studying here in Japan and another studying abroad. During the internship we were fortunate to be able to have each of these interns do tasks that matched their abilities. The international student was studying economics at graduate school and had an interest in management, so we had her do market research in preparation for our Vietnamese nail salon venture. At a macro level we had her research local demographics, and on a micro level we had her survey local women about their attitudes to beauty. She was extremely talented and ambitious, and amazed us by completing the work in half the time allowed. So we also had her draw up a business plan for our Vietnamese venture and even make a presentation before the whole company. In addition to market research, we had the student who had come from abroad work on our overseas media. We had her set up, perform and write up interviews with locals who had visited Japan, which she then shared online and on social media. As a student who had just arrived in Japan from abroad, she was able to communicate what makes Japan special from a uniquely fresh perspective.

Details of the Internship


We could access and share the kind of consumer perspective that does not show up in data, while also improving our staff’s skills and giving them a more international mindset...

Q.Comparing before and after the internship, what effects did it have on you, your employees, or your organization?
We were very pleased with the concrete and realistic proposals our intern made in her marketing work for our Vietnamese venture, which drew deeply on her local knowledge. She proposed a range of potential store locations, detailing the advantages and disadvantages of each one, and even proposed some branding ideas that would work well with Vietnamese customers. The opinions she gave us were from her perspective as a twenty-something Vietnamese woman, which is our target demographic, so we could access the kind of invaluable local consumer perspective that just doesn’t show up in data alone. We hire all of our staff mid-career and as a result none of us have much experience teaching all the work we do here from scratch. So another unexpected benefit of this internship was that, in the course of explaining our company’s work to the interns and advising them about how to develop business plans, we were able to organize our staff’s knowledge and make what had been tacit knowledge explicit. That was good preparation for the new grad recruitment that we plan to start in 2017. Another final benefit was that, through interacting with the interns as they explained about their country or treated us to Vietnamese coffee, the staff were able to build a greater sense of connection to the world outside Japan. One member of staff learned Vietnamese cooking with the interns on a day off, and another planned a trip to Vietnam. I think everyone here at the head office has become more engaged with the outside world than we had been before.


From the Interns

There was always something new to learn, so every day I was excited to go to work!

Q.What did you get out of the internship?
It wasn’t what I expected a Japanese company to be like, in a good way! It was different from what I had heard about Japanese companies: the seating arrangement was flexible and everyone spoke to each other in a direct way. Also, at school I have been studying conceptual subjects like management theory, but the internship allowed me to learn about practical areas like marketing and business strategy in an actual business setting. (Nguyen Hai Ly)
As a result of this internship, I have noticed a marked improvement in my ability to adapt to other cultures. Language was sometimes an obstacle, but I was able to put into practice the Japanese business principle of “hou-ren-sou” (literally, “reporting, informing and consulting”), and take the initiative to ask for help with my work or to ask for an opinion. I also repeated the gist of what I was told back to myself to make sure I had understood. And I tried to improve the quality of my work by using the PDCA cycle. I am deeply grateful to have had the wonderful experience of taking part in this internship. (Nguyen Phuoc Bao Ngoc )

From the Interns


Technological Planner Inc.

Host companiesTechnological Planner Inc.

Oita/Engineering Service

InternsPongsuban Jitvisuttipanang

Thailand/ Thammasat University,Economics

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Higuchi Knitting Company Inc.

Host companiesHiguchi Knitting Company Inc.

Osaka/Manufacturing industry/Manufacturing and sales of original knitted items

InternsNgo Duc Dieu Lien

VietNam/Ho Chi Minh City University of Technology, Japanese

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OS Co., Ltd.

Host companiesOS Co., Ltd.

Tokyo/IT Services

InternsCen Chen

China/ Shanghai Normal University Tianhua College, Japanses

InternsWu Tana

China/ Tokyo Metropolitan University, Department of Behavioral Social Sciences

InternsWang Wei

China/Shanghai University of International Business and Economics, Business Japanese

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