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MAOL students explore leadership and business culture in Japan

MAOL students and Professor Martha Hardestry (fourth from the left, back row) with Deloitte managers.
MAOL students and Professor Martha Hardestry (fourth from the left, back row) with Deloitte managers.
Photo from the Ikimasho blog.

Ikimasho! Let’s go…  to Japan!

Fourteen students from St. Catherine University’s Master of Arts in Organizational Leadership (MAOL) recently spent two weeks in Osaka, on Japan's main island of Honshu, broadening their knowledge of the Asian culture.

Associate Professor Martha Hardesty first offered “Comparative Leadership” in fall 2011. It’s the first study-abroad course exclusively for MAOL students and graduates. The course compares leadership theory and experience in the United States, an individualistic culture, with that of Japan, often an anthropologist’s favorite model of a group-oriented society.

The students had classroom discussions at Kobe College in Nishinomiya City and frequently met face-to-face with Japanese business leaders and senior managers at various corporate and government locations, including Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu, Sumitomo Chemical Plant, the Urban Innovation Institute and the U.S. Consulate in Osaka, for example. Topics of discussion included Japanese history, globalization on Japanese corporations, relationship management and women's rights in Japan.

“The study abroad trip to Osaka was one of the most valuable experiences I've ever had,” says Melanie Shirley, who is graduating from the MAOL program this May. “I was continually learning more about myself and my environment. Plus, traveling with other St. Kate’s students was invaluable — we could talk about what we were thinking, feeling and experiencing as it was happening.”

See the students’ blog, IKIMASHO: MAOL travels to Japan, for photos and lessons learned.

In addition to Osaka, MAOL students can study abroad in Budapest. St. Catherine University partners with Hamline University to offer this opportunity.

For more on St. Kate’s MAOL program, read “The World, Upside Down” in SCAN, February 2011.

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Feb. 25, 2013 by Pauline Oo

See also: Business, Leadership, Students