Cross-Cultural Management

Pick Up

The intern connected us to the world and prepared us to receive and expand business with foreign guests…

Yutaka Co., Ltd.Yutaka Co., Ltd.

Host companiesYutaka Co., Ltd.

Hokkaido/Food Service Industry

InternsPimsri Piengrawin

Thailand/Srinakharinwirot University, Computer for Communication


Despite a rapid increase in the number of foreign tourists visiting Japan, our company did not have an adequate system in place to accommodate them. Our intern helped us overcome this situation and set us up for major growth!

Q.Why did your company decide to take on interns? What did you aim to achieve?
The number of foreign tourists visiting Japan has been increasing in recent years, and is set to increase even more in the future, thanks in part to the 2020 Olympic Games. But in spite of this situation, our company did not have any kind of system in place to accommodate this clientele. When I first announced to my staff that we would be taking on a foreign intern, they were full of anxiety about how they should respond to her. We wanted the internship to be more than just an opportunity for cross-cultural understanding; we wanted to use it to attract more foreign tourists. With that in mind, we created a three step plan. First, we wanted the intern to interact and do cultural exchange with Japanese members of staff. Second, we wanted her to prepare materials the company needed to accommodate foreign guests, such as translated menus and a service manual for staff to follow. Third, we wanted her to determine and research the needs of foreign tourists and build relationships with travel agencies operating overseas.


Details of the Internship

We went from passively accepting foreign tourists to actively seeking them out!

Q.What kind of internship did you run? What difficulties did you face and how did you resolve them?
The intern who was recommended to us by the office was proficient in both English and Japanese and had great IT and design skills, so she was able to work proactively on tasks like menu design and online marketing. She created English versions of our menu, restaurant description and map, PR materials and service manual for foreigners, and used role plays to train our staff to use them. It was a great help to finally have our hands on materials that we had always wanted to help us serve our foreign customers. With regard to online marketing, we had her promote our company by posting information on Thai tourism websites, Facebook and blogs, and by reaching out to travel agencies in ten countries worldwide. As a result of her efforts, two of the agencies expressed an interest in doing business with us. One great benefit of the internship was that we went from having a passive stance to foreign business to actively trying to attract it. She helped us uncover the needs of foreign guests, which we are expecting to lead to sales growth.

Details of the Internship


She connected our company to foreign tourists and tour operators, allowing us to identify their real needs…

Q.Comparing before and after the internship, what effects did it have on you, your employees, or your organization?
Thanks in part to our intern’s personality, our staff soon lost their initial self-consciousness about interacting with foreigners, which was one of our goals starting out. Happily, the English classes we held also helped the staff overcome their insecurity about speaking a foreign language. She also performed interviews while serving foreign tour operators and tour members who actually came to our restaurant. In addition to asking the foreign tour operators about how they came to know about our restaurant and for concrete advice about attracting guests and improvements that could be made, she also surveyed the tour members about their meal preferences. She did everything through English, which allowed us to identify the real needs to our foreign guests, and made us realize how essential it is to have foreign staff when doing business with foreign guests. In the future we would like to continue to build relationships with travel agencies that do business overseas and to continue refining our menu for foreign guests, and to that end I want to employ more staff from other countries.


From the Interns

I liked the company president’s way of working and ideas, and enjoyed my work every day. It felt more like a place to learn than an office!

Q.What did you get out of the internship?
It was my first time to work for a Japanese company, and since I was working with foreign guests I often had to think things through and take action on my own, so I did make some mistakes. Whenever I faced a problem, the company president would give me advice to help me resolve it on my own. I learned effective strategies, such as solving problems by carefully following the Japanese business principal of “hou-ren-sou” (literally, “reporting, informing, and consulting”). In the course of my work, I was also surprised at how the staff would share ideas about how to achieve their goals for the next quarter. In Thailand I had never been able to come up with my own goals and work toward them independently, but I would like to apply the experience I have gained through this internship to do so in the future.

From the Interns


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Host companiesNaganuma Works Inc.

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InternsRozihan Izmi Bin Zainul Rashid

Malaysia/University of Toyama, Mechanical Intellectual Systems Engineering

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KS Partners Inc.

Host companiesKS Partners Inc.

Osaka/IT Service/EC Website Creation and Operation

InternsLe Thi Dieu Thao

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SAKURA Community Service Corporation Co., Ltd.

Host companiesSAKURA Community Service Corporation Co., Ltd.

Hokkaido/Nursing Care Service

InternsMuhammad Harrtyan

Indonesia/University of Indonesia, Economics

InternsDien Thi Ngoc Linh

Vietnam/Viet Nam/Ho Chi Minh City University of Law, Business Administration

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Assign Co., Ltd.

Host companiesAssign Co., Ltd.

Ibaraki/IT Services

InternsBui Thu Thao

Vietnam/University of Languages and International Studies (ULIS), Japanses

InternsMohamed Sabtu Noraiman

Malaysia Universiti Teknologi Malaysia Melaka, Software Development

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