Feb 22, 2018
Their final exams finished, a group of APU students dove into a special Destination and Brand Marketing course offered during this year’s winter session. Visiting from Cornell University’s Johnson Graduate School of Management, Mr. Yasuhiro Karakawa tasked students to form marketing strategies for Beppu’s Kannawa hot springs district. When discussing his goals for the class, Mr. Karakawa mentioned that “when it comes to creating new value, it doesn’t happen within the classroom. [Students] have to go out, they have to explore, they have to observe…they have to utilize their imagination.” Field study courses are a prime example of how APU students can apply their studies to solving real business problems.
Split into mixed teams of international and domestic students, groups met with local business owners to investigate consumer profiles and current marketing strategies. Groups returned to APU to formulate plans that would benefit not only individual businesses, but the Kannawa area as a destination brand.
On the last day of class, groups presented their ideas to a group of local stakeholders, followed by discussion of the area’s future. Onja, a 4th year student from Mongolia, reflected on her time in the course, saying “while still learning about brand marketing, I still got to learn about where I’ve been living for the last four years.” Although she is majoring in International Relations in the College of Asia Pacific Studies, she noted that “I might actually take more Hospitality [and Tourism] classes.” Regardless of academic concentration, APU students can shape their world even before graduation.