Multinational Groups of Students Issue Business Proposals to IHI Logistics for the Era of COVID-19 and Beyond


Dec 1, 2020

In the Global Management (Capstone) subject, a required subject for fourth-year College of International Management (APM) students, guest lecturers are invited from companies to discuss actual issues their companies face, and mixed teams of domestic and international students apply the management knowledge they have accumulated in the course of their studies to explore solutions to the issues raised. APM encourages systematic learning in its curriculum, and the Capstone serves as the culmination of four years of study.

This semester, APM held the class in cooperation with IHI Logistics & Machinery Corporation, a subsidiary of the heavy machinery manufacturer IHI Corporation. Although APU is holding all of its classes online, on October 22, Tsuyoshi Tsuchida, a member of the IHI Logistics & Machinery executive board and director of the General Purpose Machinery Unit, and his colleagues gave an online lecture for capstone students. He talked about how the company name was changed in 2007, the impact of COVID-19 on the logistics industry, and issues the company is expected to face going forward as the sector undergoes a major shift from heavy to light industry. He also gave a presentation on the two group discussion topics that were set for this semester's class: i) how will logistics change in the era of COVID-19 and beyond and ii) what shape should IHI’s logistics business take in the future. Regarding the latter topic, he said that he would welcome proposals from the students that, based on their research on the logistics industries in their home countries, outline measures for IHI's global expansion and how IHI should behave in a sustainable society. After the presentation, the students peppered Mr. Tsuchida and his colleagues with questions about several topics, including the impact on COVID-19 on the company’s business, and they responded to each question carefully.

For the remainder of the semester, students will attend lectures and workshops taught by the College of International Management faculty in charge of the capstone course as they seek to deepen their expert knowledge and plan their projects. They will apply the insights and skills they develop by way of APU’s trademark multicultural collaborative learning to their projects. Students have been divided into small groups, each composed of a mixture of Japanese and English-basis students from different countries and regions who are studying different specializations, and together they will think about how to apply what they have learned at APU since their first year to real-world situations. They will comprehensively research and analyze the company’s businesses as well as the issues it faces and the demands from society amid the COVID-19 pandemic, and at the end of the semester, they will present proposals to the company on the two questions of i) how will logistics change in the era of COVID-19 and beyond and ii) what shape should IHI’s logistics business take in the future.

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