SPRINGFIELD, Ohio — Wittenberg University is now among 11 schools in the United States, six in the United Kingdom and 21 in Canada, to partner with the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO), which promotes international internship programs in Japan for schools in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Canada. JETRO also plays an instrumental role in matching selected applicants with successful internships from a host of several companies in Japan.
Wittenberg associate professors of management, Wendy Gradwohl and Carol Young, visited Japan in the summer of 2003 thanks to a Freeman Foundation-sponsored grant, to represent the college to JETRO officials.
Gradwohl said she is excited about being part of a program geared at providing a chance for interested and capable students to apply their technical knowledge and language skills to actual work situations. “Wittenberg has a commitment to the East Asian department, and we want to expand our students’ interests in Asia and diversify their skills,” Gradwohl said.
Other benefits of being associated with JETRO are successful internships and stipends offered by host companies, networking, and future employment possibilities.
A pre-internship workshop for selected students will be conducted by top business executives from a consortium of schools in the United States. The workshop aims to help the students transition into the Japanese corporate culture. The Asia-Pacific Council is working with JETRO to obtain money to cover the students’ expenses associated with the workshop’s entry fees.
JETRO will accept applications only through program managers of its partner universities, and students will be allowed access to the application site only with a special ID and password. Gradwohl is the program manager at Wittenberg, and she will be screening applicants, conducting interviews and making recommendations.
“We hope to target more freshmen and underclassmen and identify potential candidates for the program and advise them on what courses would be beneficial to take, to promote the JETRO internship program,” Gradwohl said.
Plans include conducting workshops in collaboration with the East Asian Studies department in order to create “visibility of opportunity.” The goal is to help students match their interests with internship requirements.
Keeping in mind the growing popularity of courses in international business such as Japanese business and business Chinese language, the management department is also trying to create a new major that will marry the East Asian Studies and management departments.
Currently there are seven available concentrations within the management program at Wittenberg, including accounting, finance, operations, pre-law, marketing, human resources and international business. With the help of a faculty adviser a student can choose courses that concentrate on a unified purpose to explore an area of interest. Some recent inter-departmental majors include communications management, East Asian management and music management.
Call Wittenberg’s management department at (937) 327-7902 to learn more.
For more information about JETRO and to view Wittenberg on the JETRO map, visit www.jetro.go.jp and click partner universities.
Written by Arundati Dandapani '07, Office of University Communications intern
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