Career Experience Practicum

【Career Experience Practicum with a Major Healthcare Company】

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TIU utilizes its global industry partnerships to provide Career Experience Practicum courses that help students develop real-world business skills.

This semester (2022 Spring) TIU offered a practicum course with Otsuka Holdings Co., Ltd., a Japanese healthcare company that provides pharmaceutical and nutraceutical products to clients around the world. This course’s themes were about discovering issues that society has yet to address, and proposing programs Otsuka Holdings can implement to address these issues. Students enrolled in this course come from countries including Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, India, Bangladesh, Mongolia, Philippines, the Republic of the Congo, and Japan.

Representatives from global Otsuka Holdings offices conducted online lectures. Jeffery Gilbert in the United States introduced the company’s pharmaceutical products, and Kohei Oyamada in the Philippines introduced their nutraceutical products. Masoud Dara in Germany spoke about the company’s pharmaceutical products with a special emphasis on the treatment of tuberculosis. These presentations were followed by lively Q&A sessions. Keeping in mind what they learned from the lectures, students were divided into 6 groups to work on assigned tasks, with Jeffery providing each group valuable feedback and advice.

The team that won in the pharmaceuticals category proposed an app for mental healthcare, which has become an important topic in many countries including Japan. The app would periodically record the user’s mood and, using artificial intelligence, provide advice and start appropriate games or music while tracking changes in the user’s condition. The app would also provide access to counseling services and have a hotline for emergencies. The user can earn points by participating in workshops, which can be used to purchase Otsuka Holdings’ products. The group effectively explained why increased demand for such an app can be expected.

The team that won in the nutraceuticals category pitched a nutrition drink made with a kind of alga called spirogyra. Called ‘tao’ in Thailand and Laos, it is a traditional, highly nutritious food that is similar to Japanese nori, and is also used in soup. The drink can be consumed easily and would come in a stylish package, making it appealing to busy people. Consumers can improve their nutritional intake even more by eating Calorie Mate – one of Otsuka Holdings’ signature food products – while drinking the tao drink.

The groups were comprised of students of diverse nationalities and majors, and each member offered a unique perspective. They tackled problems through trial and error, producing truly excellent business ideas. Students had positive feedback for the course. One student commented: “It was a very valuable and collaborative experience. I learned so much that will definitely help me in the future.”

We congratulate our students on a job well done, and we thank Otsuka Holdings for their expert guidance!

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