A summer internship with the Central Japan Railway Company (JR Central) is giving students incredible insights into one of the world’s leading high-speed-rail operators as well as the professional culture of Japan. The internship, developed by University of Wisconsin–Madison alumnus and JR Central Chairman Emeritus Yoshiyuki Kasai, allows two to three students to spend eight weeks in various roles with the company.
During the program, which is coordinated through UW–Madison’s International Internship Program, students rotate throughout the company, learning about vital units such as JR Central’s Marketing Division, Personnel Department, Business Promotion Division, and JRC Subsidiaries. In addition, they also get the rare opportunity for a behind-the-scenes look at facilities such as the general control center, a rolling stock workshop, and a Shinkansen driver cabin. Continue reading
UW-Madison student Kayla Lewis being interviewed just outside Narita International Airport, shortly after the group’s arrival. PHOTO COURTESY OF ADAM L. KERN
Late last semester, UW–Madison professor Adam L. Kern sent an urgent, cryptic email to four of his students.
He summoned them to his office early the next morning, promising something “potentially extremely interesting and important, if not possibly life-changing.”
“If you already have plans, please reschedule them,” he wrote. “And I would please ask that you not tell anyone about this, at least not for the time being!”
Jeff Chiqui, a freshman from Chicago, opened the email and thought: “I’m in big trouble.”
He wasn’t. Kern, a professor of Japanese literature and visual culture, had been chosen for an extensive profile on a popular prime-time television program in Japan. The show’s producers wanted Kern to pick four students to accompany him on a free, week-long trip to Japan.
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