Andersen Corporation Sales Director on Japanese Business Customs

Business degree students at Globe University-Woodbury welcomed guest speaker Michael Brown, Director of International Sales and Marketing at Andersen Corporation to share first-hand knowledge and experiences from the business world.

business management degreeBrown has worked with Andersen Corporation for more than 16 years where he manages direct sales projects in Japan, Australia, China, Taiwan, Korea, Thailand, Indonesia, India and the Philippines. Students recognized differences between how people in high and low-context cultures do business. Cultural differences relating to time, communication style, formality, individualism, and context were key areas of interest.

“I enjoyed learning about the business world of Japan,” said Kevin Bunnell, a student in the business management degree program at Globe University-Woodbury. “Having lived there for two years, it was fun to understand how the Japanese view business relationships and customs.”

Brown emphasized the importance of understanding specific cultural Japanese customs, such as the exchange of business cards, etiquette for negotiation, and gift giving.

Students were interested to learn about how Japanese formality and hierarchy are revealed through seating arrangements during a business meeting and how Andersen uses illustrations of cartoon characters to cater to Japanese preferences in instructions and brochures.

Cassandra Jessee-Horton, another Globe University business management program student, commented on how she never realized the exchange of a business card carried such important messages in both the American and Japanese business cultures.

The students also enjoyed learning more about how Andersen Corporation contributed to the recovery efforts in the aftermath of the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami.

“It was not only interesting to hear about Michael’s experiences, but it also helped bring the real world into a communications class,” said Dana Rossbach, Globe University-Woodbury student. “It made me realize how valuable our classes really are.”

By Brenna O’Connor