By Julia Andborn

For the Leadership course we emphasized persuasion strategies that are very useful in business. To become a good leader and persuade others you should show expertise and knowledge, find a common ground and create likeability, put in a lot of effort and time into tasks, and be friendly yet assertive. We learned more about these strategies during the executive sessions. For example, during one executive session Ben Foden from Nota Inc. talked about the company and how they managed to grow. Nota Inc. is a start-up tech company located in Japan and started in Silicon Valley. They focus on making it easier and faster to share ideas via their apps. Another speaker was Thomas Sommer from Sparkgate Entertainment, which is located in South Korea. They are a human-focused agency for performers. They have, for example, created a music video for BlackPink. Another executive session where we learned more about how to grow as a company and how to make it as a start-up was Michael Cluzel from Eatigo, which is an app for restaurant reservations throughout Asia. It was really fascinating to hear all their stories and to actually hear about success stories in the business and leadership world. I am really interested in entrepreneurship so these executive sessions really made the entire study abroad experience even better! 

It was also fun to see the differences between these companies and how they had to adapt to the business culture of the different countries they operated in. For example, Sparkgate Entertainment tried to combine the music industry of the West with South Korea. The music industry in the West, or the US, is more individual in general. Meaning that artists are allowed to do what they want outside of their music career and be freer with their image. While in South Korea it is more common for artists to be formed by their agencies and stick to that image throughout their career. Sparkgate Entertainment is then trying to bring these two strategies together and create a middle ground for their artists. I found this really interesting since that might make their music and artists reach out to a bigger and more varied crowd around the world. 

Hope you found this interesting to read. Talk to you next time! 

Julia Andborn participated in our virtual study abroad in Asia in Summer 2021.