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Maiko Iizuka, an MSc Tourism Management graduate from Tokyo, tells us about her time at BU and where it has led…

I used to work for a travel agent in Tokyo before coming to BU. By working at a travel agent, I got interested in studying Tourism Management and Marketing at university, so that I could change my career. BU was an ideal place for me as it offered a Tourism Management course, and had a good academic reputation worldwide. In Japan, studying Tourism Management is not very popular, so I couldn’t find a suitable course in Tokyo. Also, England was my second home – I used to study at the University of Sheffield when I was an undergraduate as an exchange student from Tokyo. It was a bonus for me to study in a familiar environment.

Maiko

The course was well organised from tourism management and marketing to business strategy and work placement. I especially enjoyed my dissertation with my supervisor. My dissertation topic was ‘the relationship between beer festivals and breweries in the UK.’ I did lots of field work such as interviews and participant-observations in different locations, and met lots of interesting people. Through field work, I learned not only how to write academic papers and research skills but also about English culture and people.

Academic staff were very understanding, and in particular I had a good relationship with my dissertation supervisor, programme leader and administrator.  Actually I had lots of problems, but could sort them out thanks to their help. And they always encouraged and advised me very well when I faced problems.

I am now working in inbound tourism at a travel agent in Tokyo – it is the largest travel agent in Japan! As I am interested in being a researcher in the tourism industry, I am also engaged in the Japanese academic community. I did a presentation about my BU dissertation at the Association of Japanese Geographers in March, and am joining in a new project, where I will be one of the authors on a Japanese Geography paper. I have been asked to write about beer tourism in Japan! I have just started my research, which is why I am still working with Phil (my dissertation supervisor), and it is my pleasure to promote BU in the Japanese academic community!