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Unprecedented business-student collaboration!
Development of a new app in his Internship placement

Ken Sakurai

“When you enter a time, this app identifies available time slots in the schedules of individual users, and proposes dates on which the largest number of users can join a gathering with fellow users. Besides this, it can also be used as an SNS, offering communication and image-sharing functions.” This is the outline of the scheduler app DAYMORE, which Recruit Lifestyle Co., Ltd. released this spring. The commercialization of this service has been carried out in a way unprecedented for the company; the framework of the project was developed by a project-oriented internship program that was implemented in 2012, and four students were selected from among the participants of the internship program to join the project members working on the development of the service. As one of the four members selected, Sakurai says that virtually everything was new to him.

Many different ideas being tossed around in a team brainstorming session discussing the planning of DAYMORE

“It was really difficult for different members to overcome disagreements and find common ground. This was true even with very minor details. For example, when we had to make a decision about a button, opinions were divided as to whether the top priority should be coherence of design or operability.”

Such heated discussions and negotiations between the members helped polish their ideas for the project. Sakurai in particular, who is bold and proactive, contributed a lot to stimulating their discussions.

“I always thought over in my head what would be logically right. So, whenever I wasn’t sure about why a particular decision was being made, I made it a rule to talk it out until I was fully convinced that it was the right choice. I talked things over like this not just with the project members only, but with the employees at the company as well.”

Sakurai really is a man of logic. When we asked him about this, he told us that his parents, who were both teachers, had strictly disciplined him to “think everything out very carefully.” This attitude is also reflected in how he has chosen his career path.

“I’d been thinking of following the same career path as my parents until my early teens, but after I started high school I got interested in learning about what was really happening out there in the world of business. Actually, I suppose it is especially important for people in a teaching role to find out about many different areas of society.”

So, he decided to study commerce in university, where he could develop the skills required to work in business. The reason that he chose Waseda University is that he liked it when he saw Waseda students actively enjoying the full range of events when he visited on an open campus day.

In the School of Commerce, he enrolled in a selection of courses, including business-related Open Courses. For Sakurai, the most interesting and inspiring one was an endowed course where alumni were invited from various fields of society as guest speakers.

“For example, there was the case of the confectionery company Lotte. I was really intrigued by the story about how they’d suggested the new idea for CHEWING GUM AT WORK and how existing products were re-released in new bottle-type containers.”

The more case studies on companies he did, the more his interest in business grew. This was when a graduate of the School of Commerce now working for Recruit Lifestyle invited him to join their internship program as a senior student. He applied for it without hesitation.

“I’d never expected to take on such a heavy workload during my last summer as a university student,” he laughs, “but the DAYMORE project has taught me how important it is for producers to really get into the services they’re working to develop.”

Sakurai is set to join Recruit Lifestyle next April. When we asked him where he saw himself in five years, his answer was: “I’d like to go down a path that will let my life surprise me when I look back on my past.” What goal awaits him at the end as he keeps on thinking through every phase of his life? Let’s look forward to his next step.

DAYMORE’s “Calendar” screen. Compatible with Android Version 2.3 and later and iOS Version 4.3 and later

“Talk” screen

The September graduation ceremony held at Okuma Auditorium on September 15, bringing back memories from the four years spent in Waseda

(Offered By:WASEDA WEEKLY)

Ken Sakurai
Graduated from the School of Commerce in September 2013

Originally from Niigata Prefecture, Ken Sakurai graduated from Nagaoka High School. He was a Student Council member as a junior high school student, and in high school acted as cheering squad leader at school sports days, and was also a planner for the school culture festival. As an undergraduate at university, he belonged to the “Waseda Snowball Fighting Association,” organizing matches and practice sessions.