OIST-Hitotsubashi Internship Program 2023 | A Nexus of Science, Business and Culture

Topics: Life at Hitotsubashi ICS, Why Hitotsubashi ICS, Student Voice, MBA Program, MBA in Japan, Internship

Posted by Qianyi Ye on Aug 28, 2023 10:39:08 AM
Qianyi Ye

Qianyi Ye, a 2-year MBA Program student from the Class of 2022, shares her recent internship experience in this edition of Byline ICS. The internship program was jointly run by Hitotsubashi ICS and the Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology (OIST). In the article, she discusses how she leveraged both her current MBA learnings and her professional experience.


A Nexus of Science, Business, and Culture

Spending time at the Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology (OIST) has been a transformative experience in my life. Nestled in the heart of the serene Okinawa, OIST is not just a hub of scientific prowess, but also a melting pot of ideas, cultures, and possibilities.


Qianyi Ye (center) is joined by her ICS classmates Lawrenz Alvarez and Jonathan Li Chun (to Qianyi's left), along with the OIST team


Conversations that Bridged Science and Commerce

Walking through the corridors of OIST, every conversation was a dive into the intricate world of scientific discovery. I had the privilege to converse with scientists who are at the forefront of research. What struck me most was their burning desire to see their discoveries move from the confines of their labs to the real world, making a tangible impact. The challenge, as many admitted, was bridging the gap from research results to commercial products. Here, I found common ground with researchers, and together, we brainstormed how to bring their scientific outcomes into the marketplace, providing solutions for pressing global challenges.

As a selected intern, I joined the Sage Sentinel team and worked directly under the guidance of its founder and CEO, Dr. Khash Misaghian. Sage Sentinel is not just any startup; it’s a beacon of hope for our aging population. Focused on preventing falls among the elderly, this enterprise harnesses the power of AI, drawing inspiration from how our brains process visual cues. The primary goal? To foster safer, more independent lives for our seniors. The vibrant OIST campus offered much more than just research and work. My interactions at OIST not only expanded my scientific perspective but also underlined the vital link between pioneering research and its societal impact.


Qianyi poses with Khash Misaghian, Founder & CEO, Sage Sentinel


The Many Faces of Go-to-Market Strategy

One of the most enlightening aspects of my time at OIST was understanding the multifaceted process of delivering a go-to-market strategy. The perspectives were varied - from researchers keen on showcasing their breakthroughs to investors gauging commercial viability. Every conversation was a lesson, highlighting the various facets that come into play, from the depth of scientific validation to the intricacies of business dynamics. Recognizing the different stakeholder viewpoints and molding a strategy that satisfies each was indeed a learning curve. But it was a curve that I was more than willing to navigate, gleaning insights that would shape my project's approach to new market potentials.

OIST innovation

OIST Innovation - The technology development and commercialization hub at OIST


Okinawa: A Land of Beauty, Culture, and Resilience

Outside the campus, Okinawa greeted me with its rich cultural tapestry. From museums that echoed tales of ancient dynasties to beaches that offered tranquility, Okinawa was an experience in itself. The sunrises, especially, were ethereal. Standing on the shores, watching the first rays of the sun shimmer over the horizon, I felt rejuvenated, ready to take on another day of learning and exploration. But nature had other plans too. I faced my very first typhoon in Okinawa. It was a daunting experience, but the resilience of the local community and the unparalleled support from the OIST staff ensured our safety and comfort. It was a testament to the indomitable spirit of Okinawa and the bond of humanity that binds us all.

OIST Internship Okinawa Life
Sunrise and sunset in Okinawa, captured by Qianyi

Overall, my time at OIST was more than just an academic or professional stint. It was a journey— a journey of knowledge, collaboration, cultural immersion, and personal growth. As I look back, I feel enriched, ready to apply my learnings and memories in the future.



Qianyi Ye

Born in China, Qianyi grew up painting and has studied art for over a decade. After obtaining a dual bachelor’s degree in Architecture and Philosophy from Arizona State University, Qianyi joined Wendell Burnette Architects [WBA] in 2011, where she worked on award-winning projects with various teams on a variety of scales, for both the public and private sectors from different parts of the world. She has expanded her knowledge in different design fields, from buildings to interiors, furniture, graphics, and exhibitions. Qianyi searches for the chance to engage her artistic senses with varying types of creative teams and opens to the opportunity to learn and live in the broader world of art and design. While pursuing her MBA degree at Hitotsubashi ICS, she has developed an interest in digital transformation as well as the ethics and methodology of AI application across many domains.



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