Interested to know what careers do alumni take after the MBA program at Hitotsubashi ICS? Then take a peek at the Alumni Talk Session held online on Saturday, June 27! We welcomed three alumni panelists:
As director of Hitotsubashi ICS Career Services, I take a lot of questions from prospective MBA candidates. Two of the most frequent are “Can I do any internships during my MBA in Japan?” and “Does Hitotsubashi ICS help me to find internships?” My answer to both is “Absolutely”. Actually, Hitotsubashi ICS Career Services works hard to help students find good internship opportunities. We believe that internships are the best way to gain on-the-ground knowledge/experience and to strengthen a CV before the post-MBA job search.
Japan, one the most homogeneous countries in the world, had historically been unwilling to accept foreign workers. Until very recently, Japanese companies were even rather reluctant to hire foreign professionals.
Last month, we had the chance to interview alumna, Anna Lemeshkina, who shared with us her MBA journey, the impact it had in both professional and personal level, and the skills that were and still are key to her successful career development in marketing.
Kazue Sasaki, the Career Services Director at Hitotsubashi ICS supports students who want to advance their career in Japan. With her wide connections to the real world and detailed consulting, she has supported many ICS students apply the skills acquired at ICS to the real world. We sat down with her to learn about her approach as Career Service Director.
I would like to share some slightly different perspectives; some of which are becoming ever more common amongst business minds and others that I believe need to be rapidly adopted by future business leaders, both in Japan and globally. While I hold no delusions that my career path is singularly unique; my background, my experiences, and my journey remain intrinsically tied to me and give me a unique view that I would like to share. I began my career as an investment banker on Wall Street but left it behind for an opportunity to work in development in Sub-Saharan Africa and subsequently in the U.S. Following which, I joined Yale School of Management as an MBA student and most recently Hitotsubashi ICS as an exchange student. During my time in Japan both as an ICS student and as a Tokyo resident, I’ve been able to add another perspective by contrasting the challenges of a stagnating Japan with the opportunities of a rising Sub-Saharan Africa. However, I know that my world view and my form of development is still incomplete. After completing my MBA, I will continue to build my social enterprise and begin my master’s degree in public policy.
I think there is a misconception that development is somehow concessionary work or a sacrifice, but nothing could be further than the truth. I left Wall Street and strove to work in this field because its ambitions far exceed the corporate goals of profit and growth for stakeholders. Development aims to solve global challenges, build nations, raise humanity to our best levels, and ultimately bring us closer together. I feel grateful every single day that I’ve been given the opportunity to break free from corporate shackles and move on to a larger stage. My journey began the day I walked into my managing director’s office at Barclays and formalized my resignation. After leaving New York City, I packed my bags and moved across the world to Namibia to be a U.S. Peace Corps volunteer.
I graduated from ICS in August 2014, and for the past four years and a half change has been an integral part of my life. I got married, moved internationally three times, had to battle severe illness and shifted my career from management consulting and business analysis to entrepreneurship. Through all this change, some principles I acquired at ICS have been of great help.