On this Byline ICS edition, we sat down with Executive MBA alumnus, Katsuki Sakai (Kaz), who graduated with the first batch of our EMBA program in 2018. In this short interview, Kaz shared with us the key changes he sees in him after graduating from Hitotsubashi ICS’ EMBA program:
The Japanese Culture Course at Hitotsubashi ICS takes students on a 6-week journey from ancient/traditional Japanese culture to modern-day Japanese pop culture, each course under a concept such as 和(Wa Harmony, ), 神仏(Shimbutsu Gods and Buddhas), 節(Setsu Milestones and Transitions), 礼(Rei Manners, Appreciation, Courtesy), 粋(Iki Chic, Cool, etc.), and かわいい(Kawaii Cute, Adorable, Imperfect,etc.) Course instructors Motoko Kimura and Mina Nishisaka from WaNavi Japan take students outside the classroom each week to allow students to use their five senses and to discover Japanese culture in a holistic way.
- Risk and Return, there is a positive correlation between risk and return, so the bigger the potential of return, the higher the risk you must undertake. You have all gone through a very tough program, so you are now prepared to take big risk, so go ahead and take on your next challenge, as the biggest risk is not taking any risk. These were Professor Tomonori Ito’s send-off message to the Hitotsubashi ICS graduates.
Deciding where to do an MBA involves a large number of variables, like any other life-changing decision. If you are on the fence, trying to weigh the financial investment required and the opportunity cost versus the benefits of each program, consider these six reasons to join Hitotsubashi ICS, Japan’s #1 MBA program (2019 QS Rankings).
Last month, we sat down with Vivek Kovilakathu, one of our alumni, to talk about his experience working in Japan as a foreigner. We learned about some of the challenges but also the benefits of working as an international professional in a Japanese company. Here are the highlights of our conversation:
As a person born and raised in the West, I get asked this question a lot – usually within 5 minutes of a conversation starting. Why, with the multitude of prestigious business schools in Europe and across the pond in the US, have I flown half way across the world to a place where the concept of an MBA is merely starting to find its feet? I take a deep breath and begin my usual talk of bridging cultures, of enjoying life in Japan, of the fact that Japan is a case worth studying both in the present and historically. As the list begins to whittle down, I hit the unavoidable wall, and my eyes start to shift nervously. Should I tell them? Should I tell them the real reason? After a brief pause, the words inevitably escape my lips: “I was also brought up watching Anime and reading Manga.” This is usually met with great enthusiasm, and a bond of mutual appreciation for the art is formed. Why was I even so hesitant in the first place?
I, like many people around the world who are infatuated with Japan, was first exposed to the country and its culture through the medium of Anime and Manga. For some it was something they picked up and left behind, but for others it has followed them throughout their lives: watching Nobita causing mischief with Doraemon’s gadgets as a kid, hot-blooded battles between alien super-warriors as a teenager and appreciating the delicate storytelling of a Ghibli film as an adult. It would be difficult to find any foreigner in Japan who hasn’t had any contact with it whatsoever. While it is a stretch to say that this was the main reason I embarked on my journey at Hitotsubashi ICS, it certainly led me down this path, and one of the first things I made sure to do was to be completely open about it.