Deciding to get an MBA requires careful weighing of multiple, often competing, factors: time, money, career stage, personal and family needs, not to mention post-MBA goals. The Hitotsubashi ICS MBA eases the stress of this balancing act by offering a fully customizable second year that gives students enrolled in its Two-year Program the flexibility to tailor an experience perfectly fitted to personal and professional goals. Two-year Program students can select from a wide range of interactive, immersive activities designed to stretch, challenge and inspire.
The job search results of the August 2019 graduates from Hitotsubashi ICS are just in. We sat down with Kazue Sasaki, the career services director, who shared with us the preliminary results of those graduating last summer, who have already started the next stage of their career in Japan.
“A little over a decade ago, I decided to do something “new” after work. Something that at the time seem ordinary or irrelevant, but that changed the track of my life path forever".
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.
- 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.
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 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.
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.