Meet IE’s MBA Class of 2017


Yuri Nakatani

IE Business School

Describe yourself in 15 words or less:  Japanese CPA and audited financial industry and engaged in financial planning in healthcare industry.

Hometown:  Kobe, Japan

Fun Fact About Yourself: Curious about other cultures: active correspondence with friends in Finland, Italy, etc. since junior high school

Undergraduate School and Major: Bachelor of Administration, Ritsumeikan University, Kyoto, Japan

Employers and Job Titles Since Graduation:

 October2012-June2016: Quintiles Transnational Japan K.K. (Financial Analyst)

March 2008- October 2012: Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu LLC, Tokyo office (Staff in financial auditing team)

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: Upon my start at an accounting firm in 2008, the financial crisis occurred and many Japanese companies’ results began to deteriorate thanks to the recession. I saw many firings and restructures amongst my clients and within my own firm. Because of this experience, I tried to find more efficient and effective ways to work. I led the audit team by creating and sharing a concrete plan in advance with team members and clients. Finally, I streamlined auditing revenue procedures and reduced auditing time. I then moved on to another company, and successfully introduced effective and efficient ways of analyzing figures, setting budgets, and establishing other practical procedures for each operation in two departments – and achieved more than 10% annual growth in both departments.

Looking back on your experience, what advice would you give to future business school applicants? I have only studied English in standard Japanese schools so, in my case, I’m not as good at English as I’d like to be. Thus, I had a hard time to get the requirement score in the English examination. However, there are several kinds of English tests that can be used in IE admission, so I recommend candidates to find the most suitable test for them. In addition, it’s important to keep one’s motivation high, particularly when faced with challenges and the prospect of studying abroad for the first time. So, to help, I suggest applicants get in touch with other candidates and as well as already enrolled students to share experiences. Networking with associates can also lead to a better understanding of your personal reasons and purposes for wanting to go to business school.

What led you to choose this program for your full-time MBA? Generally speaking, Japan lacks female role models in management. But I do think that, because of a labour shortage and the competition in the world, Japanese organizations endeavour to meet the need to increase diversity by helping female executives and increasing their foreign workers. I think that, to succeed as a leader in the future, it is important to be able to control conflicts among people who have different purposes and backgrounds. So, I was attracted by IE’s diversity: students come from 90 different countries study at the school. I’d like to learn how to lead global teams effectively and I think my fellow students (and their diversity) will help me do that. Furthermore, I want to understand different ways of thinking and studying abroad will help me do that, particularly as people and societies are becoming increasingly different from each other nowadays. In addition, I want to start my own venture in the future, so IE’s focus on entrepreneurship appeals to me and I was interested in its history as having been started by an entrepreneur.

Tell us about your dream job or dream employer at this point in your life? I want to contribute to the healthcare industry, particularly infertility treatments for people who cannot have children because of their age. Today, many developed countries suffer from the low rate of birth, especially in Japan where it is said that the population will drop from 130 million to 100 million in 2050 if the country’s low birth rate continues as it is. One of the main reasons for this issue is that working women don’t have enough time to get pregnant while pursuing their careers. When these women do decide it is the right time to have children, their age often makes it difficult. Many women spend a lot of time and money with painful infertility treatments, and even then the rate of success to get pregnant is still low. Many women, myself included, are concerned about this situation and face, or will soon face, a difficult choice between their career and having a baby. This is why I think it’s important to help women create flexible life plans through a better infertility treatment and system.

What would you like your business school peers to say about you after you graduate from this program? I would like it to be said that I contribute to teams and classes by adjusting and adding to the diversity of opinion. I also want to be known as someone who helps to create an atmosphere of openness, in which people can speak freely. I aim to be trusted by every classmate and hope to learn about different cultures and customs by getting along with my school peers. Moreover, I desire to be seen as a dreamer and curious person, and as someone who challenges the status quo in team activities, including projects and extracurricular activities. In addition, although I feel a certain decrease in the competitive power of Japanese companies, I hope to emphasize and embody the good points of Japanese business and culture, because there are many.

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