Meet IE Business School’s MBA Class Of 2018

Kojiro Takayama 

IE Business School 

Describe yourself in 15 words or less: Born in Japan’s innovation center; motived to make a change in the world with science

Hometown: Tsukuba, Japan

Fun Fact About Yourself: I spent one-and-a-half years in Texas from when I was two years old. I went to a local nursery school, and most of my friends were Spanish speakers. I hope I still hold knowledge of Spanish in the back of my mind.

Undergraduate School and Major: Bachelor of Science in Biological Sciences, University of Tsukuba, Japan; Master of Public Health, Kyoto University, Japan

Employers and Job Titles Since Graduation:

Oct 2015 – present: QuintilesIMS (formerly IMS Health) Tokyo office, Consultant

Apr 2014 – Sep 2015: QuintilesIMS Tokyo office, Associate Consultant

Apr 2012 – Mar 2014: QuintilesIMS Tokyo office, Analyst

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: My biggest achievement is that I developed a new pharmaceutical marketing framework and implemented it to pharmaceutical companies.

In 2015, I led the “area marketing” consulting solution development and created a marketing framework that enables district sales managers to create a local marketing strategy for balancing social responsibility and corporate profits. My supervisor presented the framework at the company’s largest conference to 800 senior managers of pharmaceutical companies and got positive feedback from them. After the conference, we started marketing the new solution, and our effort resulted in contracts for area marketing consulting projects.

I am proud of this accomplishment not only because I contributed to our company’s revenue but also because I offered a new direction for marketing to the pharmaceutical industry in Japan.

Looking back on your experience, what one piece of advice would you give to future business school applicants? I strongly recommend that you visit each single school you have shortlisted. During my application process, I visited 9 top business schools: IE, INSEAD, Stanford, Haas, HBS, MIT Sloan, Wharton, Kellogg, and Booth. Each school has entirely different culture and atmosphere which you cannot feel from secondary information. After my long school-visit trip, my target-school (or dream-school) list drastically changed, and I decided not to apply to several schools because their cultures seemed not to fit with me. Of course, the city in which each school is located is also important. Especially, through the visit to IE, I fell in love with Madrid.

What was the key factor that led you to choose this program for your full-time MBA and why was it so important to you?  IE Business School’s focus on entrepreneurship and the high reputation in this field made me convinced that IE best prepares me to achieve my career goal. My lifetime professional goal is realizing the sustainable society where people can reach what they need to solve their health problems at an appropriate cost through investing in technology-based startups or founding such organizations. I have developed my strength in marketing and the healthcare industry knowledge through my consulting career. To move on to the next step, I decided to pursue management education to develop entrepreneurial management skills, as well as general management skills.

Since IE offers great opportunities, such as Start-Up Lab and Venture Lab, to develop entrepreneurial skills and to apply these skills in the real world, I decided to enroll in IE Business School. I am confident that this is the best decision I have ever made in my life.

What would success look like to you after your first year of business school?  In the short term, I want to find a job that leads me to achieve my long-term career goal of investing in and/or founding technology-based startups in the healthcare industry. Such jobs may include being a venture capitalist, management consultant, and leadership position in a healthcare company.

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