“Passionate Samurai engaged in postwar reconstruction of Angola, traveled 50+ countries, celebrates differences and teamwork.”
Hometown: Tokyo, Japan
Fun Fact About Yourself: I was born on the same day, same month, same year with my wife.
Undergraduate School and Major: Keio University, International Politics and Japanese Diplomacy
Most Recent Employer and Job Title: Marubeni Corporation, CFO of the Angola Branch
Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: My biggest accomplishment so far was to be engaged in a reconstruction project of three textile plants in Angola, as a CFO of the local execution office of a Japanese Conglomerate, Marubeni Corporation. Angola used to be the top cotton producer in Africa, but most of the textile factories were destroyed during the war. Marubeni, my current employer, signed an EPC contract with the Angolan government in 2009 for the engineering, procurement and construction of their three biggest textile plants. The factories are constructed to international standards, kitted out with some of the best machinery in the world and locals are trained to operate it. What is probably most notable about the project, and what I was most passionate was the incredible sense of accomplishment, pride and self-confidence it has given the young people of Angola. They are proud being part of the rehabilitation of the factories, and more, they are passionate in the rehabilitation of their country.
What quality best describes the MBA classmates you’ve met so far and why? Passionate and open-minded. Many people might have the impression that MBA is a vocational school to learn how to win out in the competitive business world and achieve results. Of course, I think it is important to learn the business theories and learn how to implement the theories in the real world. However, the classmates I met have a bigger picture. They are very open-minded, willing to learn from different countries and cultures, as well as wanting to tell the worldwide classmates what they had experienced, sometimes failed, in their professional life. I am proud of already meeting such people, and so excited to the synergy that we can create through our coming IESE life.
Aside from your classmates, 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? The most attractive aspect of IESE is that IESE itself is always challenging for further growth. IESE has increased their student body, diversity, case methods, and as well expanded their campus globally in these few years. I feel the passion of IESE to spread good education to the world to make the world a better place. I simply wanted to join this ambitious IESE family and contribute to the further growth. And always, motivated people gathers to a motivated school.
What club or activity are you looking most forward to in business school? I am looking forward to join the “Africa Initiative” of IESE. The mission of this initiative is “Helping to develop sustainable business leadership in Africa in order to have a positive and lasting impact on African society.” This was also my ultimate mission that I had when I was engaged in the Angola project. I would like to know how the “excellent people” of the world think, analyze and act towards Africa to expand my insight of the continent.
What led you to pursue an MBA at this point in your career? During the Angola project, I faced unpredictable challenges in terms of a different legal system, management style, negotiation procedures, language, and culture. I met various professionals who already had an MBA, and I thought the best way to boost myself as a better leader was to pursue an MBA. IESE’s leadership development program and case studies will be a great opportunity and challenge to take me to the next step.
How did you decide if an MBA was worth the investment? I believe the most popular way to measure the return of investment of an MBA is to talk with the alumni. The alumni’s should be the representation of the quality of the MBA and if you feel respect, it shouldn’t be a bad decision. However, since there is no such same person or the same experience, it is more important that you have the passion to contribute and learn out of it.
What other MBA programs did you apply to? London Business School
How did you determine your fit at various schools?
1.Diversity; 2.Two-year program; 3. Intense class; 4. New language. I prioritized these elements because these will make the MBA life more challenging. I always try to choose the more challenging path and IESE program seemed thehighest mountain for me.
What was your defining moment and how did it shape who you are?
I went abroad alone for the first time when I was 18 years old. The place was a small village near Hanoi in Vietnam and I participated in an international volunteer camp. University students from various countries gathered, stayed together for about 2 weeks, discussed and drunk, and had a very stimulating experience. At that time my eyes opened up to the world. Since then, I decided to expose myself to the international stage.
What do you plan to do after you graduate? Including, but not limited, my post-MBA goal is to expand overseas business by partnering European companies in Marubeni Corporation.
Where do you see yourself in five years? Beyond any expectations.