Country of origin: Japan
Management Consultant, Deloitte
After graduating with a BEng in Architecture, I pursued a career in construction management for six years before taking an MBA. Through projects in UAE and Japan, I became convinced that my career objective was to contribute to true globalisation for Japanese companies. However, having looked at my professional and academic background, I knew I needed to obtain management skills and knowledge to transform myself from an engineer into a global manager.
The Lancaster MBA was my choice for three reasons. Firstly, having worked in Dubai and gained research experience in Nairobi, Canberra and New Delhi during my undergraduate studies, I was looking for a UK business school in order to experience British culture. Secondly, the Lancaster MBA is one of the finest one-year MBA programmes in the world, enabling me to gain an MBA without too much strain on my budget or too long a gap in my career. And, importantly, the third reason was that the Lancaster MBA offers three consultancy projects during the year. For me, not being from a business background, these projects were beneficial in connecting my working experience, academic learning, and practical skills as a consultant.
What I liked about the MBA
Learning in action is the core competence of the Lancaster MBA. We learnt not only what strategy is and how to manage it, but also how to work as a consultant. In our consultancy projects we were guided by experienced mentors, including some lecturers from the Strategic Management module, and that enabled us to translate the learning in class smoothly into value for real clients. In this sense, the Lancaster MBA was a suitable place to achieve my objective.
The Lancaster MBA is well programmed. One example is the syndicate team system. The syndicate team was like a family of around seven students. We did some activities together, such as competitions and charity events, and supported each other in class and outside the school. The syndicate team made me feel at home – we understood each other and could settle down to our study in the new environment.
What to consider before applying
First of all, I highly recommend the Lancaster MBA. It is worth investing one year of your precious time. At the same time, you may realise that the only discipline required to manage the year is your motivation. In general, students with clear objectives are likely have a successful year.
Secondly, the Lancaster MBA includes a lot of groupwork. Students are required to manage their own working style. Each piece of groupwork can be an opportunity to learn and practise how to work in an intercultural team. If you work in a professional way, you will learn a lot from the MBA.
Another point to consider is your work experience. Having already reached a certain level in my career, I found that much of the academic content could be applied to real business cases. In other words, to maximise the learning outcomes you should have enough business experience to be able to reflect upon your study.
Since the MBA
After the MBA I stayed in Singapore, attending some seminars and conferences and meeting alumni. Looking at the dynamic growth taking place in Asia, I faced the importance of global HRM for Japanese firms. I believe I would not have realised that without the MBA.
After sincere discussions with the company I worked for, I decided to start a new career as a management consultant. I was not afraid to change my career. Through the Lancaster MBA, I gained real confidence to enjoy my career and life, no matter what they might be like. In May 2014, I will be starting a new role as a consultant in the Human Capital Unit at Deloitte Tohmatsu Consulting, where I will be working on global projects.
I am proof that the Lancaster MBA is a powerful experience for those who want innovation in their professional lives. It changes how one sees the world and one’s career.