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MBA in Japan : any recent feedback ?

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MBA in Japan : any recent feedback ? [#permalink]

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New post 20 Feb 2013, 09:13
I am planning to do my MBA in Japan for many different reasons, even though I am aware that it's not the best place to do it.

I've read the following threads in this forum :

TOP MBAs / EMBAs with strong network in Japan
Asian MBA in JAPAN
(it seems that I am not allowed to post the links, sorry about that)

and I understand and mostly agree with what is being said.

As the last comments in these threads were posted almost 2 years ago, I am looking for more recent information. I would like to know if anyone has any experience or story to share about doing a MBA in Japan, or if you heard anything from people who did it. I am currently hesitating between schools and I am looking for more recent feedback. Any piece of information is welcome !

Thanks in advance ! :)
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Re: MBA in Japan : any recent feedback ? [#permalink]

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New post 05 Jan 2015, 22:28
If you are looking to work in Japan or for a Japanese business expanding abroad - getting your MBA in Japan makes a lot of sense. In my opinion the best program and the most difficult to get into is Hitotsubashi's ICS. Hitotsubashi is basically the London School of Economics of Japan, the university has a long history of teaching commerce in Japan.

To understand ICS, take a look at the founder Hiro Takeuchi (Hitotsubashi Grad then became a Harvard MBA professor in the 1970's) - he basically transplanted Harvard's case study method of teaching business to Tokyo in 2000. The head finance professor - Tom Ito - is a Harvard MBA and just retired in 2012 as head of Investment Banking (for Japan) at UBS. The head marketing professor - Yoshi Fujikawa - is also a Harvard MBA and successful consultant. The Strategy professor - Ken Kusunoki - is a Hitotsubashi alum and a famous author on strategy in Japan (his books are top-sellers on Amazon JAPAN). I researched all of these schools but found the quality of the faculty at Hitotsubashi to be world class. Please check it out for yourself and look at the background info of the faculty.

I looked at IUJ and it's beautifully located in Niigata but you are very far from the action in Tokyo. Almost all of the jobs will be found in Tokyo so it helps to be in the city (also top talent for professors and guest lectures are largely in Tokyo).

Now if you want to work in Europe or the US you are better off getting an MBA there. That being said I know folks who have interviewed in Tokyo and were hired under the understanding that after a year in the Tokyo headquarters they would be sent to the U.S., Europe, etc to help run the business there.

As has been mentioned, Japanese is a huge plus. They have Japanese language classes at ICS but don't expect fluency within a year. Now - having said that - I also know several guys from India that spoke very limited Japanese and were hired into the Japanese IT and Pharma industry.

Good luck to you on your MBA journey!
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Re: MBA in Japan : any recent feedback ? [#permalink]

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New post 06 Jan 2015, 16:18
Thank you for your comment ! I already almost completed my MBA and started working in Japan, but the details you provided will certainly help people who are still unsure if they should try Japan or not !
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Re: MBA in Japan : any recent feedback ? [#permalink]

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New post 07 Sep 2015, 01:30
Hinotori:
What is the MBA in Japan you have chosen to go for? What is your view about it?
I am considering to study for a MBA in Japan. I am looking for the best executive (1year or so) MBA program in English. Any practical feedback and experience welcome!
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Re: MBA in Japan : any recent feedback ? [#permalink]

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New post 09 Sep 2015, 16:08
Oliber, I don't know if I can be of much help.

I completed my MBA at Waseda University and will officially graduate in a few days. Although they are aiming for a world-class MBA, I'm afraid they are not there yet. I've had some good classes and good professors, but many were not so good.

Most (98%) of my classmates were Asian students, and through them I learned that in their country Waseda University is highly considered. Therefore, for them, getting this MBA makes a lot of sense as it will improve greatly their career possibilities when they go back in their country.

I don't know where you are from and what are your future plans, but I doubt a Japanese MBA would be highly regarded in North America or in Europe. The reason I chose this one is because my objective is to work in Japan, and in Japan, the name Waseda is huge.

However, getting a job in Japan after an MBA is much harder that I thought. I've been doing job hunting for a few months already, both Japanese style and Western style, and I realize that traditional Japanese companies don't really know what an MBA is and don't really care about it.

There are two official ways to apply for a job in Japan : apply as a new graduate or apply as mid-career. I quickly understood that if you have work experience and are over 30, you can forget about new graduate offers. Mid-career is tricky as most companies are looking with someone with the exact experience they are requiring - basically you need to have done the job before.

I am over 30, my work experience is all over the place, so you can guess where this is going... really, really difficult.

University professors and recruiters can help, but you need to meet the right people at the right time.

You say you are looking for an executive MBA, so I guess you have relevant experience, and mid-career job hunting could work for you.

Well, I got away from the question... regarding the school, it really depends what your plans are. As someone said before, Hitotsubashi has a good reputation. (although the reputation is not as strong as Waseda - but remember that reputation does not equal quality) A friend of mine just started his MBA in Rikkyo University. I can ask him for some feedback if you'd like.

Anyway, give me more details if you want and I'll try to give you as much information as I can.
Re: MBA in Japan : any recent feedback ?   [#permalink] 09 Sep 2015, 16:08
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