Class of 2023, Project Operations Management
The Reason Why You Chose GSM
I majored in engineering as an undergraduate and aspire to contribute to the advancement of IT utilization in Japanese companies in the future. Despite their advanced IT technologies, Japanese companies have been criticized for lacking strategic perspectives on building businesses using these technologies. Based on this recognition of the current situation, I decided to pursue a graduate degree in business to acquire specialized knowledge about business in addition to my engineering background and become someone who can bridge the gap between IT and business.
I chose GSM from among many schools primarily because it offers a unique program that enables students to systematically learn about project management, which is an essential skill for conducting business using IT and aligns with my aforementioned goals.
What You Learned at GSM
In addition to gaining fundamental business knowledge, GSM placed a strong emphasis on project management techniques such as risk management and project finance. Through practical case studies and group discussions, I was able to develop a problem-solving mindset that can be applied to various real-world scenarios, rather than just memorizing theoretical concepts.
Moreover, GSM provided a wide range of courses that were taught in English, which allowed me to engage in discussions and presentations in an international setting with fellow students from the International MBA Program. This experience not only enhanced my English communication skills but also equipped me with the ability to apply the knowledge I gained at GSM in an English-speaking environment.
The Reason Why You Chose Your Career Plan
Among the various career options that could contribute to the advancement of IT utilization in Japanese companies, I chose to pursue a career as a digital consultant. As a digital consultant, I would assist client companies in implementing suitable IT systems to address their business challenges. I realized that this job requires not only expertise in IT but also a deep understanding of the client company's business, as well as a business perspective on how the integration of IT would affect the company's financials and management strategy. Thus, I believe that this career path would allow me to apply the extensive business knowledge and experience I acquired at GSM.
The opportunity to engage with students from diverse backgrounds at GSM had a significant impact on my career decision-making process. Specifically, I was inspired by the careers and values of my classmates who were actively involved in the IT field. I strongly believe that this exposure played a pivotal role in shaping my current career aspirations.
What Impressed You About GSM
One of my most memorable experiences at GSM was participating in a research workshop during my 2nd year. At GSM, students could voluntarily hold meetings to exchange opinions on each other's research, and the environment was designed to encourage students to advance their research while stimulating each other's work. This allowed me to conduct my research activities in a fulfilling manner while interacting with many people, even though research is often done in solitude.
Although I sometimes encountered obstacles during my research or had difficulty coming up with a coherent policy, my supervisor, Professor. Ryo Ejiri, was always available for careful consultation and gave me thought-provoking advice, which enabled me to proceed with my research. Despite the challenge of conducting research activities while completing daily class assignments, I was able to write a paper with content that I was satisfied with. Winning the award for best presentation in the program gave me great confidence and was a highlight of my academic journey at GSM.
Extracurricular Activities You Have Done
Outside of the classroom, I made two deliberate efforts: to deepen my understanding of what I had learned in college, and to broaden my own knowledge.
Regarding the former, I focused on accounting, statistics, and information management, and continued to study consistently to solidify my knowledge even after I had earned credits in my classes. Specifically, during spare time such as summer and spring breaks, I took certification exams related to accounting and statistics to maintain my motivation and continue my studies.
In regards to the latter, I actively pursued areas of personal interest, with a focus on design-related studies. Particularly, as a hobby, I created works in the field of generative art which uses programming to generate designs.
Message for Prospective Students
GSM admits students from diverse backgrounds. Some younger prospective students may be concerned about whether they will be able to keep up with discussions with people who have more practical experience. Before enrolling, I myself was concerned about whether I could contribute to discussions and group work. However, discussions and group work at GSM are conducted in a flat environment where everyone talks to each other as equals. My unique experience and opinions as a young person often proved helpful, and I believe I fully contributed to the class. If you have any concerns, I would encourage anyone who is even remotely interested to give it a try.
Finally, the student life at GSM offers many classes, curricula, and events that two years are far from enough time to enjoy them all under the "Freedom" school culture of Kyoto University. I believe that by taking the initiative to gain the knowledge and experience necessary for your career development through these diverse options, you can dramatically grow in your personal development.