Angela Li Zi Xin
Class of 2021, International Business Administration Program (i-BA)
The Reason Why You Chose GSM
Back in 2018, I was in Singapore working as an analyst and my company was having difficulties looking for a bilingual speaker in English and Japanese. That was when I realised that in recent years, there are a growing number of major Japanese companies who have moved their key business operations to Singapore but are facing an increasing shortage in bilingual talents. Despite persistent problems plaguing its growth, I believe that the Japanese economy remains resilient. I decided to pursue further studies in Japan to differentiate myself from my fellow peers and I found that Kyoto University, one of the top universities in Japan, offers a MBA course in English. The rest is history.
What You Learned at GSM
In my Bachelor’s program, I also studied business administration and I learnt many useful concepts from the Western schools of thought. In GSM, I was lucky to explore business management through the Japanese lens, which considerably widened my perspective. I believe that there is no right or wrong management style but only one that is the most suitable given the context. Armed with a multi-facet perspective to business management, I am confident that I am better prepared to face further uncertainties and challenges in my future career.
The Reason Why You Chose Your Career Plan
Working with Japanese business counterparts can be a daunting process for foreigners, whether in terms of the requirements of the language, uniqueness of business customs or other social norms. With the knowledge and expertise I have acquired through GSM, I hope to, one day, serve as a bridge between Japan and Singapore, helping businesses from both countries to flourish further.
What Impressed You About GSM
While I was in GSM, I am impressed by how some courses manage to construct the syllabus in a way that enable me to learn not only about the business concepts, but also heightened my appreciation for the Japanese culture. In one of the courses attended, I was offered a perspective on the uniqueness of the concept of innovation in the Japanese context, that has ensured sustainability and relevancy of many traditional businesses. It was an eye-opener because some businesses had roots tracing back to hundreds of years. During the semester, we had many fieldtrips including visits to a famous temple and I even made my very first Ikebana*! (*Japanese art of flower arrangement)
Extracurricular Activities You Have Done
I was lucky to become the teaching assistants for three of my professors across fields of Corporate Governance, Cross-Cultural Management, and Innovation Hospitality Management. Besides assisting professors in the administrative front, most importantly, doing so allowed me to continually hone my own knowledge by participating in discussions with the students. I have also been involved in several events introducing the Singapore culture to Japanese students, encouraging the young generation to step out of their comfort zones and engage actively with people of different cultures.
Message for Prospective Students
Kyoto was the former capital of Japan, and is known to many for its numerous temples and historic sites, etc. But it is also the cradle of innovative start-ups in the country. Against such a background, GSM congregates the best professors and students from all over the world, creating a conducive learning environment for students to pursue higher knowledge. Being open-minded will lead you to a world of adventures, so do not hesitate and explore what GSM has in store for you!