Tell us about your experiences in GLOBIS's MBA program
We had perhaps the most diverse class in the history of GLOBIS University with 28 students from 16 or 17 different countries. Our diversity presented both challenges and opportunities.
The level and diversity of our professional career experience allowed us to share insights that were invaluable to the learning experience. We discussed cases from a variety of perspectives that reflected our extensive professional experience as well as our different cultural norms and expectations in business. Our class presented consistent challenges to the GLOBIS professors and staff, since we had unique expectations of the educational environment. I also personally challenged the GLOBIS team to continuously improve to become the best version of themselves so that they could excel as an international academic institution. A variety of approaches to learning and to social integration were needed to keep everyone on the same page.
We had some very bright students in our class who taught everyone something. We relied on each other for various areas of expertise. We even taught the professors and staff things. Our basic approach was to get the most out of each class and each professor by paying attention to the lessons and challenging them with tough questions. This two-way flow of information and ideas created a dynamic environment that is the hallmark of diversity and good communication. When leveraged properly, we had extremely successful classes, group meetings, study sessions, and fun "getting to know you" outings.
I was elected as the class president. I encouraged cooperation and unity between the classmates to help create the best possible learning and social experience. My wife and I invested substantial time and resources into fostering class unity and a sense of community in a foreign country, and in instilling respect for diversity through leading by example. I formed relationships with my classmates that will certainly last a lifetime. I still keep in regular contact with several of them and have met up with a few in Japan, the U.K., and the U.S.
My classes experience was not a "walk in the park." We had many conflicts and disagreements. But we developed an overarching sense of respect for others. We valued this opportunity to study for an MBA and grow as professionals.
We also had some great professors and very supportive GLOBIS staff who helped us adjust to a new environment and provide a positive educational experience.
What would you like to tell people who are considering studying at GLOBIS?
Always have a clear picture of your own personal goals, especially why you want to move to Japan and study for an MBA.
There are things that GLOBIS can do to help you develop as a professional, and there are things that GLOBIS cannot do. GLOBIS can help you to hone your business skills and mindset and help you to focus on what you are passionate about in life, like your professional career and entrepreneurial spirit. However, GLOBIS cannot tell you what you are passionate about or stimulate your motivation to pursue it. That passion and motivation must come from within.
Japan is a really nice country in many ways, but there are many nice countries. However, if your goal is to stay in Japan post-MBA, then start planning on how you will achieve that right now (i.e., getting a job, a work visa, etc.). Permanently relocating to Japan is far from easy. As the standard English MBA program is only for one busy year, you need to focus on your career plan right now (i.e., before you even arrive in Japan for the MBA program); take it from me as someone who came for the MBA in 2013, left without a job at the end of 2014, and moved back a year and a half later. If you do not speak Japanese, it is really important to become fluent in Japanese as soon as possible. It will open far more opportunities here in Japan.
Do not sit back passively in class and simply accept the information you are given by your professors. An important aspect of every learning experience is to challenge the teacher, grasshopper!
Respect your culture. Respect others' cultures.