GLOBIS MBA TOP Careers & Alumni Alumni Interviews Carla Manantan
What made you decide to pursue an MBA?
I realized that, in order for my business to grow, I had to strengthen my own capabilities. I attended an information session in Manila where GLOBIS President Yoshito Hori came to speak to potential students. He discussed kokorozashi, a unique concept to Japan and GLOBIS. I have always been driven by purpose, and I felt right away that this school would be a great match for me.
When COVID-19 hit, did you doubt your decision? Why did you still push through with your plans?
Even with the COVID-19 pandemic, I did not doubt my decision. There were delays and obstacles, but these made my eagerness to come to Japan even stronger. The full-time cohorts’ start dates changed, and we shifted to an online format for the first half of our studies. I considered this a part of our leadership training. After all, leaders often have to navigate uncertainty.
How did your career in Japan start after graduating from the GLOBIS Full-time MBA?
I currently work at SATO Holdings Corporation. We are in the automatic identification and data capture industry and have a presence in 27 countries. I work in the Global Marketing Division at headquarters, and my roles include marketing and branding education, market research, and communications. I found this job through the GLOBIS internship program during my MBA, and I was fortunate enough to receive an offer after the internship.
What are some positive changes you’ve seen in your professional career or personal life after graduating from GLOBIS? How did GLOBIS help you achieve those changes?
The GLOBIS MBA talks a lot about entrepreneurial spirit. We studied founders who never gave up and turned their companies into successes. I feel I made a great decision by applying to GLOBIS, and a big reason was because it fostered my entrepreneurial spirit.
From running my own business to acquiring an MBA degree and shifting into the corporate world with SATO, I found that my mindset changed. Equipped with foundational business skills and an entrepreneurial spirit, I became confident that I could bring different perspectives to SATO and contribute to my team.
Working in the Marketing Department, where the role of marketing is constantly changing along with consumer behavior, I bear in mind the words of my strategy lecturer, Dr. Jorge Calvo: “If you don’t adapt to change, it is your sure passport to death.” How is that for an eye opener? Moving forward with my professional career, I want to continue what GLOBIS has fueled within me, which is the will to become a visionary leader who creates and innovates societies.
What were your favorite memories as a student?
My favorite memories as a student are the bonds I shared with my classmates. I deeply admire each of them because we began our journey amidst COVID-19. The uncertainty and delays in obtaining our student visas, as well as changes made to our class style (from online to on campus and back to online) were challenging for all of us. Since I was the class president, my main role was maintaining class morale with positivity and a sense of humor.
One of my strongest memories from the MBA itself is from the Venture Planning course. We created a business called “OneGai,” an on-demand errand runner to help busy professionals save time. We thought we had pitched our project well, but ended up receiving a 0 from one of the judge professors! They marked off points due to a lack of product-market fit. This was a great learning experience, and we had an absolute blast laughing it off afterward.
While timing my MBA during COVID-19 wasn’t exactly optimal, we were able to make the most of the experience and create memorable moments.
What is your advice for potential applicants considering an MBA?
If you are looking for a sign, this is it. Just two months into the MBA program, after taking only the Essentials classes in accounting, finance, and marketing and strategy, I felt I had already grown considerably. An MBA truly broadens your perspective.
Focus on the big picture and what you want to gain from an MBA program. The amount of work can be overwhelming, so you must manage your time well and prioritize. Most of all, enjoy every moment because the experience goes by quickly!