Alex Montoya

Alex Montoya

Home country:
Colombia
Industry Background:
Luxury Traveling and Photography

Why did you decide to do an MBA at GLOBIS?

Alex talkingAfter having the opportunity to engage in international businesses for some years I realized I needed to develop my skills to the highest level in order to manage a large-scale global business whether as an employee for a multinational organization or as a successful entrepreneur.

I really enjoy learning; I am extremely curious and passionate about education. I was myself a university graduate lecturer and academic researcher and so I can tell there are many misunderstandings regarding learning and curriculum, especially in business education. I studied in detail the content, kind of lecturers, career services, administrative staff and methodology when choosing my MBA School.

I found GLOBIS a well-structured school with professional and amicable personnel. All the lecturers have a strong professional background (this makes a big difference in business education!), the classes are conducted by case studies (more constructive learning than reading theory and taking tests), the grading is based on class group discussions and executive reports (exactly the same as what will happen in “real life” organizational practices), the career services team are kind and honest in their advice. I definitely understand why GLOBIS is the number one MBA School in Japan.

How is your typical day at GLOBIS?

Alex sittingMy day at GLOBIS starts with my daily “gossip” with Mutsumi-san or other administrative staff. There is always someone waiting for us in the room entrance and taking care of any concerns we have. I really like this kind and warm service, beginning the day with a smile and a little talk always makes me feel better.

The official schedule of classes is two sessions of three hours each with a lunch break of one hour. We have discussions in different teams and the final wrap up and conclusions from the lecturer. The lecturer level is good but I think I am benefiting a lot from personal and business experiences of my classmates. We are 31 students from 17 different countries and from diverse professional backgrounds.

How has GLOBIS changed the way you think?

Undeniably my business skills and critical thinking have increased after six months of classes, this is expected from any business school, I think. But what made the difference is the comprehensive approach of the curriculum. We have quantitative and qualitative subjects, hard skills such as financial and strategic competencies as well as soft and social skills. I see myself as a better human being, not only as a more “educated” professional.

How are you finding life in Japan?

I enjoy my life in Tokyo. Most of the time we are studying and preparing for classes but I have explored a little the country and I find it is an interesting place. I am not going to fall in the same repeated cliché of portraying Japan as sushi, karaoke and manga. Tokyo offers different entertainment opportunities and variety of food from international cuisine to typical Japanese. I have seen and enjoyed many sides of Tokyo, but there are two things which I sometimes struggle with: first the congestion in rush hour -- we get on the train like sardines in a can -- and secondly the lack of flexibility in some occasions.

What are your career plans? How is GLOBIS helping with them?

Alex standingAt the moment I am still exploring my employment options after graduation.

My case is a little different than my other classmates, I am studying the MBA program as full time for two years instead of one, and in that sense my experience differs from the others. I am complementing my MBA courses with creativity classes with another institution as well as taking Japanese lessons. I also must admit that I am more introverted and analytical. I usually take longer time than my classmates to read the cases and prepare the assignments. I enjoy reading additional materials. GLOBIS faculty discussed with me the specifics of my situation and suggested a special class curriculum that suited my schedule and personal objectives and we decided for me the two-year program was the best fit.

Student services in GLOBIS are extremely attentive and collaborative. I got excellent service since the very beginning. I started my application after joining one of the Dean’s presentations about the GLOBIS MBA in Bangkok (where I was living) and I came to Tokyo, exclusively to visit the campus and talk to some students.

When I was accepted, I came a couple of months earlier to study basic Japanese beforehand. Since my arrival GLOBIS staff invited me to social events to expand my network and make new friends. I only need to say that the GLOBIS teams are very qualified and they are doing their best to assist international students, they are always in good spirits assisting even in the most basic questions of daily life in Tokyo.

What advice would you give to people considering studying at GLOBIS?

Alex friendsI strongly advise potential candidates to get in contact with GLOBIS staff anytime they have questions regarding the MBA and living in Japan. They are the most reliable source of information and they will be available to recommend you to other sources in case the request is very specific and out of their range of expertise.

I guess one main concern is related to expenses, especially for foreign students. The cost of living in Japan is not cheap so I recommend to plan in advance, in that sense there are some ways to ease that burden. For example: some government grants and also the possibility to work part time. This option of working while doing the MBA is tough but I know some students did it in the past. It all comes down to your time management and discipline.

There is one thing I really want to say regarding the tuition. GLOBIS has a strong mission of contributing to society by developing future leaders. They offer scholarships to outstanding students. What I mean by this is that there are options to become a student at the biggest business school in Japan with financial support from GLOBIS itself and other sources. If the applicant feels limitations in monetary terms, there are options to ease that burden.

In a nutshell, I advise potential candidates first to be certain they are sure about taking the time and commitment to study an MBA. I will not lie, it is hard but it is also very exciting. If they decided to go for it then the next step is contacting the student services at GLOBIS and figuring out the options to make it happen.