Student Interviews: Darren Menabney

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Industry Background: 
Financial Services

Tell us about your experience in GLOBIS' MBA program

First of all, you will learn a lot and you will also be challenged a lot, but challenged in a positive way. The courses require intellectual effort, hard work, and some late nights, but they pay off in the form of a wealth of new skills and knowledge. The leadership courses will teach you a lot about yourself, some of it surprising, and you will learn what kind of a leader you can be.

Closely linked to those leadership courses is what really distinguishes the GLOBIS MBA program from other business schools -- the development of your personal mission statement, your kokorozashi. Through workshops, lectures, and most importantly through the feedback of my classmates and GLOBIS faculty, I was able to re-ignite my dormant passion for bridge-building and connecting people and organizations, and refine that into my personal mission statement.

However, what really mattered most during my two years at GLOBIS was people. One thing which struck me immediately was the quality of the teaching staff. Yes, they can explain things clearly and are technical experts, but what was key was that GLOBIS teachers are not just academics. They're experienced business professionals first, and that translates into a wealth of real-world experience to supplement the course material. The classes themselves are highly interactive with great discussions between the instructors and students, with the best instructors being more "facilitator" than "teacher."

That interaction would not be possible without the other vital part of the GLOBIS MBA -- the wonderful classmates. A great bunch of talented and truly global professionals. You will support each other, gently push each other when necessary, and share in the learning adventure. I have made so many great friends and developed many professional partnerships via the GLOBIS network. My classmates were a constant source of inspiration and motivation for me, and I hope I was able to support them on occasions.

How has the GLOBIS MBA helped you in your life and career?

The MBA helped me make a pretty significant career pivot. The skills, knowledge, and support networks I developed at GLOBIS allowed me to shift my career from the public sector in Canada to the private sector in Japan. That is not an easy jump to make, in fact it's several career pivots rolled into one, and it would have been a whole lot more difficult without my experiences at GLOBIS.

The GLOBIS experience has also helped me rediscover my volunteer spirit, which is not what you'd expect to hear about a business school. But doing good for society is a key part of the GLOBIS philosophy, and it motivated me to take part in volunteer trips to the tsunami-stricken areas in Tohoku which were organized by GLOBIS, KIBOW, and volunteer groups set up by other GLOBIS students. Meeting people whose lives and businesses had been so directly impacted by the March 11, 2011 earthquake and tsunami caused me to consider the role each of us can play in making the world a better place for others, and to take actions of my own to help.

The GLOBIS MBA also led me to develop an entrepreneurial streak I hadn't known existed, and an interest in business creation & innovation. That is part of another significant impact GLOBIS has had -- it has expanded my range of interests and opened up new areas of learning. One important lesson I have learned from my time in Japan and at GLOBIS is that unexpected opportunities are all around, and if you take the initiative and grab as many of those opportunities as possible, you never know where they'll take you.

What would you like to tell those who are considering studying at GLOBIS?

You'll meet lots of great people and make new lifelong friends and build professional partnerships. You will be exposed to a wealth of new concepts and be constantly challenged and stretched, but you will discover that you're capable of far more than you thought you were. Your horizons will be broadened and your limitations will be reduced. Best of all, you'll have a great time doing it!

If you live outside Japan, the opportunity to stay in Tokyo is something you can't afford to miss. Tokyo is an amazing place to live, with so much to offer. It's full of a buzz and energy which has been growing over the past few years since I arrived, and will only get stronger and stronger as we approach the 2020 Olympics. When you live in Tokyo, boredom is never a worry.

The GLOBIS Student Services Office is a great asset. They helped me with making my family's transition from Toronto to Tokyo and they will help you before your arrival, during your stay, and beyond as you begin your job search.

What are you waiting for? An MBA at GLOBIS is truly a life-changing experience!

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