Interview with Masami - Copenhagen Full-time MBA

"Two things that I find interesting in CBS Full-time MBA program are Leadership Discovery Process and A-board"

CBS MBA JapanF1GMAT: Tell us a little bit about yourself

Masami(CBS FT MBA): I am a 30 years old Japanese living in Copenhagen since 2007 and have been married to a wonderful Danish woman since 2010. I had been working in Denmark in a subsidiary of a Japanese electric manufacturing company as MD before the MBA program started.

I am experienced in managing a middle sized manufacturing company where employees from approximately 10 different nationalities work. I was actively involved with the management of human resource, supply chain, quality assurance and production control.

Currently, I am taking a one year full-time MBA program at Copenhagen Business School and spending tough, energy-consuming but meaningful and precious time with my lovely classmates.

F1GMAT: What motivated you to do an MBA and why Copenhagen Business School?

Masami(CBS FT MBA):  As a Managing Director in the organization, I have been involved with all the departments within the manufacturing industry. General management position was my first challenge for which I often used creative problem solving skills to handle issues in the organization.

Whilst these techniques have been proven successful, in many occasions, I realized that I would require significant effort to build a wider range of Business skills that would make me an ideal business leader.

For this reason, I started to think about taking an MBA program. As I have been living in Denmark and knew about CBS MBA program, it was natural for me to contact CBS to learn more about its MBA programs.

Initially, I was skeptical about joining a Full-time MBA program but after attending an actual class, I was convinced that CBS Full-time MBA was for me. I was impressed that there were a lot of different nationalities in the class with varying educational and professional backgrounds. 

Even though the class is organized with relatively small number of students (around 45 people every year), I felt that such an environment was conducive to students sharing their experience and expertise, thus expanding each participant's knowledge. With the diversity and size of the class, I was confident that I could develop close friendship and receive lifelong professional support from them.

F1GMAT:  What are some of the classes and activities in CBS MBA that you have found interesting and valuable?

Masami(CBS FT MBA): It has just been 3 months since the program started so I am sure more and more activities will come later but activities that I find very interesting so far are Leadership Discovery Process and A-board.

Leadership Discovery Process (LDP) is a unique course in CBS full time MBA program, which is rarely seen in other MBA programs. LDP is not about developing business skills such as accounting, marketing, or economics theories but about understanding yourself, recognizing your true leadership style, appreciating the differences in others and enhancing your ability to work with others in a high-performing team. We sometimes go out from Copenhagen area and practice on building our leaderships skills. I can feel that I am more aware of myself after several sessions and look forward to further discoveries.

A-board is part of innovation & entrepreneurship program. A group consisting of 3-4 members collaborates with start-ups in Denmark and try to help them solve their existing problems and further develop their business. There are various opportunities to apply the techniques we learn not only from innovation & entrepreneurship courses but also through other courses.

F1GMAT: What advice would you give to aspiring MBA candidates?

Masami(CBS FT MBA): Before you decide to take up the challenge of on MBA, I recommend visiting some schools you are interested in at least once and attend an actual class, talk to students and should feel in your guts that the program is right for you. Some school brochures and MBA rankings would attract you but don’t shortlist a Business School unless you have experienced the learning environment by yourself.

There might be time and location constraint to actually visit the school. In my case, I was lucky to be living in Copenhagen but the investment in terms of time and money needed for an MBA is huge thus make sure that you visit the school and you are convinced that you are a good fit for the program.

There is a Japanese proverb ''A picture is worth a thousand words."

F1GMAT: Is an MBA worth the investment?

Masami(CBS FT MBA): I am currently studying in an environment where 23 different nationalities study in one classroom. The youngest is in his mid-20s and the oldest is near 50. Some are business consultants, some are lawyers, some are engineers, and some are running own business. Such diverse members are debating in class, co-operating in activities, and hanging out in weekends. I believe there is no better environment that challenges me and allow me to grow than CBS. However, I believe it is all up to me to make this program valuable. From the day the program has started, I am always asking myself these 5 questions.

'' What do I want to know today?''
'' What did I learn today?''
'' What should I do to go further?''
'' How can I use this in my future?'' and
“Am I getting closer to who I want to be?''

The topics that an MBA program covers is quite broad and the program goes at a rapid pace, therefore if you do not know what you aiming at or what you are trying to get from the program, probably you would be lost in the middle of the journey.  Whether an MBA program is worth the investment or not depends on the clarity of your goals. Can you align yourself to go on the right track?

About Masami Kanaguri

CBS MBA JapanMasami is a 30 years old Japanese student who is currently taking a Full-time MBA program in Copenhagen Business School. He moved from Tokyo to Copenhagen in 2007 for managing a subsidiary of a Japanese electric manufacturing company. In his career to date, he is experienced in managing a middle sized manufacturing company where approx.10 different nationalities were employed and had the opportunity to be involved with general management of human resource, supply chain, quality assurance and production control with fair understanding of cultural difference and typical perceptive gaps between HQ and subsidiary.

During the CBS Full Time MBA program, he tries to further develop his skills as a global leader from the sophisticated course programs as well as constructively exchanges the experience with his diverse classmates from different backgrounds, ages, and nationalities.

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