Building consulting expertise
Mark Park, 32, graduated from Hitotsubashi International Corporate Strategy (ICS) in August, 2011, and returned to his former employer Samyang Holdings. After he got his bachelor’s degree in Engineering Science from Korea University, he worked for PR team at Samyang from 2006 to 2010. He is currently working as a manager of a consulting department at Samyang.
Q:Why did you select Hitotsubashi ICS for your MBA?
In fact, the biggest reason I chose that school was that I won a scholarship named the Young Leader’s program (YLP) from the Japan’s Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology and Hitotsubashi was one of the Ministry’s sponsored MBA courses. However, I later found out that it was the first Japanese MBA school offering classes in English and ranked among top MBA schools in Japan.
Q:Hitosubashi ICS is different from other MBA schools in name. Does the name affect your decision?
The name exhibits the special quality of the school. It is the Master of Business Administration focusing on corporate strategies of international companies.
My undergraduate major is engineering but I wanted to develop my career with the expertise on strategic planning. I wanted to enrich my knowledge background in strategy and learn how to negotiate with other companies.
Q:Are you satisfied with your school?
Yes, I think that it was a good choice because I was able to have global experience without major culture shock. The school provided chances not only to build up your academic knowledge but also to have various experience with people from different cultures. At the same time, since Japan is close to Korea both in culture and proximity, my family had little difficulty in adapting to the new environment.
Q:In what aspect is Japan’s MBA market different from those in other countries?
Up until recently, MBA was not popular among Japanese professionals because most companies in Japan take business models of Honda and Toyota as ideal ones and try to copy those models. However, with Japan’s business landscape becoming more diverse, more people are tapping MBA courses to learn other business models. Hitotsubashi ICS can take the lead in this trend by providing a wide variety of globalized courses.
Q:What did you earn the most from the course?
I can answer this question both in my personal aspect and from the aspect of the company.
First, to me, I have got confidence that I can solve the problem whatever it is. Before taking the course, my perspectives were narrow. However, the MBA course attended by students from 15 countries expanded my perspectives. In particular, the Business Contest of Entrepreneurial Management class, which was designed to develop new business models, was helpful in that regard.
Second, for the company side, I can contribute to the company by adding values to my firm’s consulting department. I am now working in the Samyang Transformation and Enhancement Program, which aims to consult with employees for their projects.
Q:Which course was most helpful?
Problem Solving Class taught by Professor Hiroshi Kanno and Professor Takashi Nawa was very helpful. Both professors were previous consultants and helped us come up with creative solutions for challenging problems in every class. Analyzing the current status of companies and suggesting solutions under guidance of experienced professors helped students improve their problem solving skills.
Q:What is your long-term goal as an MBA graduate?
I want to play a key role in having my consulting department settled down first and in helping us accomplishing our company’s strategic road map and vision for 2015.
Interview by Kwon Eun-young