The Journal The Authority on Global Business in Japan

In a world where competition in the job market is strong and candidates vie for a limited number of high-status jobs, it is the best qualified among them who are likely to win out and gain leadership roles in the private and public sectors.

That said, for applicants in Japan, the ability to compete—and be successful—on the global stage is within reach.

The McGill MBA Japan program offers ambitious candidates a distinctive and innovative weekend MBA course, which prepares them for the demands and needs of international business, as well as to function more effectively when facing other challenges.

At the same time, the MBA delivers the high standards that have always been the hallmark of McGill University.

As part of the MBA, Canada’s premier academic institution offers courses that are taught by visiting professors from its Desautels Faculty of Management in Montreal.

This was a deciding factor for Marina Sato, a Japanese national who has lived in Canada and is a member of the investor relations department of a global company.

“The McGill MBA Japan Program was very attractive to me because it offers the same program as in Canada,” Sato says. “We get the same professors as in Montreal and study the same courses.

“It was important that the Japan program was not only using the McGill brand, but also providing the same quality of lectures from the best school in Canada—which is what I wanted.”

For Yasumasa Takenouchi, currently a deputy section manager of a company in the chemicals industry, the main attraction of the MBA, in addition to quality, is its convenience as a weekend course as well as its diversity: there is a mix of nationalities among faculty and students.

“I did not have to interrupt my career path,” Takenouchi says. “Also, I felt that I could widen my perspective by taking an MBA with classmates [and staff] from a variety of countries and with diverse business backgrounds.”

Sam Bird, a young executive in a multi-media company in Tokyo, expressed similar sentiments about choosing the McGill MBA program.
“I made my decision after attending the McGill Japan Forum and university party to welcome the New Year.

The quality and diversity of the alumni, and the positive feedback from current students, gave me confidence that investing my time and resources with McGill would pay off.”

With a campus in Shinjuku, one of Tokyo’s bustling business districts, the McGill MBA Japan program covers a wide range of academic and practical courses over a 20-month period.

In the first year, students cover Integrated Core Courses, which include classes on Business Tools, Managing Resources, and Value Creation. The Case Competition, where MBA students from across Japan join in a friendly contest, forms the second element of this year.

The Integrated Second Year Program develops a student’s managerial skills, equipping them with the necessary tools—including a globalized mindset—to lead a company or create one.

Students in the second year also take the self-study Practicum, with guidance from a professor, which has three options: an academic paper on management, research within a company, or making a new business startup plan.

A key element of the second year is the International Study Trip. For this year’s trip, students visited McGill’s very own home campus in Montreal, and sampled local businesses.

For Bird, “The International Study Trip to Montreal was a great experience. The trip allowed us to explore a city with a mixed European and North American culture, including its successful business models.”

In April 2015, the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) designated McGill University as a “location in Japan of a foreign university.”

With this designation, students on the MBA course may transfer credits to other programs in the domestic graduate school system, and apply for scholarships offered by MEXT. The ministry’s recognition also allows international candidates to apply for a student visa.

Now in its 15th year, the McGill MBA Japan program has over 500 alumni, in addition to a global network of 20,000 graduates. Working in tandem with its home campus, the program is creating the next generation of globalized leaders for the private and public sector.