The Journal The Authority on Global Business in Japan

Few experiences in life can leave a more positive and long-lasting impression than studying abroad. Not only do students jump headfirst into a new culture, they are often exposed to different teaching methods. It’s a significantly challenging, but ultimately rewarding, experience—especially for those eyeing managerial roles in international business. After all, what better way to start your career on the global stage than by earning your degree overseas?

The Kyoto–Cornell International Collaborative Degree Opportunity (KC-CDO) is a partnership between the Graduate School of Management at Kyoto University and the School of Hotel Administration at Cornell University’s SC Johnson College of Business. It is Japan’s first collaborative master’s program with an Ivy League university, as well as the first collabo­rative degree program between a Japanese university and an interna­tionally recognized school centering on the hospitality industry.

Two Schools, Two Degrees
The KC-CDO allows students to earn two degrees. After two stimu­lating and challenging years, graduates will receive a Master of Business Administration (MBA) from Kyoto University and a Master of Management in Hospitality (MMH) from Cornell University. With management expe­rience gained from both Japanese and US perspectives, they will be equipped with professional experience and credentials to be global leaders, having learned business administration in both countries.

Kyoto University professor and KC-CDO Chair Asli M. Colpan said that, for modern businesses to succeed, “it is important to take into consideration the unique characteristics of countries and have a balanced view of the global economy.”

Founded in 2006, Kyoto University’s Graduate School of Management (GSM) has built a reputation for having a distinc­tive MBA program designed to combine theory and prac­tice. The program aims to nurture students as they develop strong leadership capabilities and a global mindset. The MBA degree puts emphasis not only on traditional management courses, it also introduces the unique characteristics of successful companies in Kyoto and throughout Japan.

“Students will come to understand why there are so many long-lived companies in Japan that have survived for hundreds of years,” said Colpan.

Likewise, Cornell’s MMH is a world-renowned graduate manage­ment program. It equips students with viable skills in the hospitality industry, whether their ambitions lie at home or abroad. Students in the MMH program may customize courses to align directly with their career paths. These include revenue management and dynamic pricing, services marketing and e-commerce, as well as real estate management.

Two-Year innovative curriculum
Students at GSM will begin the first semester of their academic journey at Kyoto University, where they will take core management courses, including corporate finance, managerial accounting, governance and ethics, as well as marketing. The educators come from diverse fields and specialize in areas directly related to their careers, such as hospitality, marketing, and IT management—experts who are operating in well-known corporations, public agencies, and non-profit organizations.

“We have strong ties with well-known corporations in Japan,” said Colpan. “There is a diverse faculty and esteemed guest lecturers, such as Takashi Mitachi, senior advisor and previous managing director of Boston Consulting Group (Japan); Yuji Kimura, founder, president and CEO of Polaris Capital Group Co., Ltd.; and Tadao Kikuchi, chairperson of Royal Holdings Co., Ltd.”

In their second and third semesters, students will take the first steps towards strengthening their international ties by traveling to Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, where they will fulfill their MMH degree requirements and participate in Cornell’s May graduation ceremony.

Finally, students will return to the GSM to continue their studies, applying all the skills they have learned with advanced business practices and courses to earn their MBA degree at Kyoto University. Those who complete the KC-CDO will earn the privilege of joining two prestigious alumni networks.

The Graduate School of Management at Kyoto University, together with the Cornell School of Hotel Administration, invites all prospective students—from those working in the field who want to develop their talents further to those transitioning into a new career path—to contact them for more information about the KC-CDO and about how they, too, can become a global leader in business.