A big shift from my career as a consultant, when I strongly felt my lack of knowledge of business, to a new stage with management expertise and international ways of thinking in my hands
The first company that I worked for after graduating university was a consulting firm. While I learned how interesting it is to work, I also started to feel that I did not have enough business knowledge. My clients were management-level people who were much further along than I was, both in terms of age and position. As I talked with them, I realized the narrowness of the world as seen through my eyes, and felt that this was “inexcusable.” Although I had a fragmentary understanding of marketing methods, measures for increasing sales, and strategic planning for new businesses, I wondered: how are they linked, and how do they cycle? Then I thought that it was necessary for me to systematically study business, so I decided to quit the company that I had worked at for four years and to enroll in graduate school.
All of my Global Management courses were conducted in English. Although it was quite challenging at the beginning, it was attractive to me because I could be exposed to different ways of thinking in an environment where more than half of the faculty and students were foreigners, and I was able to learn about various, real situations of different countries. Also, by learning business strategy and organizational theory, I feel I gained more perspectives for evaluating business. I am currently working in the Finance and Control Division, and it is not enough to simply follow numbers from a finance or accounting perspective. My work ventures into business planning, and on a daily basis it is necessary for me to comprehend the strategy of the entire company, and to take on the perspective of where to make concentrated investments to gain large returns. Because I gained knowledge on general management, I became skillful at deciphering what lies behind numbers, and at analyzing using numbers.
I’m now working at a company that has business sites throughout the world, with headquarters in Switzerland. Having transferred overseas, I have had many opportunities to use English. There are two types of English used in business. The vocabulary used in textbooks is helpful for making important presentations. On the other hand, conversations with foreign colleagues at the office are important as well. You cannot communicate with colleagues only in business English. It becomes awkward if you can’t keep up with the speed of the conversation when someone asks you questions in daily conversation, such as, “How was your weekend?” Being able to learn both types of English is an attractive feature of the Global Management course.
When I quit the consulting firm to get my MBA, I was feeling uncertain about the two-year blank. In the end, however, I believe that completing graduate school is what backed me up in my career change. Studying earnestly and acquiring the skills certainly sent a message to the personnel in charge of recruiting. That is what I really feel.