‘Studying an MBA at Kent gave me the chance to see alternative views in different cultures’

Satomi Tsujita reflects on the MBA she studied in 2020 and how it boosted her career in techology.

Tell us about yourself

I’m from Japan and now live in Osaka-city. My background is in technology area such as system design and programming. I used to work for a small Japanese company as a general affair and accounting section, where I learned how Japanese SMEs are generally managed.

What is your current job role?

My current job is a system engineer in my company, which is a self-employed business, to build a data system to streamline workflow for Japanese SMEs. My job is to ask customers’ requirements and challenges, then suggest a structure of their system and construct it.

What’s a typical day like for you at work?

I usually work from home alone and have meetings with my customers online. So, I try to get out for a short work once a day.

What are the most important issues in your sector? How do you work to solve them?

A data system in the company should fit for their business and their customers’ needs. Therefore, to design the system, I need to understand what their business is. The cost of building the system is important, but I also hold hearings with as many members as possible and work together to determine the specifications so that members have a concrete picture of what the system will do for their business.

What do you love about your job?

I basically love technology and believe that it can help people in many cases much more. I’m very happy to solve their business or problem with technology.

Why did you take an MBA and how did studying an MBA shape your career as it stands today?

As I said, my job needs to know my customers’ business and suggest solutions and ideas.  An MBA helps me not only to improve my knowledge but also to catch what managers or board members want to do. In addition, studying MBA in Kent gave me the chance to see alternative views in different cultures, which helped me to notice cutting-edge technology and worldwide business trends.

Why Kent? What did you love about campus and uni life?

Canterbury is one of the most historic and beautiful cities in the UK. The campus was large and the views were very wonderful. I chose the Canterbury campus because I would like to see the cathedral from the campus.

Which lessons stay with you, more than others?

“CSR and Sustainability Management” was one of the most impressive lessons for me. The professor picked up ethical topics during the lessons and MBA students discussed from many differing points of view because there were some students from other nationalities. This shocked me because it was the first time for me to face global cultural differences. I have never felt more strongly about identity than I did at that time.

Did you make friends on the course that you stay in touch with?

Yes, of course. We’re busy in each country or business, but I’m going to meet when I go to the UK or want to ask their stories.

How did it feel to study as an international student?

Studying as an international student was much harder than I thought before enrolment. One reason was COVID-19 pandemic, which was un unexpected situation for everyone. For me, another reason was about communicating in the second languages, which was a challenge because I’m not good at learning languages. I always felt frustrated when I talked with friends.

Why is an MBA such an important thing to study?

In my opinion, studying at MBA course is a very good resource for business leaders who have worked to some extent. Japanese people usually work for the same industry or direction, then they sometimes face difficulties when their company policies or social conditions change. When these people come to MBA, they can get some new points of view from other industries or academic fields, and some friends to inspire them.

Which life-skills did you feel you built on the course?

I’m not sure this is a life-skill, but I have learned a discussion or meeting style through a lot of group work. As someone already knows, in many Japanese companies, there are usually only few Japanese people who talk during meetings. This is not constructive and meaningless, but I didn’t know what I was doing. In group work with MBA students, I experienced some positive meetings and got productive ways for good discussions.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years time?

I actually have specific or concrete images or ideas for future. One thing is for sure that I have found a lot of difference business or cultural styles between the UK and Japan through studying as an international student. I would like to not only apply them in my own career, but also share and improve them continuously with those who are interested in global issues.

Our AMBA accredited MBA delivers practical and applicable knowledge to develop innovative mindsets and responsible management skills not just for your personal development – but for the advancement of local and global communities.   

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