Certified Executive Coach, Coach A. Co. Ltd.
I have so many memories of my classmates, but one in particular stands out. I had an in-class debate with Carter, the MD of Young and Rubicam in China, about a marketing case. We carried the discussion on after class, and gained appreciation for each other’s views. Four years on, we’re still good friends, talking regularly about all aspects of business and life.
Based in Japan and working for a famous multinational search firm, I started the program on my own initiative, seeking to enhance my global mindset and potential. But soon, our head of Asia-Pacific noticed that I was going to Shanghai every six weeks, and that I’d matured rapidly under the influence of the GEMBA program, so he invited me to head our Japanese corporate practice in China, in addition to my Japan responsibilities. Though I had virtually no China experience, my friendship with Carter proved incredibly valuable — he helped me gain a rapid understanding of some key dynamics in the fast-growing economy, and introduced me to others who smoothed our development. And eventually, because my company was seeing a much greater contribution from me, they agreed to sponsor half of my tuition!
Late last year, I was offered a great new position at a Japanese firm, leading their pan-Asia development in a sector I’m passionate about: executive coaching and leadership development. I can now more than ever before use my GEMBA experience and contacts to grow the business and my own career. Actually, the firm tested me early on by sending me on a business development trip to Hong Kong, without existing resources. I immediately leveraged my GEMBA network there and ended up exceeding the firm’s expectations.
I’ve achieved career milestones that I never expected so soon, and the GEMBA program gets a lot of the credit.