"After 20 years in Tokyo, I’d become accustomed to working solely with Japanese colleagues, so I initially found mixing with such a diverse cohort challenging. I knew that by shutting myself off, I wouldn’t get the most out of the experience. The ADP does an amazing job of bringing people together and encouraging group working to forge connections and drive collaboration. My classmates came from Asia, South America, the US and Middle East, with backgrounds that varied from banking to entrepreneurship. Despite our differences, I immediately discovered that we had the same core values – the motivation to do good and drive change.
In our Leading Change elective, Professor Eliot Sherman explained how things are interpreted differently in the US and Japan, which really resonated with me. I learnt that local behaviours and cultural differences are key to succeeding in a global market. Identifying why a customer-oriented supermarket like Tesco has been successful everywhere in the world except Japan helped me rethink my organisation’s strategy in domestic markets.
The experiential sessions framed our learning in a real life business context. In the Creating and Delivering Customer Value assignment, I ‘became’ an HR manager, tasked with thinking and acting strategically to serve growth. In this case, the goals and methods set out were ambiguous, but eventually I realised that the task was a true reflection of what often happens in business. Uncertain conditions, budget restraints, persistent competition – all of this helped me better prepare for the challenges I face as a leader.
The programme finds exciting, engaging ways to boost your confidence – from rock-climbing and running in Regent’s Park to a mystery cooking group where we’d create a recipe without instructions. This was all underpinned by a warm, encouraging atmosphere. Your fellow students are always there to champion you and help you succeed, which only motivates you further.
The Evaluating and Managing Financial Performance class helped me to overcome any nerves I felt using technical language. Being surrounded by people with financial backgrounds helped me and other non-specialists understand and apply accounting language, which I previously had little knowledge of.
Its London location is one of LBS’s biggest assets. There’s endless inspiration and opportunities on your doorstep. I visited Buckingham Palace and Westminster, and watched a musical in the West End. The combination of history, culture and innovation makes London incomparable with other great cities.
I knew I was about to start an amazing journey when our Programme Director Guy Saunders said on our first day: “You’re great, that’s why you’re here.” His words filled me with confidence from day one. I often reflect on them in my current role whenever I’m feeling overwhelmed – it instantly makes me feel better and more empowered."