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executive impact

GLOBIS aims to create visionary leaders

By Chris Betros

With Japan stuck in a recession, the country needs visionary leaders who can create a more dynamic society. One institution has that lofty goal as its mission: GLOBIS. Founded in 1992 by President and Dean Yoshito Hori – whose key words were “people,” “knowledge” and “capital” – GLOBIS is now the largest management educational institution in Japan, educating more than 7,000 students each year.

The Graduate School of Management, GLOBIS University was established in 2006 and last year, a part-time International MBA program, taught entirely in English, was launched. In addition, each year, GLOBIS delivers corporate training programs to over 250 companies, including Toyota Motor Corporation.

There are three rounds of admission for the IMBA program. Anyone may apply during the September, November and January rounds. Tuition is 2.826 million yen (plus a 22,000 yen entrance fee). Admission requirements are three years of work experience, a university degree (or equivalent) and English proficiency. The program length is about two years with classes taught on weekday evenings and on weekends.

Japan Today editor Chris Betros visit the GLOBIS University campus in Tokyo’s Kojimachi area to hear more from Deputy Dean Tomoya Nakamura who got his MBA from Harvard.

What do you think is the advantage of having an MBA?

If you do an MBA, within one or two years, you will understand management in a comprehensive way. An MBA also helps you develop leadership ability.

In a recession, do you see more people wanting to get an MBA?

Yes, a recession is a good time to get a higher degree, especially if you are having difficulty with your job search. By doing an MBA, you can broaden your knowledge, find out more about yourself in terms of career goals and it helps you think about what you want to do in your life.

What is GLOBIS’ background?

GLOBIS was founded in 1992 by our president and dean, Yoshito Hori, after he got his MBA at Harvard. Therefore, GLOBIS itself is an entrepreneurial firm. We started out as a corporation but one arm of GLOBIS became an educational corporation in 2006. Currently, we run the business school, we do corporate training, publishing and we have one of the most successful venture capital funds (GLOBIS Capital Partners) in Japan.

What is the image of GLOBIS in Japan?

We sold more than one million copies of GLOBIS MBA Series, management textbooks from Diamond Inc; therefore, a lot of people associate us with MBA knowledge. We have about 7,000 students a year in our non-degree and degree programs. Our students are also well known as very high-energy people with passion, which tend to be strong selling points for GLOBIS.

GLOBIS University’s MBA Program started in 2006. In the four years since then, our student body has expanded fourfold. In a survey in 2008 and 2009 by Nikkei HR magazine, we were ranked No. 1 in student satisfaction. So it is a very proven and practical program.

Tell us about the programs you offer.

Currently we have more than 7,000 students at our campuses in Tokyo, Osaka and Nagoya. Most of them are in GLOBIS Management School and in GLOBIS Executive School, which is our non-degree program in Japanese. They can take one or more courses of their interest. Then we have the MBA program, which consists of a Japanese program and an English program. In 2009, we have 223 students in our MBA program. Ages range from people in their early 30s to 40s.

How popular is the English program?

We started our English program in 2009. About 80% of the students were Japanese. In 2010, more than 50% of our students are international/non-Japanese.

What is the required level of English proficiency for an IMBA applicant?

The English level for students is a TOIEC level of 750, but most of the students are about 900 level.

What will the new term courses starting in April emphasize?

We are opening courses such as critical thinking, finance, quantitative analysis of business, business planning, venture management and entrepreneurial leadership. The ultimate goal of our program is to build visionary leaders, so all courses place a strong emphasis on entrepreneurship.

Who are your faculty?

Most of our faculty are businessmen and businesswomen who ran companies, who work in investment banks and who do management consulting. We also have many foreign lecturers living in Tokyo. President Hori continues to teach classes and I do, too.

One thing that is common among all faculty is that we believe people can broaden their horizons with a personal mission. Not only do we ask students to study, but we ask them to push themselves.

How do you market GLOBIS?

We try to sell the GLOBIS entrepreneurial story, with ads in newspapers such as Nikkei, and we do some advertising online. We are selling innovation and creation, so word of mouth effect is very strong. Students recommend our program to their friends and relatives.

How much time is involved in the MBA program?

Courses are taught on weekday evenings and on weekends over a two-year period. Students take three courses per term, which means nine hours in two weeks. The program itself starts every April. However, we do have a flexible pre-MBA system which allows students to start in January, April, July and October.

How do you monitor students’ progress?

We have an administration office that closely looks at each student’s participation and progress. Every six months or so, students get together with faculty to discuss their experiences.

What is the main thing that students wish to know before they start an MBA with you?

They want to know what kind of two years we offer them, what change they will experience while at school and when they graduate. And of course, they are interested in what they can learn.

What is a typical day for you?

I show up around 9:30. Sometimes, I help to prepare corporate training programs and curriculum development. Other times, I go out on sales. I teach leadership courses in the MBA programs at nights. I’m here on Saturdays and Sundays as well.

What do you enjoy most about teaching?

I remember the substantial changes that took place in my life when I went through my MBA. Therefore, I would like to help students develop their skills and achieve their goals.

For more information, visit http://imba.globis.ac.jp

© Japan Today

©2024 GPlusMedia Inc.

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It would be interesting to know how much demand there is by Japanese companies for staff with advanced degrees such as an MBA. Will they pay their staff to take this kind of degree? Not many students in Japan continue studies after finishing their undergraduate because they fear missing the window of employment. I get the impression that most companies want new recruits to have a 4 year degree, be around 23 years old with little or no experience and don't hire full-time career staff outside of this system. Contrast this with overseas where they generally want you to have experience and prefer higher degrees before hiring. Is this changing in Japan or are people just desperately taking courses because of the recession.

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More and more Japanese companies with international operations are hiring career employees with outside experience (for their sokusenryoku or ability to hit the ground running), and many of them have MBAs either domestic or from overseas schools. Still, and MBA is not much help for the typical entry-level university graduate. One school that is exceeding all 4-year universities in placing graduates in major corporations is Akita International University, with a 100% placement rate several years running. Students are taught entirely in English, in a very competitive environment, and the qualities they acquire--critical thinking, flexibility, understanding of international business, etc.--are apparently in great demand.

So yes, I think things are changing at the corporate level, though Japanese corporations have a long way to go before they fully recognize the value of a higher degree of real learning--and before they admit that the traditional university system is not turning out the kind of educated adults they need.

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you hit that perfect sk4ek. On another note it seems more capitalistic than educational as an institution...

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Im curious, how marketable are these degrees (both from globis and akita intl uni) outside of japan?

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Truthfully, why does the world need more corporate leaders? After all isn't it the corporate MBA holding crowd that has been responsible for most of our economic woes the last couple years? Does having more business "leaders" make the world a better place and solve global problems?

This more self important corporate BS where short sighted profit motivated guys want to see themselves as the next key leader for the human race. When in fact what humanity really needs are more people with common sense, intentions that are not profit motivated and leadership that can divorce itself from corporate rule.

We need leaders who have vision. Not for the next big thing, but for the next era of human existence on this planet. People who can make the right decisions about global warming, use of energy and protection of the environment. And not have to answer to stock holders when making those decisions. We need leaders who can restrain business and limit their influence upon political and social life. And leaders who care as much for working people as they do corporate managers.

It is time that we started to admire and aspire to qualities that are not the only ones required for the boardroom. We have given corporations and their unelected leaders far too much power and it is time that the political and economic power was shifted to the needs of the people and not the needs of a priviledged class of corporate so called leaders.

Our values are severely out of sync when we place these people on a pedistal. These are not leaders, these are corporate mercenaries who do not care about people, they care about profits, shareholders and bonus payments. Period!

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tkoind2 - well said! These so-called corporate leaders are now the new royalty of the modern world, as people scrape and bow to them. But the elected leaders aren't doing much better, as they peddle influence and power for their own monetary gain.

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Just another thought. Instead of indoctrinating more corporate thugs, I would like to see a company who is really committed to creating the leaders that are truly required for Japan's future prosperity.

Community Leadership: Programs to empower local small business and community leaders to develop sustainable local economies. We have seen the positive impact of micro-economies in many parts of the world. Small business in Japan is struggling due to truly unbalanced competition with corporate backed entities. This robs communities of jobs and the stability of locally invested leadership and a locally sound economic community.

True leadership for Japan requires the restoration of this area of business in communities. Locally invested resources would generate jobs, strengthen communities, encourage local microeconomic development and secure the unique integrity of Japans neighborhoods.

Of course this means putting the priority of local small business over that of corporates, something essential to the development of local leadership who can grow to become city, regional and later national leaders as they build skills and insight. It is this kind of local grass roots grown leadership that could take Japan to sustainable energy use, improved domestic food development and supply and help assure that Japan can carry on with the diminished numbers it faces in labor in the coming years.

We don't need more corporate drones pretending to be leaders. Those leaders serve share holders and companies and not community or country. We know this from the status quo. So I hope people will not waste their time on a school like this and will instead invest their talents to do the right and honorable thing for home, community and country. And that is to remove the corporate power influence and replace it with locally grown and invested leadership that truely cares about the people and the country.

But nice try Globus in attempting to pass this off as a postivie for the country. We just don't buy this anymore. It isn't what the country or the people need. If anything we need less corporate mercenaries with MBAs and more leaders with common sense and committment to the people.

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Im curious, how marketable are these degrees (both from globis and akita intl uni) outside of japan?

My guess is not marketable at all. One is 4 years old and another is 7. I've never heard of either one of them until reading this article. My guess is that in Western countries employers prefer MBAs even from lower tiered local business schools over these Japanese schools with no name value and very little history. They'll say, 'Hey, at least I've heard of the local state university!' But perhaps in Asian countries where Japan is recognized for higher (or at least generally thought to have) higher education standards are more successful businesses, it may go a ways. Having said that, most of this Globis dude's interview answers are boring, vague cliche that sends this message: "Heck, an MBA is great if you have no idea what you want out of life."

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you've got to love this. GLOBIS head comes on Japan Today trying to hawk his MBA course and ends up being schooled by tkoind2's comments. Amen tkoind2 - MBA graduates just turn everything into spreadsheets which look good on paper but don't work in real life

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