Satoshi Hirashita studied an Executive MBA at Imperial College Business School, class of 2015-16. Since completing the programme, he has commenced an exciting new role as a Consultant at BCG. We interview Satoshi about his experiences on the programme, what he learned and how the Executive MBA helped him secure his new role.
Almost two years after finishing your Executive MBA, looking at the programme in retrospect, how have you grown from when you began your studies to now?
I feel that one of the main ways I have grown is in learning how to learn effectively. At the beginning of the Executive MBA programme, I couldn’t complete all of my pre-assigned readings. Gradually, I learned how to skim and grasp the essence of these readings. My current work by nature requires me to be a quick learner, and in this sense I’m sure that the Executive MBA helped me a lot.
You have recently started a new position at BCG. Was the Executive MBA a contributor to helping you secure this role and how has the programme contributed to your career success?
The Executive MBA helped me to join BCG from two angles. Firstly, the MBA as a certification put my CV in the first place of the candidates’ pipeline. The MBA was simple and clear proof that I have overseas experience and basic managerial knowledge. In addition, the Executive MBA at Imperial really opened my eyes and made me more open-minded. The interview process of strategic consulting firms is long and stressful, but I enjoyed quick and creative communications with interviewers thanks to the open-minded attitude I developed at Imperial.
What are the top three skills you learnt on the Executive MBA that have been most applicable to your career?
- Openness to diversity; the Executive MBA at Imperial was truly diverse, and throughout my two-year programme I was exposed to different cultures, ways of thinking, and a wonderful cohort.
- How to learn effectively; the Executive MBA forced me to sort, process and absorb huge amounts of information in a very limited period. This task pushed me to be able to prioritise my time and studying in my very busy days quite effectively.
- How to make a decision under uncertainty; most of my cohort were more senior than me, and they generously shared how they made decisions in their life. Their personal stories differ one by one, which became my personal guides to how I can make decisions in uncertain times.
What is the main challenge facing this industry you work in and how are you working to combat it?
As you can imagine, the strategic consulting industry is fast-paced and really demanding; all consultants are required to be quick-learners. We need to quickly understand the clients’ context, identify their issues and thoroughly analyse and give recommendations to the clients. In order to manage this work stream, I’m trying to organise and prioritise my tasks carefully and choose the most value-adding tasks. This might be my lifework, but gradually I am getting used to it.
What advice would you give to someone who was thinking about applying for the Executive MBA?
I definitely recommend people to apply for the Executive MBA. Looking back on my experience, I’m confident that the Executive MBA helped to boost my career. My advice would be, think thoroughly about what you want to obtain from the programme and what would you like to be in your future career. This crystal-clear motivation will be the source of your power to make your upcoming super-intensive two years more beneficial and fruitful.
Why did you choose Imperial and more importantly, did it live up to your expectations?
My aspiration is to spark technological innovations by harnessing science and business together. In this sense, Imperial College Business School was the best place as it originates from a science and engineering faculty. My chance to co-learn with engineering faculty students were limited, but instead, I learned with art students from Royal College of the Arts through the Corporate Innovation and Entrepreneurship module. I feel that I made the right decision to do my Executive MBA at Imperial College Business School and I’m very satisfied with the programme and my personal experience.