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Dirk Wolter–Class of 2009

Alumni interview with Mr. Dirk Wolter, a graduate of the McGill MBA Japan Program, Class of 2009

Q. Why did you choose the McGill MBA Japan Program?

A. I came across the McGill MBA Japan Program after returning to Tokyo in 2006. I had previously lived in Japan for more than four years, first for an Executive Training Program of the European Commission of the European Union , then to set up the local organization of a German medical manufacturer. In those last years, starting an MBA was always on my mind.

I wanted to refresh and improve my knowledge on the latest business and international management developments, to create an alumni network, and hopefully start working for a global organization in health care. The renowned McGill program and the state-of-the-art content of my major in General Management seemed to be the best fit among the programs offered at the time.

Q. How did you manage your time during the course?
A. At first it was a challenge to be back in a classroom environment, and to get used to a different routine, [including] adjusting to different work and study schedules and having to meet assignment deadlines. This took about four to six weeks, but once I adjusted to a different mode, it became routine. It was always challenging, but also enjoyable and rewarding.

Q. What was the atmosphere like in the classrooms?
A: I have to say that, from the first day, I was impressed by the very professional organization of the program and the pleasant atmosphere in class, created both by the international students and the professors, most of whom flew in especially from Montreal for the locally held courses. I also had the opportunity to attend summer classes in Montreal, which was a rewarding experience, as I got to work with students at the school’s alma mater.

Q. Can you say something about your fellow students and professors?
A. We were a great mix of people from very different cultures, and with varying levels of experience. This enhanced the overall learning experience during the two-year program. I am delighted to say that I also had the opportunity to make great friends for life. The professors were extremely knowledgeable in their areas of expertise, and spent valuable social time with their students outside class.

Q. How did prospective employers react to your McGill MBA?
A. In today’s globally connected environment, it continues to be increasingly important to have a solid management education. All international or global players prefer their candidates to have an MBA education, and appreciate the experience gained at one of the
best business schools. The combination of being at McGill and attending a dedicated program in Japan, with all of its cultural offerings, is certainly another considerable benefit.

Q. How did the course affect your leadership and management ability as well as level of confidence?
A. Graduating from an MBA program and making the Dean’s honors list was certainly a confidence booster. Utilizing all of the teachings, and being able to integrate the latest leadership and business models into my daily work greatly helped me develop my skills and become a better manager.

Q. How has your career developed since graduating with the MBA?
A. After I graduated in June 2009, my family and I moved back to Germany in the summer. Just months later, I had the opportunity to join one of the fastest-growing medical companies in the world. In January 2010, I became the Country Manager for Invisalign in Central Europe, and was then promoted to General Manager in 2012. In October 2014, I will become Senior Director of SCANNER&CAD/CAM Services International, which provides another great opportunity for me in the digital dental field.

Q. Have you kept in contact with alumni and faculty?
A. As I am currently living in Germany, where networking events are not held very often, I keep in contact mostly through alumni and other social media networks.

Q. What kind of person is best suited to the McGill MBA Japan Program?
A. The McGill MBA is suited for students who are willing to go the extra mile and understand the importance of investing in their professional and personal development. Being one the most renowned business programs worldwide, the McGill MBA is certainly a great platform to continue or even start a career in international business.

Q. What is your message to people interested in the McGill MBA Japan Program?
A. The only thing left to say is: just do it. Make the effort, get inspired by the opportunity, and become a part of a great international group of alumni at McGill.