Alumni’s Voices

Kumiko Fern

Analyst – Supply Chain/IT Industry

Why did you choose McGill?
After reviewing numerous MBA programs, I found the McGill MBA Japan program to be the best fit for me. Not only would it connect me to my Canadian background, but also The Desautels School of Business at McGill is considered to be one of the top business schools in North America. I already had Asian market experience, so learning the latest North American and worldwide best business practices from the well-respected professors at McGill was attractive to me.

What did you get out of a McGill MBA?
At McGill, I met lots of interesting and intelligent people from various professional backgrounds. The McGill Japan MBA program provided me with a great opportunity to work in a collaborative learning environment and connect with others. One of the biggest benefits of the program was the opportunity to make life long friendships with my classmates.

What was most memorable?
So many events happened during this program, but the beautiful graduation ceremony in Montreal was the most memorable. It was one of the most unforgettable days of my life, and I am so happy that I could share that special moment with my family and friends. The graduation was held at the historic Montreal campus on an early summer morning in June. All of the flowers were in bloom and the air was fresh. Many classmates had flown to Montreal so that we could celebrate our achievement together. I was so proud of myself for being a member of this group when our first classmate stepped on the stage.

Airi Iwaide

Boeing Commercial Airplanes, Field Service & Ops Centers

Why did you choose McGill?
The McGill MBA Japan program appealed to me the most because it provided the same courses as in Canada and is taught in English by professors from Montreal. With classes held on weekends, I could keep working full time while enjoying the highest quality instruction and accredited curriculum of a premier North American university.

What did you get out of a McGill MBA?
I have gained confidence and new perspectives through learning and working together with classmates with diverse and global backgrounds. Throughout the program, we had many group projects and discussions. Each project and experience helped develop and improve my skills in developing and leading global projects.

What was most memorable?
Two of our study trips stand out as memorable highlights for me. One was our week spent in Montreal that allowed us to learn at the main campus and also tour the area, including visits to local companies. The other was our study trip to Vietnam, where we met with a diverse blend of students from the Montreal and China programs.

Chris Shragin

Recruit Holdings Co., Ltd., HR and Corporate Planning

Why did you choose McGill?
McGill goes above and beyond in its commitment to provide a global education. The diversity of the teaching staff and student base made for a truly unique classroom experience. Those I had known who had graduated from the program saw an enormous boost in their career in both global scope and responsibility.

What did you get out of a McGill MBA?
Through McGill’s two-year program, I learned to look at my career from a completely different paradigm. I was able to broaden my skills and immediately apply them to my career. I could make a shift that aligned my responsibilities with my interests, and I became confident in securing the best conditions for myself with the skills I had learned. McGill has played an important role in my personal and professional growth. My classmates became lifelong friends, were able to expand their horizons, and also saw near-immediate growth in their careers.

What was most memorable?
My most memorable moment at McGill would most certainly be my week spent in Montreal. My team and I met with many different companies in the local area and were able to broaden our understanding of what makes Montreal such a special city when it comes to business. It created a new perspective on what made Japanese companies unique. We widened our knowledge and network beyond the borders of Japan and I developed skills that stuck with me in my daily professional life.

Paul Speed

Kyoto Brewing Company, Co-founder & CEO

Why did you choose McGill?
McGill has a strong reputation. Montreal-based teachers flew out to Tokyo to teach us face to face, and so I felt as though there wasn’t a big compromise in the quality of education I was going to receive versus the McGill students in Montreal. Also, given that classes take place on the weekends, I could keep my job and apply the knowledge I picked up in the MBA immediately.

What did you get out of a McGill MBA?
Towards the end of my studies, I embarked on the arduous path of starting up a company. A lot of the knowledge I needed to structure the company, raise capital, and pitch my idea to investors came from the program. Even after the company was formed, I continuously found myself relying on the knowledge I had learned throughout the program to help ensure that the company was able to grow at a healthy clip.

What was most memorable?
Given that most of the students are working full time, largely everyone is juggling the same amount of pressure—balancing work, studies, and in some cases, family. Because of the common pressure-induced struggle, you leave the program with some great friends and strong connections.