Hitotsubashi ICS students (Makoto, Shogo, Yuta and Sean) from the Class of 2015 (1st year students) win 1st prize in the Japan MBA Case Competition!
The Japan MBA Case Competition (JMBACC) is an international event jointly organized by Japanese and international business schools, including Aoyama Business School, McGill University, and Hitotsubashi ICS, who founded the JMBACC in 2013. Students/alumni from Hitotsubashi ICS participate as organizers of the competition as well. The competition aims to provide a learning experience for these future business leaders by encouraging healthy competition, professionalism and interaction, both amongst themselves and with the business community.
The semi-finals and final of the 3rd JMBACC were held at Waseda University on 15 November, with teams of MBA candidates from 9 schools including the USA, Canada, and Thailand (listed below*), presenting their proposals on a pre-selected business case in front of 10 judges from various industries.
* Competing with ICS in the semi-finals and final were MBA candidates from the following schools:
- Chulalongkorn University (Thailand)
- Chuo University (Japan)
- Doshisha University (Japan)
- Globis University Graduate School of Management (Japan)
- McGill University (Canada)
- University of Missouri-Kansas City (US)
- University of Toronto (Canada)
- Waseda University (Japan)
After several heated rounds, the team of Makoto, Shogo, Yuta and Sean from Hitotsubashi ICS Class of 2015 (1st year students) achieved 1st place in the competition!
Makoto, Shogo, Yuta, and Sean, congratulations on your marvelous result!
"Bridging and addressing both foreign demand and domestic opportunity"
"Placing ourselves in the shoes of the firm's management"
These were the two main concepts that drove the team's approach. Lessons learnt by the team through participation in this competition included how to leverage knowledge and frameworks from ICS classes, as well as past experiences of each teammate, the importance of teamwork and collaboration, and of course, the value of perseverance.
Please see the interview below for more details:
Q: What was the toughest part of the competition?
Time management was one of the toughest to deal with, as we had to tackle ongoing projects and classes in parallel.
Preparation for the competition was finalized at the eleventh hour due to Term-1(1) final exams the previous week. We stayed at school until the last train each day of our preparation (including on weekends), working through the night the day before the competition, and submitting our final materials at 6 o'clock on the morning of competition day. (The deadline was 7 o'clock!)
In such a situation, we did not have enough time to practice the presentation beforehand. We think, however, that we could achieve success in the limited timeframe thanks to advice and encouragement from our ICS peers (current students, 2nd year students, and alumni), as well as our own reflections on our presentation after the semi-final stage.
Q: Did you utilize your learning at Hitotsubashi ICS in this competition? If so, what learning did you make use of?
Yes, we could fully utilize learning from a number of classes at ICS (listed below) to propose an effective strategy for a certain Japanese company in this competition, despite only having 2-months of study at ICS:
- Japanese Business and Economy (Yoshi Fujikawa）
- Accounting（Kenny Koga）
- Knowledge Management（Kaz Ichijo)
- Quantitative Business Analysis (Shingo Oue)
- Marketing（Erica Okada)
In particular, the "Japanese Business and Economy" classes proved to be insightful in achieving outcomes. Here, we used our learning on the domestic macro-economy and future perspectives as a prerequisite for our proposal in the competition. Additionally, we believe that the in-class final presentation project to corporate management gave us good grounding and prepared us well to be able to deliver during the competition.
Furthermore, we could practice information sharing effectively and efficiently amongst our team members, overall functioning as a collaborative unit thanks to the Organizational Behavior (Tish Robinson) and Knowledge Management（Kaz Ichijo）we have taken.