Student Stories

21.12.2016

Kazuhiro Matsumoto - Expanding in Depth and Breadth of Knowledge

Class of 2017 (Japan)

Pre-MBA: Engineer, Intellectual Property Section, Yamaha Motor Co., Ltd. (Japan)
Post-MBA: Supervisor, Intellectual Property Division, Yamaha Motor Co, Ltd. (Japan)

1. When you were thinking of doing an MBA, how did you end up choosing HKUST?

The three key criteria I had when choosing an MBA program was one based in Asia, a diverse program, and a technology-focused university.  With these points of consideration, I ended up choosing HKUST because of its collaborative environment, comprehensive exchange program and beautiful campus.

I had a chance to speak with HKUST alumni on Skype as well as visiting the campus and speaking with staff and students in person, throughout all these interactions I felt a collaborative atmosphere which I have truly valued throughout my MBA journey.

Another huge point of attraction for me was the option to go on exchange, as there was a long list of schools to choose from to further add to the diverse experience. Overall, I felt that HKUST was an environment that could provide me with exposure to very diverse cultures and knowledge.

Last but not least, the campus is full of nature and absolutely beautiful. I prefer being surrounded by nature rather than a crowded city campus so HKUST’s environment was ideal.

2. Can you describe a particularly memorable moment with your MBA classmates?

Although there are many memorable moments such as the International Night that celebrated different cultures and traditions as well as our End of Year Ball, the most memorable one to me is in fact the first biggest event of Tech Club which was a Tencent visit in Shenzhen. This was the first event hosted after the Tech Club was officially established.

As the President of the club, I was naturally a bit nervous about the logistics and whether people would show up, but eventually many people joined and we spent a wonderful day exploring Tencent and Shenzhen together. In addition to this, the entire club really came together in the organization of the event. I felt that this event gave me the sense of unity which I was really looking for.

3. You were juggling your MBA while taking care of your family both in Hong Kong and on exchange at LBS. What advice would you give other prospect candidates who have young children and are also thinking of doing an MBA?

I strongly recommend prospect candidates to bring their families along. It is no doubt quite challenging to manage the demand from both the MBA and within the family, but without a doubt, your family can also gain valuable experiences.

In my case, I enrolled my daughter to an international school and she gained exposure in an international environment. I’ve been able to observe significant growth in her character and temperament. For my wife, this was her first experience to stay abroad. It felt special that I was not the only one experiencing new things and making new friends, but my family was also creating their own memories and experiencing how multicultural Hong Kong is, which I believe is so important for Japanese to catch up with globalization.

4. You went to London Business School for exchange, how was this experience?

It was a fantastic experience as much as that in Hong Kong. My objective in London was to deepen my areas of expertise in intellectual property while focusing on improving leadership skills and knowledge of new technologies.

I met a lot of wonderful people at LBS, and collaborated with a lot of professionals who were also working in related to intellectual property in London.

All in all, I’m really grateful for the opportunity of laying a strong foundation at HKUST, learning from students from all sorts of personal and professional background, and then spending four months in London to sharpen skills in my area of expertise.

5. What are some things you learned during your MBA that you believe will be most beneficial when you return to Yamaha in 2017?

I would say the confidence of leading an organization gained through Tech Club activities and many presentations in classes. Compared to LBS, one characteristic of classes in HKUST is the opportunity to present a lot, which really trained up my confidence in public speaking and being quick yet graceful in taking questions.

When I return to Yamaha, I will take advantage of the experience in HKUST to encourage workers in Yamaha and improve the sense of collaboration and bonding. 

6. What advice would you give other Japanese prospect candidates who are thinking of doing an MBA?

Please seriously consider "Why MBA?" and “Why HKUST?” while during your research. Having clear answers to these questions will truly add value to your experience, it’s important to always reflect on your answers even during the course of your MBA in order to stay anchored. Even if you don’t have the right scores yet, please never give up! As long as you have clear answers and passion, you will certainly make it!