Why a Tokyo MBA? Why GLOBIS MBA?

Ismulianita Djalinas Madjid from Indonesia addresses her fellow classmates at the GLOBIS MBA full-time program entrance ceremony on September 3, 2014.

My fellow classmates, honorable professors, faculty members and staff, also friends, families and guests, a very good day to all of you.

Brian advised me to start the speech with a joke, but humor is at the very bottom of my VIA strength profile, so I have to skip that one and avoid awkward silence.

I was worried when I was asked to prepare an address for this opportunity. I did not, and still do not actually believe that I will be able to represent all of you, the great people in my class.

Still, allow me to share my brief story and the dream I have; hopefully we can all take something good out of it.

When I excused myself to my seniors, my boss, my supervisors and I told them that I want to take an MBA in Tokyo, there were various responses. One that I will never forget is one from my senior. His name is David Collicott and he’s British – he has a very thick British accent. He said “Tokyo MBA.” and then he paused. And then he said “Tokyo MBA.” and he paused. And he said it again, “Tokyo MBA.” And I said, “Yes, Dave! Repeating it four times will not make it change, it is a Tokyo MBA!”

So he asked me, “Why a Tokyo MBA?” He said “Why not London or the States?” I don’t know if he really wanted to dive into the answer so I just told him that I’m too westernized and I need to be more Asianized (I’m sorry I just invented a word).

But, really, what I did not tell him was that I did not choose a “Tokyo MBA.” I chose a “GLOBIS MBA.”

When I resigned from my first job, my family asked me to continue my degree – a master’s either in Petroleum Engineering or Business Administration. I did not find the idea appealing because I’ve never been inspired to chase a career to the highest position in a corporate environment. I know that it is all about self-development, and I wholly believe that development of oneself is very important, but I want to have a degree that is something much more than a certificate that I use to negotiate a salary increase or promotion.

Then I came across GLOBIS. And GLOBIS had me at “visionary leaders who create and innovate societies.”

The spark was immediately there, I want to be that person who cares about his or her environment, who wants to contribute more. And I came here thinking to myself, “I’m going to meet a lot of people who are like that.”

To tell you the truth, the first day I stepped on GLOBIS’ doorstep, I still had doubts. I met a lot of you, and on Monday morning – most importantly – I listened to Dean Nakamura’s speech. When you say those words, for me it’s very powerful when you say “Don’t try to be perfect.” I know I’m in the right place; I know I’m home.

So as I get to know most of you, for two weeks now – or some of you for two days – I’m really humbled by such great people you all are as individuals, and I’m moved by your stories and sacrifices that you guys have made or continue to make to be here. The gaping distances that you have to suffer from your family, people that you hold dear to your heart. Or even for people like Doa’a, like Rikke, like Vivian, who are with your family but you’re going to be spending less and less time with your family. We all make our sacrifices. That is why I beg all of you to put 110 per cent in our class. For ourselves, for all of us, in each and every single way and approach that you can. Let’s make these days worth living in our memory.

We all came here because we want to be leaders who create and innovate societies. So let’s think of our class as that for society – our “patient zero.” Let’s innovate our class. Let’s bring the best that you can see from your classmates. From the ones that you know you have a lot in common with and you can mingle and party with, and also the ones who have a lot of dissimilarities, a lot of differences, and you keep having disagreements with – you still need to innovate with those particular people.

Most importantly, let’s make our class the best that GLOBIS has seen yet. So that in the future, whenever the teachers accidentally slip for the future classes, they will say “you should be like the class of 2014, they got it right.” Thank you, I’m looking forward to spending one year of my life with all of you.