March 2, 2024


Imagination at work

A rugby team manager’s conversion to MBA student

I graduated from Tokyo’s Waseda University in the late 1990s as a politics major and was on the lookout for a career when I saw that the Japanese rugby union was hiring an accounting assistant.

That was my way into the globe of rugby and, as I appreciated to use my English, I finished up encouraging with the women’s global online games in Japan as perfectly as negotiations with other unions when our crew travelled abroad. The position suited me and, in 2010, I was appointed as group supervisor for the Japanese women’s rugby sevens.

I experienced never ever played rugby — I just cherished to observe it. My father was a large enthusiast and would take me to game titles when I was youthful. My most memorable match was the last of the Japanese countrywide match in January 1984 when I was 10. We did not have tickets, but I managed to obtain some for all the loved ones from kinfolk at the gate, working with up the money from my New Year’s present.

My proudest instant was in 2016, when the Olympic Online games bundled rugby sevens for the first time, and we went to Rio de Janeiro.

World MBA rating 2022

A class at the Wharton School

Discover out which schools are in our position of MBA levels. Master how the desk was compiled and read through the rest of our coverage at

In the beginning, the women’s group only experienced about 5 coaching camps a month, but we made the established-up and, in recent a long time, we have expended an normal of 270 days a 12 months as a team training and collaborating in international tournaments. We have educated so tough — when I commenced, our group was ranked fifth in Asia, but now we are the champions of the location.

I tried tough about the several years to give my complete assistance to players and team equally on and off the pitch and, most importantly, I produced certain to maintain the staff disciplined.

Last yr, I decided to reinvent myself. In 2015, Ireland had hosted the qualification event for the World Rugby Sevens women’s series at the Belfield Bowl, the College School Dublin stadium. I heard that UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate Organization University was searching for girls from Asia to be part of its comprehensive-time MBA programme, so I determined to implement.

I have two aims. The initially is to produce a lifetime-extended occupation as an govt mentor at some stage in the future. Qualified rugby players encounter a whole lot of stress and, around the several years, lots of have come to me for information on how to cope. I have uncovered I have a organic capability to motivate.

My second goal is to endorse women’s rugby in Japan and for that I have to have business enterprise expertise this kind of as marketing and advertising. I appreciate the sport simply because of its main values: integrity, solidarity, self-discipline and respect.

My MBA system started out in September and will operate till August. There are 34 comprehensive-time pupils from international locations this sort of as India, the US and Lebanon, so it is a quite international setting. Most learners are in their late twenties and have joined the training course right after around five several years in a career. I assume I am the oldest human being on the course at 47, although I don’t sense that outdated. I even now have the same enthusiasm to find out new items as the more youthful college students — age does not make a difference when you are learning.

I have relished the class on management and organisational behaviour — it is all about how to deal with a team and grow to be a improved chief. I learnt a whole lot from that. Final yr, all lessons were being on the net since of the pandemic but, this yr, we have so significantly the good thing is experienced all classes in particular person.

Eire has a good deal of multicultural businesses, these kinds of as Google, and it is essential to understand how to operate together with several nationalities. I have learnt how to connect and strategy activities in a enterprise in a smoother method.

I have enjoyed living in Eire. Anyone I have achieved right here has been so supportive and constantly asks if I am accomplishing fantastic. I actually feel at house, even while I at times skip the solar. But at the very least my Indian flatmates entertain me and keep me content.

With Covid, it has not been effortless to examine Ireland, but I am hoping to check out the countryside by the conclude of the programme.

I approach to spend a different few of years with the Japanese rugby union — it funded my MBA and I also seriously want to help acquire women’s rugby in Japan.