Waseda Business School (WBS) aims to support those who aspire to a step-up in their career and those who plan to start a new career by studying at a business school. Our society today is undergoing rapid change. The world is globalizing, new technologies are appearing successively, and the market is changing. In order to survive in the global competitive environment, management knowledge of a global standard is essential. We need to acquire the capacity to solve problems – to identify the essence of the problem, to find a solution to it, and to implement the solution – and develop practical skills to tackle the problems for which our experience so far is not applicable. WBS is the best place to acquire management knowledge, problem-solving capability, the capacity to act, and leadership skills.
WBS started as a business education program (non-degree program) at the Systems Science Institute of Waseda University in 1973. It has gone through some reorganization since then, from being a Graduate School of Asia-Pacific Studies to offering a MBA Track at the Graduate School of Commerce. In April 2016, a new Graduate School of Business and Finance was created as a result of the developmental merger of two graduate schools: the MBA Track of the Graduate School of Commerce and the Graduate School of Finance, Accounting and Law. Due to this development, both business education and finance education have been mutually strengthened at a higher level. In addition to the existing MBA programs, the new graduate school offers an MSc in Finance (full-time, English-based), which attracts interest from all around the world. Moreover, it has added a Finance Track to the existing evening MBA Program (Specialized).
As its mission statement suggests, WBS aims to create actionable knowledge, to develop leaders with global perspective, and to form a learning community. Faculty at WBS include practitioners such as senior executives with a wealth of experience, consultants of the highest level, and researchers doing the cutting edge of research in various management fields. Because of the breadth of our faculty profile, we create actionable knowledge that is neither armchair theory nor the simple transmission of management experience.
WBS also has an International MBA program and an MSc in Finance program, which are entirely taught in English. These programs attract students from all over the world. Because of these English-based programs, we are in close contact with top-class business schools abroad. Exchanges at both student and faculty levels are thriving. Therefore, inter-cultural communication is a fact of life at WBS, and students will acquire global perspectives.
Lastly and most importantly, there is a fantastic learning community at WBS, where excellent students of diverse backgrounds come together. At WBS, students’ participation in learning is very much encouraged. This is an extremely dynamic learning process, in which students create new viewpoints and ideas by expressing their ideas and learn from others’ ideas through discussions with their fellow students or with faculty. At WBS, every student is allocated to their own seminar group, where they get to know other seminar members and faculty well and work on their thesis. This learning community is indispensable for the creation of actionable knowledge through discussion and the development of leadership.
WBS offers a wide range of programs, and it is one of the biggest business schools in Japan in terms of the number of students and the size of the faculty. Our size is the source of our strength. Because we have so many students, we can offer a wide range of courses, which enables you to find the courses that address your individual concerns. A learning community of a large size made up of diverse members improves learning effects. Those students with whom you study at WBS will be to your advantage: you will work together to start a new business, you will collaborate at work, and you will share your joys and troubles. A large network of students and alumni comprises a valuable asset.
These characteristics and strengths of WBS will be useful to you in acquiring the ability to respond to the rapid changes our society is now facing. At the same time, however, the global environment that surrounds business schools is also changing. For example, western business schools are increasingly finding it difficult to secure high pay for alumni, and the opportunity costs of their two-year programs are rising. The era in which the majority of graduates found jobs in big companies in the West is over: the proportion of graduates finding jobs in newly-emerging countries with a completely different business environment and with a large proportion of venture businesses is rising. In order to address these changes, business schools in the world have developed a diverse range of programs in terms of student profile, the amount of learning involved, and the specialized fields offered. Their curriculum now places more emphasis on entrepreneurship, global perspective, inter-cultural communication, and ethics than ever before.
Here at WBS, we are acutely aware that we also need to keep innovating ourselves by taking into account the challenges posed by and the evolution of business schools around the globe and by emphasizing the benefits of being based in Japan in order to compete with business schools abroad.
I sincerely hope that many talented students will continue to learn at WBS and advance and realize changes in their careers. I also hope that you will join our efforts to solve the various problems in society through the creation of actionable knowledge.
Prof. Hitoshi TAKEHARA
Waseda Business School