IUJ Alumni Voices . . . 

IUJers from the Class of 1985 to 2023 gather in Tokyo for IUJ Bonenkai 2023.

Learn from IUJ graduates about their experience on campus, and how IUJ has helped their professional development, in their own words.

“Once you’ve been to IUJ, your heart will remain there forever!!! Our small and amazing world.”

Class of 2019 Graduate

Alumni from 2021-2023

“Reflecting on my years at IUJ, where I completed my Master’s and PhD, I appreciate the academic growth and serene environment. Assignments during my MA and research in the tranquil setting enhanced my academic skills. IUJ’s location amidst fields and mountains fosters peace of mind, allowing students to focus on their studies. I fondly recall reading assignments by the river not far from my apartment or at the top of a mountain on a nice sunny day — a truly amazing experience!!! I urge all to apply to IUJ for a unique academic journey.”

Feruza Madaminova, Class of 2023 (PhD) and Class of 2019 (MA/IRP), Uzbekistan

About Feruza today: Feruza is one of a handful of IUJ students to complete a masters and continue on in the IUJ PhD program. As of February 2024, she is our most recent graduate (December 2023) and currently waiting on career applications results
Jade with her professor at graduation.

“Studying at IUJ was the best decision I have ever made. IUJ supports and nurtures me, increasing my confidence for my future adventures. I would like to extend my gratitude to IUJ and all of my fellow students there. I look forward to seeing all of you soon. ”

Nguyen Thi Ngoc Bich “Jade”, Class of 2023 (MA/PMPP), Vietnam

Jade loving the fun at Snow Country Japan!
About Jade today: Jade is putting her public management skills gained in the PMPP to immediate use in her role as an official at Ho Chi Minh City Institute for Development Studies (HIDS), Centre of International Integration Support.

“Life in IUJ has been transformative. It heavily influenced the foundation of my professional experience at the international level. It has significantly expanded my networks all around the world. Enrolling at IUJ was my best decision, and I wish for others to discover its profound essence and unparalleled value.”

Mary Ruth Ochavillo, Class of 2022 (MA/JGDP), Philippines

About Mary Ruth today: Mary Ruth secured an exciting career as the Knowledge Management Coordinator for the AFOS Foundation for Entrepreneurial Development Cooperation.
Santy, center, with some friends in the IUJ gym after Friday Prayers

“Enrolling at IUJ proved to be an excellent prospect for my academic journey. Not only did I acquire valuable international academic insights, but I also embraced a multicultural environment, given the diverse students from Asia, Africa, the USA, and Europe. In addition to my studies, I took advantage of opportunities for part-time work, both off-campus during the summer break and on-campus as a library student assistant and teaching assistant. Fueling my love for travel, I relished the chance to discover the captivating beauty of Japan during term breaks.”

Santy Dwi Cempaka Class of 2022 (MBA), Indonesia

“Discovering a world within a campus, IUJ united me with global minds and diverse perspectives. It’s where I found my passion, honed my skills, and prepared for a future without borders. This journey isn’t just about what you learn; it’s about who you become along the way.”

Md Asad Iqbal Chowdhury, Class of 2022 (MA/IDP), Bangladesh

About Asad today: Asad joined the faculty of the International Islamic University, Chittagong as an Assistant Professor of Economics and Banking soon after his IUJ graduation.

“Let me share with you my profound experience throughout my journey at IUJ!

First thing which inspired me to commence my postgraduate study at IUJ was the multidisciplinary approach of IUJ which allowed me to look at certain situations from perspective of economics, political science, business and management. At the end of my academic journey I was lucky to be chosen among 35 candidates as an intern of UNODC Vienna Team!

All the skills I gained at IUJ served and are still serving as unwavering pillars of support throughout my personal and professional life. Moreover, I was very lucky to acquire amazing friends whose support, friendship and loyalty were with me throughout the whole time in Japan.

Currently I am working for an International organization which was my ultimate dream.

I am immensely grateful to IUJ for giving me an opportunity to have everything I could have ever wanted for my professional development.”

Mumina Bakhtiyarova, Class of 2021 (MA/IRP), Uzbekistan

About Mumina today: As Mumina shares above, her time after IUJ, though just 3 short years, has given her very interesting and career progressing experiences. She is now working with JICA in Uzbekistan as the Sr. Officer.

“The MBA programme at IUJ is among the best in the world. In addition to receiving academic exposure from highly skilled academic personnel, it gives exposure with students from over 50 nations. This significantly altered the way I think for the better, especially in my role as an administrator. It also gave me motivation for my academic work, and I am using my practical and academic experiences to develop into a strategic leader.

My research focused on supply chain and operation management in Sri Lanka’s textile industry, and I was supervised by Prof. Li Wenkai so that I could complete it successfully. I was particularly interested in Prof. Wakayama’s course on innovation and new business creation because it attempted to increase our level of creativity.”

Bandara Yapa, Class of 2021 (MBA), Sri Lanka

About Bandara today: Bandara returned to his government post for Sri Lanka in the central provincial council.

Alumni from 2016-2020

At a friendship party on campus

“Studying in Japan for two years was amazing. The ideal international study environment for an MBA at IUJ and the very interesting living experience in Niigata has helped me to improve my knowledge, open my eyes to so many different perspectives, as well as maximize my abilities and strengths not only in study but also in extra-curricular activities and life. The valuable skills, diverse experiences, and friendships that cross borders seamlessly which I gained at IUJ have given me more confidence and a solid foundation.  I cannot wait to see where my future goes from this launching pad.”

Trang Vu Thu, Class of 2020 (MBA), Vietnam

About Trang today: She is with the Department of Debt Management and External Finance, Ministry of Finance, Vietnam having been recently pr0moted to Principal Specialist.
With her Economics classmates at IUJ’s Cherry Tree Lane

“I have immense gratitude for my incredible two years at IUJ as a graduate student, during which I had the opportunity to engage with smart thinkers around the world and gain extensive understanding of economics in a global academic setting. The unique blend of global academic environment, friendships, and cultural experiences made my time at IUJ truly special and enhance my personal and professional growth.

Living and learning in a multicultural environment opened my eyes to new perspectives and helped me recognize the basic similarities among all individuals, even in the midst of cultural differences. The experience of conducting my graduate thesis allowed me to acquire the knowledge and abilities I needed to embark on my desired career path. I’ve always felt that since it marked as a significant turning point of my life, seizing the opportunity to pursue my master’s degree at IUJ was the right decision. I will always cherish the invaluable experiences I gained through the distinctiveness of global academic environment, and memories of global friendships and miss everything about IUJ for a lifetime.”

Phyo Naing, Class of 2020 (MA/Economics), Myanmar

About Phyo today: She is a Research Analyst at the International Food Policy Research Institute in Yangon

“Embarking on my Master’s journey at the International University of Japan was transformative. IUJ’s vibrant community, world-class faculty, and innovative programs shaped my intellect and global perspective. A kaleidoscope of cultural experiences awaits, fostering personal and academic growth. Join IUJ, where the world truly gathers and where every moment is a step towards a brighter, interconnected future.” #IUJExperience

Michael Bationo, Class of 2020, (MA/IRP), Burkina Faso

About Michael today: After interning with For Delight, KK in Japan focusing on bringing solar energy to the countryside of Africa, Michael returned to Burkina Faso and is now a Project Officer for IRC Wash, an international think tank actively building strong water, sanitation and hygiene systems – from the bottom up and the top down.

“An enriching journey of education and discovery from the classroom to various extracurricular activities, IUJ is not just a university; it is a memorable experience and a pleasant environment that fuels my passion for learning academic curricula and societal values of discipline and obedience. Nostalgia is integral to my joyful life, remembering classmates with whom I shared academic work and received wonderful feedback from diverse, talented minds from across the world.

Join me in embracing the transformative power of education and the boundless opportunities that IUJ offers.”

Rishi Ram Sigdel, Class of 2019 (MA/Economics), Nepal

About Rishi today: Rishi returned to his role in the National Planning Commission Secretariat, Central Bureau of Statists as Director. He is now at the National Statistics Office (https://nsonepal.gov.np/en/members) under the Office of Prime Minister and Ministers of Councils. He is the director at National Accounts Section of the Office and responsible to estimate the national accounts estimates like GDP, Investment, consumption.

“The MBA curriculum was the most exciting program I’ve encountered. I had the opportunity to make it highly diverse with the number of courses and activities IUJ offers, including cross-registration among the various degrees at IUJ. One thing I enjoyed during my classes was seeing life from different perspectives within a learning environment where I could interact with individuals from various continents and countries.”

El Mehdi Er Raqabi, Class of 2019 (MBA), Morocco

About Mehdi today: Immediately after giving the Valedictorian speech as his graduation in June 2019, Mehdi made his way to Canada on a prestigious scholarship to attend the PhD program at the University of Montreal, specifically Polytechnique Montreal’s Department of Applied Mathematics, focusing his studies on Operations Research.

“Studying in a country like Japan was a dream for me and I could finally achieve it in 2016. IUJ is the place “Where the World Gathers.”  It is a place not only to learn, but also to meet people from the entire world: the faculty and staff encourage you to enhance our friendships and professional networks to grow and expand through the various Alumni Activities.

We all can enjoy the four seasons at IUJ: you can ski, hike, feel the amazing environment and enjoy the Cherry Blossom (Sakura). And to help even more, there is no stress add to your academic works because of the wonderful academic and non-academic staff at IUJ there to support you.”

Neluka Patabendige, Class of 2018 (MBA), Sri Lanka

About Neluka today: After IUJ, Neluka returned to her post at the Ministry of Science and Technology as an accountant, and is now the Chief Accountant at the Ministry of Trade, Commerce and Food Security for Sri Lanka.

“IUJ is not only a place to learn business management, but also to experience diversity which is truly needed for understanding the world, and that’s why we say IUJ is a place “Where the World Gathers.”

I still remember those classes when I sat in the back of the room, and tears would start flowing down: The reason was the true happiness in understanding the concepts which the respected professors were explaining to us. In my professional life I use those concepts, and it makes my life much more sorted out in dealing with different levels of people from various countries.”

Naveen Kumar, Class of 2018 (MBA), India

About Naveen today: After IUJ, Naveen entered a Japanese company, Yokogawa Electric Corporation in their Energy and Sustainable Business HQ. Today, he serves in this division as the Global Account Engineer focusing on ExxonMobil.

“The most valuable thing I learned at IUJ was not only skills in International Relations such as diplomacy or conflict prevention or resolution but the importance of diversity and inclusion in a globalizing world. At IUJ, people from different cultures live together in harmony, respecting and valuing each other. I became a global citizen with a global mindset, and I am convinced that this would not have been possible if I had not been in IUJ.

For 2 years the IUJ faculty encouraged us to work on international teams where we developed communication skills (one of the most important skills in international affairs), team organization, cooperation between different people, professional research, and analysis tools.

For those who are dreaming of studying abroad, I highly recommend IUJ as a destination. Some may worry about language barriers. But there is nothing to worry about. The warmth of the people and your command of English will be enough to help you adapt easily.

If we say that human life is a journey full of challenges, the experience at IUJ is a road that takes us to the next stage.”

Karim KOUAME, Class of 2018 (MA/IRP), Côte d’Ivoire

About Karim today: Karim served as a Program Officer for JICA (Japan International Cooperation Agency) working on infrastructure and regional integration projects at JICA’s Regional Office in the Ivory Coast. 

Alumni from 2010-2015

“My two years at IUJ left an indelible mark on me. It proved to be an exceptional environment for shaping not only my academic but also my professional and personal trajectories. The professors imparted profound knowledge with practical applications across various disciplines. The divisions for student support and academic support consistently aided us in reaching our educational objectives, fostering a connection between our coursework and extracurricular pursuits.

IUJ resembled a miniature United Nations, hosting students from over 60 countries across different continents. In the dormitories, we formed a strong bond akin to brotherhood, creating a lasting network of friendships. Engaging in numerous club activities, Culti Fiesta, and IUJ Olympics further strengthened our connections. One of the most pivotal moment was the honor of delivering the valedictorian speech on behalf of my school, the Graduate School of International Relations, a testament to the transformative impact of my time at IUJ.

These enriching experiences significantly enhanced my academic life, enabling me to excel in my discipline and paving a clear path for my continued journey into doctoral studies.”

Mayura Arandara, Class of 2015 (MA/IDP), Sri Lanka

About Mayura today: Immediately after graduation, Mayura became the Assistant Secretary to the President working on development and special projects in the Office of the President in Sri Lanka. He then went on to obtain a PhD at Hiroshima University before becoming a research consultant at Sri Lanka Institute of Development Administration.

Studying in IUJ, combined with hands on practical experience that I had before I enrolled in the master’s program, expanded my knowledge in different fields of economic management. A degree from The International University of Japan has served to boost my career opportunities leading to a higher position in my institution. 

Bobir Abubakirov, Class of 2015, (MA/IDP), Uzbekistan

About Bobir today: Bobir returned to the Central Bank of Uzbekistan, and was promoted to Director of Foreign Exchange Regulation and BOP. In 2019 he was promoted again to Deputy Governor in charge of external sector statistics and other related issues.

“My first day at IUJ brought me to a dreamland: Surrounded by lush green mountains and nature stood the tall buildings of IUJ. As imagined, it was truly a place where the best of the world gathers. I was honored to study with students from all walks of life be it high profile government officials, Japanese corporate employees, fresh graduates, and experienced people.

I joined a Japanese IT company in Tokyo after completing my MBA at IUJ and have been living in Japan for more than 13 years. I have introduced friends and family members as well to IUJ, and they also came to study at IUJ and made successful career in Japan and other parts of the world.

Thank you IUJ for giving me opportunity to spread my wings and fly high with confidence!”

Hemlata Jaitawat, Class of 2013 (MBA), India

About Hemlata today: After roles with Nomura and Rakuten, Hemlata is now enjoying a career with Infosys as a Consultant for Japan operations.

“After spending two years pursuing an MA, I can confidently say that IUJ is a unique and diverse community where students from various backgrounds and cultures learn and live together. I have thoroughly enjoyed my learning experience and acquired knowledge that is directly applicable to my current work. The professors and staff are friendly and supportive, and the study facilities are well-designed to help students achieve their academic goals, including study rooms, a computer lab, a research hub, and a vast library. Beyond academic life, IUJ has provided me with networking opportunities and the chance to build global friendships.”

Bith Chankhan, Class of 2013 (MA/PMPP), Cambodia

About Bith today: After IUJ, Bith returned to work for the Cambodian government before being seconded to the National Committee for Sub-national Democratic Development. Returning to the government, he joined the Ministry of Interior and spoke at the UNESCAP hosted Asia-Pacific Urban Forum (APUF8) held in Korea in October 2023, presenting an Overview of Cambodia Sustainable and Smart City Development (photo).

“With the completion of my Economics degree from IUJ in 2013, I found myself poised with invaluable skills and global insights. Back in Nepal, I founded a consulting firm serving various sectors, alongside part-time teaching and freelance consulting. This fulfilling journey stems from my IUJ experience which enriched my professional path.”

Madhu Sudan Gautam, Class of 2013 (MB/Economics), Nepal

About Madhu today: While teaching and researching on climate change and related economic implications, Madhu is now the Executive Director for the Institute of Frontier Studies, focusing on climate change and disaster risk mitigation.

IUJ: My Magic Land

“When I first set foot on IUJ’s campus, nestled in the picturesque mountains of Niigata, Japan, it was like stepping into a world of magic. Initially, everything seemed unfamiliar. I was like a fish cast out of water, with no friends to talk to and Japan appearing a distant land from my West African home of Sierra Leone. Adapting to the cuisine and grappling with a language I couldn’t speak made it a challenging start. I am grateful for the advice I received from the university’s career guidance office  to “hang in there.” Little did I know that gaining skills in resilience would help a unique journey to unfold into an extraordinary chapter of my life. Looking back, IUJ stands out as the best decision I have ever made.

IUJ’s campus became a sanctuary of camaraderie and social bonds, unparalleled by any other experience, even after attending two world-class universities in Europe since my IUJ graduation.

The lessons learned, the passions discovered, and the resilience cultivated during my time at IUJ laid the foundation for the remarkable academic journey that followed. IUJ, with its unique blend of international camaraderie and transformative education, will forever have a magical place in my heart.”

Owen M.M. KaiCombey, Class of 2012, (MA/IRP), Sierra Leone

Photo: Own, with the IUJ cap, is surrounded by his international friends as spring comes to campus.

About Owen today: Being inspired by IUJ’s international law courses, Owen returned to the academic world to study more deeply and received admission to the Sierra Leone Bar in 2022. Currently, he is pursing a PhD in public international law at the University of Galway in Ireland.

“Attending the International University of Japan (IUJ) was an extraordinary journey transcending traditional education. It wasn’t just an institution; it was a microcosm of the world, uniting brilliant minds from every corner of the globe within its vibrant campus. At IUJ, I gained the most sought-after skills and experienced some of my life’s finest moments. The friendships I forged here are with individuals who are not only highly successful but also deeply inspiring.

IUJ equipped me for a future without limits. I attribute the success I have achieved, and anticipate in the future, to the unparalleled education and experiences I gained at IUJ. It has been a cornerstone in my personal and professional development, setting the foundation for a life of achievement and fulfilment.”

Mubashir Qasim Class of 2012, (MA/IDP), Pakistan

About Qasim today: After gaining further research experience in policy and economics issues, Qasim went on to a PhD in New Zealand at University of Waikato, and is now the Senior Economist at DairyNZ

“I chose IUJ because I anticipated an academic environment free from biased political views, and I am confident that my choice was correct. I have concerns that individuals identifying as liberal may sometimes exclude those who do not seem liberal. I strongly believe that liberalism thrives on dialogues with diverse perspectives, and IUJ embodies this inclusive approach.”

Mitsunori Homma, Class of 2010 (MA/IPSP), Japan

About Dr. Homma today: After receiving his PhD from International Christian University, Dr. Homma is teaching Japanese culture and society, and Japanese language to post-graduate student at the Inter-University Center for Japanese Language Studies. He is often a language and culture coach for Ansel Elgort, who provided the photo of Homma-sensei shown here.

Alumni from 2006-2009

“My experience at IUJ and the E-business program* in particular have been nothing short of life changing. The alumni network and support in Malaysia has been exceptional thanks to a lot of Senpais who are still active.

Since graduating, I have been in the driver’s seat launching eCommerce companies in South-East Asia. Together with the pioneering teams, I have launched Groupon and Lazada (Acquired by Alibaba) across 7 countries in SE Asia. I have also worked with the Government agencies and with the Malaysian Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) in particular to drive digital technology adoption in SMEs across Malaysia. This included visits, together with the Malaysian delegation, to technology companies in Silicon Valley. One of the crowning achievements I would highlight was launching innovative solutions in the Fintech industry.

My IUJ experience is the foundation for these achievements.”

Mohammed Yacoob Abdullah Humayun, MEB 2009, India

*Today, IUJ offers a Digital Transformation program – an updated curriculum for today’s dynamics.

About Yacoob today: You will find Yacoob in Canada where he is now head of Product and Account Management at Aarorn Technologies Inc. In 2017 he was selected as a Young Fellow to participate in the World Islamic Economic Forum (WIEF). 

“IUJ has a unique and extremely rich international environment where you cannot only expand your knowledge and skills but also nurture a global mindset and forge lifelong connections with people from diverse cultures; and provides abundant opportunities for personal growth and development, making it an exceptional place for education.”

Sok Heng Lay, IDP Class of 2009 (MA/IDP), Cambodia

About Sok Heng today: Soon after graduation, Sok Heng entered a career path at the central bank in Cambodia, where he is now Deputy Director General of the Directorate General of Policy and International Cooperation of the National Bank of Cambodia.

“The International University of Japan (IUJ) is more than a pathway to high-quality education; it’s a gateway to a world of boundless possibilities and profound cultural immersion. This is more than education; it’s a partnership between nations.

Here, excellence meets diversity, where learning extends beyond textbooks and classrooms. It’s an opportunity not only to acquire knowledge but to unravel the tapestry of Japan – a powerhouse among global economies.

To aspiring scholars, seize this chance to not only grow academically but to become ambassadors of positive change in your communities. Embrace the lessons, the culture, and the connections – for they will shape not just your career but your character.”

Aktilek Tungatarov, Class of 2008 (MA/IDP), Kyrgyzstan

About Aktilek today: After graduating from IUJ, he joined the salesforce at Gazprom Oil Asia before becoming Executive Director of International Business Council in Kyrgyz.  After several other roles gaining rich experience of managing donor-funded projects and cooperating with international aid organizations (USAID, OSCE, GIZ, European Commission, UNDP, ADB and WB), he finds himself in the USA encouraging entrepreneurs there with Nomads’ Business League.

Studying at IUJ is one of the most fruitful & valuable experiences of my life.

I learned a lot not only academically but also, I gained international experiences which is supporting my career.

I think living in IUJ can shorten the lead-time to learn about the world and the time needed for travelling and living in different countries. Because I was surrounded everyday by people from diverse cultures and with interesting backgrounds, I could quickly develop cultural sensitivity and social interaction skills. I became more comfortable interacting with all types of people with a better understanding of different views and beliefs.

Living in IUJ also encouraged me to develop effective communication skills as I interacted with non-native English speakers. I learned to better recognize verbal and nonverbal language ques. This supports my career as I need to communicate with many different countries’ suppliers and customers who use different English accents and English mannerisms.

More importantly, I can also rely on my international network of friends. After IUJ, I traveled to visit my classmates who live in Norway, Sweden, France, China, Singapore, Malaysia, India, Laos, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Cambodia. Above all, all international friends can be my great network if I have some questions related to their countries.

Strong communication skills are valuable in any organization, but this is a skill more particularly sought for by international or multinational companies. The IUJ experience is surely a great step for future career advancement if you will be working in diversity.

Wirunrach Podsatiankul, Class of 2008, (MA/IRP), Thailand

About Wirunrach today: Ruch, as she is know at IUJ, is developing her career within the Nissan group of companies. After a role in the Planning Division as a Senior Manager, she is now Senior Manager of the International Marketing Division of Nissan Trading Thailand.

“Thanks to IUJ for laying a solid foundation for my understanding of economics, research methodology, and thesis writing, I now hold a PhD in Economics.”

Dr. Max Wengawenga, Class of 2007 (MA/IDP), Malawi

About Max today: Max’s government career spans several ministries in Malawi including the Ministry of agriculture, Ministry of Industry and Trade, and Ministry of Finance, Economic Planning and Development. Today, he is Deputy Director of Policy and Planning in the Ministry of Water and Sanitation.

“I appreciate the practical approach of IUJ’s MBA program. The emphasis on real-world applications and case studies equips students with valuable skills for today’s dynamic business landscape. The global perspective embedded in the curriculum and the diverse cohort create an enriching learning environment: it is a transformative 2 years.

The strong alumni network of IUJ is a testament to the program’s impact. Graduates not only gain a world-class education but also become part of a global community that continues to support each other in their professional journeys.”

Le Pham Hanh, Class of 2007 (MBA), Vietnam

About Hanh today: After graduation, Hanh returned to Bank for Foreign Trade of Vietnam before moving on to VCB Money, Inc. where he is now CEO and a member of the Board of Directors.

“IUJ enriches you with practical knowledge and experience plus international friendship.”

Vannarith Chheang, Class of 2006 (MA/IRP), Cambodia

About Vannarith today: Dr. Chheang Vannarith is a public policy analyst and a government relations strategist. He was honored Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum in 2013. Currently he is serving as the President at the Asian Vision Institute (AVI), Chairman of the Advisory Council of the National Assembly of Cambodia, Founder and Chairman of Angkor Social Innovation Park (ASIP).

Alumni from 2000-2005

“IUJ is in a unique location; Two hours from Tokyo by bullet train will bring you to a landscape where you can discover what Japan is all about. Surrounded by rich nature and an academic atmosphere, you may concentrate on your study and develop valuable human network from Asia and around the world.”

Yasutaka Kojima, Class of 2002 (MBA), Japan

About Kojima-san today: With a long career with JR East taking him to various cities in the world, Kojima-san is currently Manager of the Planning and International Relations Department, working on the future of the train company including its HR and international projects.

“The IUJ alumni networking is a life-time value asset for me. I got a job in Euro-Group and Citigroup Japan during 2000-2005 period thanks to IUJ alumni. After coming back to Vietnam, alumni networking worked again as an IUJ alum (Akihiko Nakano), who worked at the Embassy of Japan to Vietnam, helped me collaborate easily and productively with the EOJ. He is currently working at Japan’s MOFA in charge of Vietnam, thus making our jobs go quite smoothly. ”

Nguyen Thanh Ha, Class of 2000 (MA/IDP), Vietnam

About Thanh Ha today: He is Director General, International Cooperation Department of VASS, Vietnam Academy of Social Sciences. Before this, building on experiences with Citi and EuroGroup, Thanh Ha was a researcher at Institute of World Economics & Politics.

“I have academic experiences in the United States, Japan (IUJ!) and Australia. But there is no place like IUJ. IUJ is like an intersection of diverse backgrounds where you can cultivate your imagination and creativity.”

Kohei Kawabata Class of 2001 (MA/IRP), Japan

About Kawabata-san today: Kawabata-sensei received his PhD at the Australian University right after IUJ, then built his teaching and research careers at Kwansei Gakuin University and Fukushima University. He is currently a professor at Tsuda University in the Department of International Cooperation and Multicultural Studies, College of Liberal Arts.

“Education environment at IUJ is extraordinary with faculty and students of diverse professional and geographical background. It does not merely teach you how to earn a living but provides ample opportunities to develop right perspectives about your life, your surroundings and the world at large.”

Alam Jahangir, Class of 2002 (MA/IRP), Bangladesh

About Alam today: After graduation, Alam joined Itochu Corp. in Bangladesh ending in Deputy Manager of the Automobile, Machinery & Project Department. He is currently CEO of BSR Trade Synergy (Business with Social Responsibility) in Dhaka.

Photo: Alam is furthest left at an Itochu Training program

“IUJ transformed my professional trajectory, elevating me to the role of a distinguished manager within the Asian market. After graduating, I resided in many Asian cities such as Bangkok, Beijing, and Hanoi for over a decade. Currently, I am employed in Japan, serving as an internal auditor for overseas subsidiaries. My role affords me the opportunity to reconnect with classmates during my business travels.”

Tadahiko Ishikawa, Class of 2003 (MBA), Japan

About Ishikawa-san today: Ishikawa-san’s long career crisscrossing Asia is with AEON Co., Ltd., where he is now in the internal audit division.

Alumni from 1990-99

“My assets acquired from my life in IUJ range from a professional knowledge of finance to a good understanding of diversity. In addition, I really enjoyed off-campus life in Urasa (especially skiing in winter!) and in Charlottesville as an exchange student at the University of Virginia Darden School. But, one of the most precious thing for me is my classmates, getting acquainted with the faculty, and expanding my network.”

Kazuhiro Toyoda, Class of 1998 (MBA), Japan

About Kazuhiro today: Building on his career starting at Nihon Seimei, then Nissay Asset Management Corporation where he was a Chief Portfolio Manager in the Equity Analysis Office, Toyoda-san is now with Schroder Investment Management Japan Ltd. as a Fund Manager, and Head of Japanese Equities Team.

“My time at IUJ was an impactful time to make connections with interesting people from around the world and have a deeper experience of the Japanese culture. The learnings I had in and outside of the classroom were valuable throughout my career.”

Ty Jernstedt, Class of 1997 (MBA), USA, currently in The Netherlands

About Ty today: With various marketing and HR roles for companies such as Mizuno and Professional Public Relations, Ty became a diversity and inclusion training professional for Nike and Zalando and is currently the Chief Empowerment Officer at REMIX Coaching in Denmark, a company he founded, and which was recently Awarded Top 10 Employee Engagement Company in Europe

“My time at IUJ was a transformative experience. It offered me a serene environment to focus on my studies, lifelong friendships, and unforgettable memories. The diverse, 15+ nationalities in our class taught me valuable lessons about cultural communication differences.

To future IUJ applicants, I encourage you to explore the incredible opportunities waiting for you here.”

Carol HJ Park, Class of 1996 (MBA), Korea

About Carol today: With career experience at Deutsche Morgan Grenfell and Fidelity International, Carol is now Managing Director at Access Communication & Consulting Co. Ltd, in Seoul

“The MBA program of IUJ really supported and helped my international career taking me from Japan, to the US, and to the European MNC over the last 30 years since graduation. When I look back today, the 2 years I spent in IUJ and the town of Urasa (snow country), including 1 term on an exchange program to Manchester Business School, are so valuable to me, and an unforgettable life experience.”

Tao Yang, Class of 1995 (MBA), China

About Tao today: Mostly in the technology and automobile industries, Yang’s career has taken him to such companies as Ford, Panasonic, PwC Consulting, Pirelli and Michelin tires. He is winding up his career in Singapore with Bridgestone where he is director of Bridgestone Asia Pacific, Regional Sales.

“IUJ is an excellent university to which I give much thanks for giving me the best chance to learn much about global perspectives. I could make many friends from around the world, many with whom I keep in touch even 20 years later.”

Hiroshi Shichiku, Class of 1993 (MA/IR), Japan

About Hiroshi today: Career senior professional with Shikoku Electric Company, currently
Managing Director and CEO at Shikoku Instrumentation CO., LTD

Alumni from 1985-89

“30 plus years seemed like yesterday. We are always grateful for our two transformative years at IUJ. The experience has become part of who we are today. In my case, I learned about Sustainability in Japan (people, planet and profit) which is an integral part of my work today and personal ethos.”

Iggy Sison, Class of 1989, Philippines

About Iggy today:  Chief Sustainability Officer of Del Monte Philippines and Chief Corporate Officer of Del Monte Pacific. He joined the company in 1999 and was previously the Chief Financial Officer for 9 years. In 2010, he received the Best CFO Award in the Singapore Corporate Awards. 

‘IUJ experience has held me in good stead in navigating diverse cultural experiences in the corporate world, towards building DEI goals, strengthening bridges of mutual trust and partnerships between India and Japan and working on global agendas of women empowerment and universal healthcare. Having worked in industry associations, telecom, healthcare sectors in India, I feel there is a lot more that the IUJ alumni network can do as mentors and advisers in cross country collaborations- something that IUJ has done so well on campus as well!’

Vinita Sethi, Class of 1989, India

About Vinita today:  Holds leadership and Board roles across National & Global organisations and forums as an economist & public policy professional having worked for 30+ years in the corporate and enterprise sectors. She is the Chief Public Affairs at the Apollo Hospitals Group, member-Board of FIND India, President-Public Affairs Forum of India (2023-24) and an Independent Director on Boards. Has led large scale national & global projects spanning digital, healthcare, gender, diversity & inclusion, business collaborations & CSR, from inception to launch and scaling.

“I was the first Italian to join IUJ. It was a great privilege for a curious person like me. I helped open a vital bridge with my university and IUJ, receiving the best possible support from both. Two years spent at IUJ was an entire lifetime of experiences. I am now hosting international students at Turin University. If you are interested in a good education and an adventure, the IUJ community is for you.”

Augusto Zumbo Class of 1988, Italy

About Augusto today: Served as Consumer Marketing Manager for Motorola S.p.A. before becoming the Country Manager for Sony Mobile Communications, then eventually becoming Chairman of the Board for Remedia TSR. Today, Augusto is a visiting professor at University of Turin.