Alumni Profiles

Kota Ageiwa 


Nationality: Japanese

Year Gradauted: 2015 (MBA'15D)

Current Role: Business Development Manager, Mitsui & Co., Ltd.

One day, I noticed that the most attractive people have one simple thing in common; they live their own life, not someone else’s life.

What were you working as before INSEAD?
I started working in Mitsui & Co, one of the biggest sogo-shoshas (general trading and Investment Company) in Japan, as a Business Development Manager in oil & gas business field. In Mitsui, I headquartered in Tokyo and Houston while occasionally flying to countries in Asia, Americas, Middle East and Africa.
What made you decide on the INSEAD MBA?
Through my business experience, I came to know that Japan needs more leaders who are capable of managing international and diverse teams and I thought I should be one of such leaders. Therefore, I looked for a programme that is international, diverse and at the same time very competitive. In addition to that, I did not want to invest more than one year out of my career in school education. INSEAD was the only school that met all of my criteria.
What happened after INSEAD?
I have switched industry, function and geography after graduation. I am now working for a professional firm that does M&A advisory and equity investment in Prague. However, in the future, I plan to go back to my original employer in Japan because my passion is to improve Japan’s society. Also, although I feel comfortable with current job, I feel that business development and management is what I want to do in the long run.
 What are your thoughts on the INSEAD faculty?
INSEAD has a lot of wonderful professors just as other top programmes do. Although the faculty boasts great diversity in terms of gender, ethnicity and nationality, the background of them was somewhat similar (For instance, majority of them were educated and/or worked in U.S. or Europe and I sometimes felt that they are not familiar with business in Asia).
Was there a particular module that you enjoyed most, and why?
 I liked organisational behavior classes such as “Psychological Issues in Management” by Jennifer Petrigrieli, “Power and Politics” by Kaisa Snellman and “Management Decision Making” by Jordi Quoidbach. The reason is that these classes provide you with not only hard-skills, but also soft-skills and ways of thinking that is required for leaders.
How has the INSEAD MBA changed your life or perspectives?
I met a lot of impressive people during the programme including classmates, teachers and legendary individuals such as Warren Buffet. One day, I noticed that the most attractive people have one simple thing in common; they live their own life, not someone else’s life. I myself have always been following my instinct and passion without giving them much thought, and I was never sure if that was the right thing to do. But thanks to new findings, now I feel much more comfortable with myself.
Any advice for our future MBA students?
You should be clear about what you want to get out of INSEAD experience since the year will be intense and you definitely cannot get everything. Then relax, open up and be genuine and you will achieve what you want.


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