In addition to six two-week international residencies, Global Executive MBA students participate in distance learning courses throughout the 21-month program. Masa Uzawa, a current GEMBA student and deputy manager for corporate sustainability and responsibility at a chemical/pharmaceutical company in Japan, discusses how the distance learning component of GEMBA enables him to work with classmates across the world and impacts his position as a manager:
Before I started the Global Executive MBA format, I knew that the international residencies, distance learning class sessions and online learning team meetings would help improve my performance in working remotely with colleagues and clients. My company is gradually changing and growing more globalized, and as a result, I now manage teams across different continents.
In my job, I frequently use technology to communicate with people who live and work in other countries — at a Singapore sales department office or a manufacturing site in Saudi Arabia — and managing them through Skype or a teleconferencing system is not always easy. Part of my role in my company is to be a mentor and teacher to my team. I prefer face-to-face interactions, but that is not always possible when working with a team across the globe. For example, a new employee we hired in October struggled with the new environment. At that time I was learning about management communication, which is one of GEMBA’s core subjects, and it helped me analyze my employee’s situation and provide feedback to improve his performance from afar.
Because the distance learning component of GEMBA requires me to attend distance learning classes and interact with my learning team in online meetings twice a week, I receive real-time practice in communicating effectively across the world, making me a better manager to a global team.