The University of Melbourne and its diversity

Skydiving in New Zealand (Sakamoto, far right)
Skydiving in New Zealand (Sakamoto, far right)

Yusuke Sakamoto
Department of Industrial Engineering and Management
Affiliation in University of Melbourne:
Master of Management
July 2015 - June 2016

Why did you choose to study at University of Melbourne?

The University of Melbourne is the top university in Australia and well known for its diversity. Many students from different parts of the world gather at this university, which attracted me since I wanted to get to know people with various backgrounds. The university is also famous for its business school, and I took most of my courses there while I was there. Furthermore, the city of Melbourne had ranked as the world's most liveable city for four years in a row and so the living environment was an added incentive.

What did you study and research at University of Melbourne?

Visiting the Australian Open Tennis Championship 2016 (Sakamoto, left)
Visiting the Australian Open Tennis Championship 2016

I did not conduct research but took courses there because I wanted to learn practical skills rather than academic skills. Some of the courses I chose from the business school were accounting, knowledge management, and multinational management. Most of these courses have group projects, in-class-discussions, and presentations as part of their coursework, and through them, I gained not only knowledge but also practical skills that will become very useful in my future career in business.

What are the differences you found between Tokyo Tech and the University of Melbourne?

One of the differences that impressed me the most was the attitude of the students in Melbourne. Their sense of purpose is a lot stronger, so naturally, they are very active during classes and meetings so as to gain most out of them for their own growth. Also, generally speaking, students at Melbourne seem to think more and deeper although Japanese students are better at calculations as is often said. Another difference is that a Masters Degree can be obtained by just taking course work unlike the Japanese counterpart. There are also extensive services and facilities provided for international students, so I never felt anxious.

What do you think you have gained from your study abroad experience?

I have gained skills to get things done in English, which I had expected to achieve. Another positive outcome is that I have become more open-minded to different opinions and perspectives. Spending time with friends all of whom come from different and very diverse backgrounds made me more aware of my personality. In addition, I sometimes discover the true nature of others (as well as myself) through their eyes, especially, for example, when I went on a road trip and we had to stay and work together for extended periods of time.

Organized a BBQ party with friends (Sakamoto, front left corner)
Organized a BBQ party with friends (Sakamoto, front left corner)

Throwing an Eho-maki sushi party
Throwing an Eho-maki sushi party

How will you apply your experiences abroad in Tokyo Tech, or for your future?

After Salsa performance in a club (Sakamoto, center in the last row)
After Salsa performance in a club
(Sakamoto, center in the last row)

I have had opportunities to think about myself and this experience will be the base of my future decisions. Now, as I have a better command of English and broader perspective, I can clearly see working in an English environment is an option in the future. Working on some projects at the University of Melbourne, I have developed strategic skills to lead a project. In fact, I tested these skills upon my return to Tokyo Tech by leading a project. While there were still areas of my leadership skills that need to be improved, the overall results were positive and the project was successful. Working with others is one of areas I feel I have grown, and my experiences are allowing me to make a good start with my career. I can see that I have made a good educational choice and I believe that I am taking the right path towards my future career path.