We recently caught up with International MBA alumni Hide Maekita to learn more about his MBA experience at IE Business School…
What’s your story? Who is Hide?I was born in Japan, but spent my early years between my home country, the US and Canada. Before getting my MBA at IE Business School, I spent four very formative years at Goldman Sachs, in their investment banking division, after I had completed my Bachelor’s degree at UBC in Vancouver. I chose IE because was top-ranked, for its duration, its diverse student profile, but also for its location; because it was located in Madrid. I wanted to get some added life experience, to get to know life in Southern Europe, I wanted to live some of that passion the Spanish are so well known for.
What most motivated in your professional life before joining IE Business Schools International MBA program?
There were two things that really motivated me: first, to work in a globally relevant industry with highly competent colleagues, and second, at the bank where I worked I got lots of exposure to Southeast Asia where I was part of the team responsible for expanding their securities trading franchise. Lots of exposure to senior leaders at the firm was also something that was highly motivating for me.
What’s been both the most rewarding and most challenging part of your MBA experience at IE?
From a social perspective, building new friendships and having new cultural experiences was a hugely rewarding part of the experience. At IE, the world becomes a smaller place. I met and studied with people from every part of the globe. The different sections and groups really allowed us, in just over a year’s time, to experience so many different cultures and perspectives that otherwise might take years to obtain.
Academically, and while the MBA itself was no easy feat, for me the big challenge was also to learn Spanish – and to get to know Spain. IE is a “bubble of internationalism” where the de facto language is English, and so I had to make a real effort to make sure I was able to learn about Spain and obtain a basic level of conversational Spanish.
Have you met anyone during the program that has particularly inspired you?
There is only one answer to this and that is “everyone”. Everyone had their unique background and I was able to learn from everyone. There are people who I admired for their past professional accomplishments and there were others who inspired me simply by their life experiences. You can find successful entrepreneurs, musicians, athletes, a language specialist who speaks five or six languages, all in addition to your more typical MBA candidate who comes from banking or consulting. Furthermore, I have met enthusiastic people in school who are really trying to make a difference and motivated me to do the same. The campus is full with inspiration and that is one of IE’s characteristics.
I heard you competed at the MBA Tournament in Paris, how did it go? Was the event worth attending?
MBAT was one of the highlights of my MBA. Not only was it an opportunity to meet students from all over the world, it really strengthened the friendship and showcased the school spirit of IE. I was part of the swim team, and the year I participated IE took home several top medals, in addition to showcasing excellent school spirit. Each night there was a themed party, complete with costumes (apparently Elvis even made an appearance…) and lots of camaraderie. I would certainly go again if I could and recommend it to all students regardless of your program.