I was born and raised in Japan, though during my elementary school years (from age 5 to 11) I lived in New York State. As a student, I was curious about practically everything and have had a wide variety of jobs ranging from working at McDonald’s to handling parcel control at a logistics center. I studied international relations at university, which gave me many options for what to do with my career.
Deciding on McKinsey
When at university, I wanted to become a journalist. However, I attended the recruiting events for many different companies to find out as much as I could about other options open to me. McKinsey seemed like a great company to work for, but I really had no idea of what the job was like when I submitted my application. It was my interviews at McKinsey that really influenced my decision. Every person I spoke to, or had interactions with, was inspiring, clever, and vibrant. I felt that these were the kind of people I wanted to spend time with and work with. I thought deep and hard about whether to take up the offer I had received from a newspaper, or to start out at McKinsey. The people I met really helped me make my mind up.
Leaving and returning
When I joined McKinsey as a business analyst in 1999, I had some great projects in the high-tech and business-building fields which helped me learn about how companies work from the ground up. My colleagues were great and I quickly learned that McKinsey has a real apprenticeship model and a family atmosphere. After a couple of years I was tempted to take on the business-building challenge for myself, so I left to join a new business which a McKinsey colleague had founded, and spent the next few years running an internet retail business for organic foods.
I returned to McKinsey in 2005 and have been focused mainly on consumer goods and retail. I have also worked in multiple geographies including the U.K. and Belgium. One of my most exciting recent events was when we did a presentation in front of Japan's most influential people—business leaders, politicians, academics ,and government officials. McKinsey's fact-based approach to structuring what Japan's challenges are was much appreciated by the participants and has become the basis for a round of discussions which followed.
What do I do in my free time
I am an avid fan of live music—all genres from rock to jazz to reggae/ska. I spend many weekends going to outdoor music events and live concerts, inside and outside of Tokyo. I also love to eat good food—and I am in a great city for that!
||BA, International Relations