Peter Chai / Graduate School of Political Science, Waseda University
I participated in the Waseda-UCSD MicroMBA program when I was a third-year undergraduate student at the School of Political Science and Economics, Waseda University, and I entered the Graduate School of Political Science, Waseda University with a Partial-Tuition Waiver Scholarship last year. For my graduate research, I am empirically analyzing public opinions and attitudes across East Asian societies through utilizing transitional survey databases such as the World Values Survey (WVS). In the past two years, I have been applying the insights I acquired from the MicroMBA program to my daily studies and research, and the key takeaway which I obtained from this memorable experience as an individual is to plan, prepare, and act in an organized manner. This key message benefitted me quite much in managing my undergraduate thesis, graduate school application, and part-time jobs at the same time last year.
I have tried to carry on the spirits of innovation and quality control which I learned from the MicroMBA program in my real life. I believe that what business administration and management science have taught me as a human being is to think positively, act bravely, and reflect constantly. I also believe that these qualities are not only essential for entrepreneurs but also for young early-stage researchers like myself. As researchers, we need to identify gaps in the existing literature, we have to brainstorm possible ways to address the gaps, we may also need to work with colleagues on a single research project, we have to be persistent and patient enough to finish up the project to the expected quality, and we should consider the potential limitations and biases of our own methodologies. I think that these steps are somehow similar to developing products, and this mindset is similar to strategic management in the world of commerce: strategic planning, strategic implementation, and reviewing feedback.
I am grateful for the knowledge I obtained from the field of business management as I get to learn from my past mistakes and imagine and seek personal improvements along my academic journey. I wish I could always remind myself of the importance of learning from others and reflecting on my own behaviors, and I believe, through my efforts in observing the workable and effective methods and techniques employed by prominent scholars in social sciences, I am able to gradually step forward in my graduate research and establish my own way of looking at the world around me and of finding the important social issues that worth investigating. I hope I could keep reading books and articles related to management science, behavioral economics, and design thinking, and I know that I still have a very long way to go to achieve a better work-life balance, a more logical mind, as well as more perceptive eyes.
To conclude, from my perspective, the abilities to make meaningful observations and to dissect and analyze the details behind such observations are important for both entrepreneurs and researchers. The skills to communicate and cooperate as well as to speedily respond to dynamic changes have become increasingly vital for commercial and academic activities in today’s globalizing world. The knowledge of business administration and the experience of entrepreneurs are worth contemplating for people studying and working in other fields, and the lessons from both academia and practitioners should mutually enhance our understanding of the diversity of our fast-developing society.
Entrance ceremony in 2017 (left) and graduation ceremony in 2021 (right)