Academic Background

Ryohei Sunada, Full-time MBA, Intake 2022

Study Mode
Full-time MBA
Student Nationality
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Ryohei Sunada, former Assistant Vice President (Sales and Marketing) of Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance Company, a leading Japanese insurer, seized the opportunity to reflect on his business development career and reignite his long-held aspiration to pursue an MBA. This led him to join the HKUST Full-time MBA program (Intake 2022).

Sparked by legacy and drawn to excellence

Having been seconded to Thailand and immersed himself across several Asian cities through studying and internships, Ryohei saw the opportunities and growing dynamism in Asia. He decided to start the next chapter of his career here. Ryohei met Japanese students and alumni of the HKUST MBA program at the AGOS Summer Festival. This sparked a life-changing desire for growth and excellence. "I was very impressed by the strong Japanese alumni network and the supportive environment they created," Ryohei said. "I also found the condensed and enriching 16-month full-time curriculum compelling. Since then, HKUST Business School became my top MBA choice."

Ryohei (third right) and his Japanese classmates from Full-time MBA Intake 2022

Challenging and encouraging each other for mutual growth

Ryohei's learning journey quickly hit the ground running after he experienced the thrill of discovering the vibrant city, the stunning sea view, and the resourceful campus at HKUST. The diverse and high-achieving student community he learned alongside stimulated his pursuit of excellence.

"The experience collaborating with talents from all walks of life in the Marketing Strategy Policy core course in the first term was remarkable," Ryohei recalled. "The opportunity to learn perspectives from classmates from Germany, South Africa, France, and Canada gave me exposure to diverse cultures and different genders. The shared struggle and growth brought us closer, building a strong and lasting friendship."

Marketing Strategy Policy Course with Prof. Joseph Salvacruz

Earning trophy and life-long friendship in refining case analysis competencies

Working towards building a strategy consulting career, Ryohei actively participated in case competitions and the flagship Enhancing Professional Skills program. These programs aimed to empower students in accelerating their analytical and presentation skills, which are critical building blocks for successful business leaders in board and stakeholder engagement. 

Drawing insights from a team with diverse professional backgrounds, including fashion design, IT, finance, and marketing, Ryohei and his teammates aced the HKUST MBA Case Competition. They won the program's sponsorship to attend the Capsource Case Competition in Hawaii.

"The team went through thick and thin," Ryohei said. "We debated rigorously along every step, from pre-event preparation to on-site competition. Apart from putting our enhanced skillsets into practice, it was an invaluable experience to learn about time management, managing priorities, and teamwork. We navigated through challenges together, winning not only the championship but also lasting friendships."

Ryohei and his teammates winning the Capsource Case Competition in Hawaii

The global perspective: embracing new cultures and sharing his own

HKUST is a globally connected business school with a well-respected network of international school partners. Leveraging this advantage, Ryohei further strengthened his global acumen with an exchange to IE University in Spain during the second year of his MBA studies. The three-month exchange allowed him to expand his professional network to Europe and immerse himself in a new culture.

With a great passion for connecting people, Ryohei co-ran the Japan Club to introduce the timeless and trendy Japanese beauty to his classmates through cultural sharing events. As Ryohei highlighted about the Japan Trek he orchestrated with other club committees, "Hosting the Japan Trek for about 40 classmates was a very memorable experience. The process of structuring the event, inviting sponsorships, and meticulous planning were great opportunities to learn."


Sony Company Visit and Sightseeing at full-time MBA Japan Trek

Next chapter: From business development to strategy consulting

Despite being on exchange during the job search season while the recruitment landscape remained competitive, Ryohei achieved his aim. He landed a Strategy Consulting role in the Accenture Japan with the dedicated career services and supportive alumni network available through the HKUST MBA program.

"The program provides a large variety of career services," Ryohei said. "In particular, the case interview training with coaches from a strategy consulting background was very helpful. Many of us benefited from our alumni connections for more opportunities."
We asked Ryohei to conclude his MBA journey, and he quoted a recent encounter: "I reconnected with one of the referees of my MBA application and he asked me how my MBA was. Without hesitation, I said, 'It was the best time of my life!'"