An accelerated 1-year Graduate programme focusing on the business impacts of technology and innovation, through a combination of in-class lectures, special guest lectures, business case-studies, research, presentations and hands-on Enterprise application development projects in ASP .net, Oracle, IIS and Dreamweaver


Degree Requirements

Graduate Degree

Before choosing the Masters in E-Business Management program offered by the Graduate School of International Management at IUJ, I was really unsure about my future and had no idea exactly what I wanted to do with my life. While I had some vague ideas related to distributing video over the web instead of traditional broadcasting, I had no clear route from my Bachelor Degree and lack of industry experience to becoming an expert in the technology and business of what I was sure would be the next big evolution in E-Commerce and E-Business. Seeking advice from my Career Counsellor and several professors at Acadia University, I decided that it was in my interest to pursue my studies further at the Graduate level, to research the topic further. My decision to choose IUJ was part chance, and partly a perhaps all too literal realization of one of my professors' recommendations to "go for something different".

Upon arriving in Japan, what I did not expect was that it would be such an incredibly fast-paced program with tons of relevant experience (nor was I adequately prepared for the sleep depravation and introduction to the extremely intense Japanese work ethic, but luckily I was able to adjust). I can happily say that my time at IUJ was well-served, and it did indeed help me to take the next critical step in my career and widen my horizons. Below you will find some of the highlights of my experience, but this is just a small list of the many things that kept me busy, working hard and learning in Japan!

Research

Research Platform (REP) 7: The Impact of Mobile Technologies on Markets and Societies

The official IUJ Research & Experience Platform summary says it is:

committed to addressing three fundamental challenges related to mobile technology innovation, including: (1)Maximizing the value of mobile solutions deployment, achieving the highest consumer, business & societal value from such efforts, (2)Managing “convergence” of fixed and mobile solutions, thus optimizing the consumer, organizational & societal experience of mobility, and (3)Bridging the “Digital Divide,” providing those who have not had the capability or means to access or utilize mobile communications technologies with the opportunity to do so.

I thoroughly enjoyed the hands-on approach of the REP and even came to appreciate the added pressures of the weekly Research Update meetings at the Mobile Consumer Behavior Lab in which we would present our thesis/research progress to our peers. The platform approach definitely provided a unique learning experience that I highly doubt I would have found at another Business School, and the accessibility of high quality guest lecturers visiting IUJ for this platform to discuss past successes, as well as current and future issues related to the impacts of Mobile Technology certainly made the experience more intellectually stimulating and inspiring than I could have ever expected before pursuing my Graduate education at IUJ.

Industry leaders which I met and/or had the honor to attend lectures from through this platform include:

Projects

While I completed more case studies, reports, group assignments and Japanese language homework/quizzes than I can count... the following represent some of the highlights of the program for me personally (as far as being interesting and relevant to my desired career):

  1. New Product Development: SONY "3-IT" Project
    Researched the Top 100 significant trends in Information Technology, with a focus on the Internet and World Wide Web-related innovations in order to predict the next major trend and three main areas on which SONY should focus their upcoming 5-year New Product R&D initiatives. *(NDA signed with SONY, sorry no files)
    NDA
  2. Enterprise Database Management Strategies: Enjoy Niigata
    Upgraded the EnjoyNiigata prefectural tourism site to make it more "Web 2.0", easier to navigate, and more useful to potential English-speaking tourists. (Each team worked on their own respective section, and then combined forces for a final solution... some of my contributions still remain, such as the Image Map)
    Download project as ZIP file
  3. Mobile Applications & Services: Telecommunications Ecosystem in Japan - Softbank .vs. KDDI
    Created a presentation summarizing research of mobile consumer behavior within Japan and data services offerings from two global Telecommunications leaders, Softbank and KDDI, which are fighting for the largest secondary market share in Japan other than once-nationalized market leader NTT DoCoMo, and also expanding internationally. The analysis looked specifically at the effect of the new "Mobile Number Portability" initiative, which was started by the Japanese government in 2006 to encourage competition and avoid telecommunications vendor lock-in of Japanese citizens.
    Download project as PowerPoint (.ppt) file
  4. Mobile Business Strategies: Mobile E-Business in Japan - Rakuten .vs. Tsutaya
    Created a case-study and presentation on research of the mobile strategies of the two retailing giants from Japan Rakuten (Click-and-Mortar) and Tsutaya (Brick-and-Mortar), the world's 2nd largest consumer market.
    Download project as a Powerpoint (.ppt) file
  5. Private Equity & Venture Capital: Open Source does not mean non-profit!
    Final report on why Open Source is often miscontrued as free or non-profit, and in the study focused on a few companies that have profited from the sale, subscription-based usage and/or support of Open Source software including SugarCRM, MySQL, Sun, Mozilla Foundation and RedHat.
    Download project as ZIP file
  6. Strategic Entrepreneurial Growth: IBM .vs. AT&T - How IBM's New Strategy Paid Off
    Analysis of how IBM re-branded and turned their company around, and how AT&T, once a hotbed of invention, could learn a thing or two from IBM's entrepreneurial initiatives.
    Download project as Word Document (.doc) file
  7. Entrepreneurship & New Business Development: Amazon .vs. eBay
    Comparative examination of the Business Models of global B2C and C2C E-commerce leaders Amazon and eBay
    Download project as PPT file
  8. Market Research & Statistical Analysis: Survey System
    An online survey template and system for recording and storing survey data.
    Download project as ZIP file
  9. e-Marketing: Nintendo (a group case-study)
    Interesting look into why and how Nintendo continues to innovate beyond its compepitors by anticipating market trends and fulfilling consumer needs.
    Download project as ZIP file
  10. Gym Improvement Plan: GSO Executive Committee
    Download project as ZIP file

Organizations

  1. Graduate Students' Organization - Executive Council (GSO-EC)

    Ran for and won the position of GSO-EC Sports Affairs on a platform of upgrading IUJ's outdated Gym & Recreation facilities. Apart from my main duties, which centered on organizing events (including sports tournaments, fundraisers & parties) and managing the Campus Recreation schedule, I went above and beyond the call of duty by:

    • Created and ran the first GSO-EC blog as an experiment in use of Web 2.0 for community e-governance.
    • Duties also came to include updating & maintaining the GSO website, as I was one of two E-Biz students on the council, thus I had an opportunity to work on my Open-Source development skills in LAMP (in addition to my regular course-load which focused on Enterprise development).
    • Met with the GSO-EC weekly to cover issues related to ongoing student life and activities.
    • Met with the IUJ BoD monthly and prepared a Gym Improvement Plan to raise awareness and prompt action on the student dissatisfaction with the state of IUJ's Gym & Recreation facilities, until finally the gym improvements were finally made in May towards the end of my tenure as Sports Affairs.
    • Organized and ran a very successful GSO Olympics event by introducing new rules against forming teams with too many people from the same country or degree program.
  2. IUJ Mixed Martial Arts Club (IUJ MMA)

    Founded a group to put all the many separate Martial Arts clubs under a single banner. This group organized a Martial Arts expo every semester so new students could see what weekly instruction/training was available at IUJ.

  3. Uonuma Association for Multi-cultural Exchange (UMEX)

    Participated in community English-language teaching and cultural exchange events as a volunteer, and making use of the excellent and much-appreciated extra Japanese tutoring sessions available at the center. In addition, at the beginning of the school year I participated in their long-weekend Homestay at a local Niigata family's home, which provided an extremely interesting cultural experience and opportunity to not only make friends as soon as I arrived, but also understand the local Niigata lifestyle!

Publications

  1. Thesis - Semantic Web for MobileTV

    My thesis represents a year's worth of intensive research into the Mobile TV ecosystem in Japan and South Korea, countries which have developed the most advanced Mobile networks in the world. Luckily, choosing a thesis topic was easy for me. Dr. Philip Sugai needed an in-depth analysis of the Mobile TV domain, and I saw an opportunity to apply my knowledge/interest of the Semantic Web and an RIA development approach to it (as opposed to the traditional over-the-airwaves broadcast approach most researchers and indeed large companies always seem to go for), which made for a very interesting study on the possibilities of intelligent web distribution of video (at the time, basically imagined YouTube on steroids).

    MobileTV is a term which has received massive amounts of hype (in the Western hemispherespecially), orginating particularly with Western Europe beginning in 2005, and seeming to gradually fade out towards the end of 2007 and almost ignored by early 2008. It was being marketed by Telecommunications companies (primarily, the nations' major Telcos) as the next generation of TV services. This paper aimed to clearly define MobileTV and propose solutions for making it reach the broader audience it deserves (the same audience who are ready and waiting for it and/or already using it, under a different name of Online Video).

Conferences

  1. IUJ 25th Anniversary Urasa Conference (2007)

    Guest Speaker - Inaugural Urasa Conference
    Desc: An event bringing together professionals and academic researchers in Technology, Business & International Affairs for the purpose of commemorating the 25th year of Masters programmes at the International University of Japan
    Date: 2007-06-21
    Venue: MLIC Conference Hall
    Section: The Impact of Mobile Technologies on Markets and Societies
    Topic: "Web3.0 and MobileTV"
    Presentation: [video] [slides]

  2. Tokyo Biz Innovation (2006)

    Attended as guest of Dr. Philip Sugai, who was IUJ's invited speaker
    Desc: One of Tokyo's largest set of consecutive ICT fairs/conferences, organized by their largest publisher and content provider, Nikkei Business Publications, Inc.
    Date: October 18(Wed.) - 21(Sat.)2006 10:00-17:30
    Venue: Tokyo Big Sight (EAST4-6)
    More event info

I also did plenty of travelling while in Japan (and fitting to the locale, took many pictures)...
And last but not least... made a short, poorly edited video for an Amateur Film Festival about what it feels like to be a foreigner in Japan (trailer below):