Our Stories

Steeling Himself for the Future

Koizumi molds himself in preparing for industry’s challenges

Yoshi Koizumi
Manager, Raw-Materials Division, Nippon Steel Corporation, Tokyo

Vanderbilt MBA 2018

Yoshi Koizumi had worked in the steel industry in Japan for a decade before deciding to pursue an MBA. “The industry,” he explains, “is facing difficulty to mitigate huge volatility in prices of raw material and natural resources. As someone whose role involved purchasing of natural resources, I wanted to get insights on how our company’s business model should be, and how I can deal with the volatility. I also wanted to challenge myself by living in a different country and culture.”

Yoshi was drawn to Vanderbilt by the school’s ranking and location. “Nashville seemed comfortable to live in with my wife,” he says, “and it really was.” He was also influenced by conversations with a number of Owen alumni who work in the steel industry. “They talked to me about their days at Owen, what they learned, and how we can leverage the experience. All of them led me to Owen.”

But what perhaps impressed him most was the “close-knit community and hospitality” he witnessed when he joined a Closing Bell social gathering during a visit to the campus the fall before he enrolled. That was especially important for an international student immersing himself in a new culture.

Yoshi’s classroom experiences really drove home that sense of community. “My English is still not good,” he reflected as he approached graduation. “However, my classmates carefully listen to me when I say something in class. Some are nodding, some are looking at me, some are trying to make a question on what I am saying. All of these encourage me to be a class member. This is just a scene of everyday life, but I’m feeling this must be a precious time for my future life.

“I’m happy because I could make many good friendships with awesome people around me.”

Fun Fact: Yoshi played trombone in a college brass band.

“My English is still not good. However, my classmates carefully listen to me when I say something in class.”