Our Stories

Taking a Different Route to Japan

Determination and the CMC help Kataoka embark on new career path

Yuto Kataoka
Business Development Manager, Amazon Web Services, Tokyo, Japan

Vanderbilt MBA 2020

At Vanderbilt, Yuto Kataoka not only learned about the healthcare business but also how an international network could help open new doors. When he arrived on campus, his plan was set: He wanted to equip himself for a career in Japan’s healthcare technology sector. “Many innovative technologies created in the US have been introduced to Japan,” he explains, “so I thought I should be familiar with the healthcare situation in the US [before returning to Japan].”

Owen appealed to him for its small, close-knit environment that “creates a sense of unity. I was convinced that I could grow in the community,” Yuto says. He particularly enjoyed serving as president of the Japan Business Club, where he managed a team that held various cultural events, including sushi-making and sake-tasting nights.

One door closed, Yuto says, “when I could not find a good fit with any internship opportunities” at a healthcare technology firm in Japan. So, Owen’s Career Management Center and alumni network helped him open a new door.

“When I asked for the CMC’s advice,” he says, “they introduced me to many Owen alumni working in the US and Japan. When I communicated with one of them who works for Amazon Web Services Japan, I was fascinated by their business and vision.”

Unfortunately, at the time, the company offered no internships for MBA students. But that didn’t stop Yuto. “I communicated with [the Owen alum at Amazon Web Services] and the HR Department, and they finally gave me a chance to take an interview,” he says. The CMC staff helped him prepare, and the interview led to an internship and ultimately a job in Tokyo after graduation.

“Without the Career Management Center’s close coordination with the alumni network and plenty of knowledge for the [interview] preparation,” Yuto says, “I would not have been able to realize my dream.”

Fun Fact: Yuto was part of a champion collegiate rowing team.

Without the Career Management Center’s close coordination with the alumni network…I would not have been able to realize my dream.