Ryo Ishiyama, Japan
Full-Time MBA Class of 2022
Professional Roles, Achievements and Activities
I have been working for a railway company, East Japan Railway Company, and trying to make changes in its industry and society. One of my experiences that could sound unique is that I contributed to open the door for the industry to step forward to another field of business as a Corporate Venture Capital by leading “JR East Startup Program” an open-innovation project successfully.
The railway industry tends to be conservative, given that top priority is always safety, but I was lucky to take that position to make a change when the industry needed it because of the changing business situations especially regarding the decreasing population and aging society in Japan. I decided to open our resources for startups to incorporate our business legacies with their innovative ideas. This process of collaboration was really stimulating for me, and I got so excited when I saw our first cashier-free convenience store open in Tokyo.
What is invisible but essential about YOU? or ESADE? or Barcelona?
My invisible but essential fact is that I am a tap dancer. Even though I had been swimming competitively since I was 2 years old, I decided to start something completely new in my university period. I had never danced in my life until then, but I had a positive impression about tap dance from the Hollywood musical movies that my parents watched when I was little and thought tap dance would be a nice skill to have because it was rare in Japan. Once I start practicing it, I got absorbed. When I was an exchange student in Seattle, it helped me out jump in the local communities and perform on one of the biggest tap dance showcases in the United States.
Another invisible but essential fact is that I am a triathlete. I started triathlon 5 years ago when my father gave an advice “to be excellent in a field, try to find the right place for you by combining your hobbies/interests that you are good at.” For me, triathlon was perfect because I was good at swimming and used to go biking and running as hobbies. As my father told me, it was relatively easier for me to be competitive in triathlon races than expected, and I liked it. This is what I always recall when I feel lost in work or study because this reminds me of the importance and meaningfulness of what I would acquire and leverage in the future. I am really looking forward to seeing how I can find positive combinations from my past experiences and my MBA journey at ESADE.