Sayaka Ito

Sayaka Ito

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MSc Human Resource Management & Business (Class of 2006)

Attracted to the Aston MSc by its reputation, Sayaka Ito discovered not just a great course but a fantastic city in which to study. The highly respected Financial Times, the British Council in Japan and the world-wide web all pointed Sayaka Ito towards Aston Business School.

Sayaka was already working as a training consultant for many large Japanese companies with Nippon Manpower, a well known training company, when she decided that she wanted to study Human Resource Management at an advanced academic level. She had taken her first degree in International Economics at the Aoyama Gakuin University in Tokyo but her interest in Human Resources grew out of her practical day-to-day work.

Sayaka’s decision to go back to full-time studies then raised the important question of which university to go to and which course to take. Aston Business School’s MBA and MSc courses have always had a strong reputation and consistently do well in the Financial Times rankings. “I searched on websites and took advice from the Financial Times and the British Council because it was an important decision and would have a key impact on my future career prospects.” 

Her research convinced Sayaka that the Aston MSc offered her the kind of course structure and subject areas she needed. She had already travelled in Europe and had visited and stayed in the UK several times before she began her MSc studies. Even so, Sayaka found the course stretched her, particularly in the early stages.

“I had to study everything in English, which really stressed me at first, and we had lots of assignments and tests. So I had to quickly get used to academic English and to the English lecture style which was quite different from the system I was used to in Japan. At Aston there were more class discussions and the way that we had to prepare work was different too.” 

Sayaka soon adapted to the new methods and said that the Aston staff were very helpful and supportive. She also enjoyed the way Aston’s MSc was structured. “It helped me learn basic business knowledge. We learnt marketing, strategic management and subjects such as core HR modules and basic research methods which were really helpful to my dissertation.”

Outside of her studies, Sayaka had a great social life in Birmingham and made many friends. “I enjoyed our visits to the pubs and cafes, shopping in the city and parties with friends at the weekend. Our accommodation meant that it was very convenient for the centre of Birmingham and we were close to places to visit to enjoy and relax away from our studies.”

Sayaka, now aged 28, studied at Aston Business School in 2005/06 and looks back on her MSc year as a key point in her life. “It made a big difference in my career. Along with my MSc, my own potential and enthusiasm improved and I would recommend anyone considering an MSc to look at Aston. The courses were well organised and the quality of the teaching at Aston is high. I also found that it was very beneficial that you could share various ideas and thoughts with classmates from various countries.”

Sayaka is still in touch with many of her friends from her MSc course, contacting each other by email and via a Yahoo group. She now works for MISUMI, a Japanese based international company which is at the forefront of supplying components for machinery used in automated factories.  Sayaka is enthusiastic about her new career.

“I chose this company because the organisational structure is unique. It is composed of many teams and is growing overseas. I’m working in the Human Resource Development division in the recruitment area. Our company emphasises the importance of strategy and we are required to think logically and execute the strategy that each of us sets. The business knowledge that I gained at Aston has undoubtedly helped me in my work today.”

Employable Graduates; Exploitable Research