Tosh Asaoka
Associate Director - Eurasia Group
Global Online MBA (2023 - 2025)


  • Tell us a bit about yourself

My name is Masatoshi (Tosh) Asaoka and I’m from Japan. I am currently working in a geopolitical advisory firm where we help our clients understand the geopolitical risks they are currently facing and will face in the future. Before starting my career in Tokyo, I studied international relations/political science in Washington, D.C.

  • What first attracted you to Warwick Business School?

Throughout my twenties, I focused my study on international relations and political science. After starting out in my career in consulting, I began to think that I wanted to build an academic foundation in management while I gained real-life experience at work. When looking around at which programmes would best suit me, I came across Warwick Business School (WBS) in one of the global MBA rankings.

I was then attracted to WBS because of two main reasons. The first reason is its high reputation in online teaching. This came not only from global rankings like FT or QS, but also through hearing stories from alumni about the user-friendly online learning platform, my.wbs. My highest priority when choosing the programme was to have high teaching standard online and not just  a great reputation.

The second reason is its firm commitment to the Change Maker values. I wanted to study in a programme in which making social impact was a high priority. Talking to WBS alum and staff soon made me realise that its belief in Change Maker values was not just a talk.

  • Why did you ultimately choose Warwick Business School for your MBA?

If I had to pick a single deciding factor for choosing WBS, it would be their commitment to improving the experience of online MBA students. I didn’t want to study in a programme that simply took the Full-time programme curriculum online for their online MBA. I felt WBS really cared about the learning outcome, cohort and faculty interaction, and the real-life implications for online MBA students.

  • What elements of the programme do you value the most and why? 

There are three elements of the programme that I value the most. First is the flexibility that the Global Online MBA provides. As a father of a 7-month-old child, my evening schedule is often unpredictable. Hence, the flexible curriculum gives me room to prioritise my family commitment outside of work hours and then get on my.wbs when I put him to bed.

Second is the wide network of cohorts in my programme. Every interaction, whether at the Residential Weeks or in an online group assignment meeting, is intellectually stimulating and inspires me to do better in my studies and work. The global network at WBS allows me to connect with cohorts and alumni around the world.

Third is the Global Online MBA specialism. The programme is designed so first-year students focus on the core modules, which covers the basics of the MBA curriculum, and the second-year students concentrate on elective modules, as well as a dissertation or consulting project, based on individual interests. Recently, WBS launched specialisms in sustainability, healthcare and entrepreneurship, which gives students the option to narrow down our expertise in their study during the second year. I find this helpful to think about how I want to differentiate the depth of my study between my first and second year at WBS.

  • Tell us about the community at Warwick Business School. This could be your cohort or the wider Global community.

I really enjoy connecting with my cohorts around the world during the Residential Weeks. We are assigned to work together in group assignments virtually, but having the opportunity to meet in person makes a huge difference. Simply because we are going through a similar experience, I feel I can connect with my WBS cohort and WBS alum at any time.

  • What did you hope to get out of our programme? What have you actually got so far?

The way I see an MBA is it is essentially a programme to teach leadership in business. In this sense, the most valuable lesson in my MBA journey thus far is getting to know myself more through personal and group assignments in each module. Many of these assignments ask us to analyse our own experience or other organisations and make a recommendation for improvement. Self-reflection is part of the exercise, and it makes me think about what I would do in each situation. This gives me the opportunity to better understand myself and think about how I can improve to become a better leader.

  • How do you find the work/life balance?

I have to admit, balancing full-time work, family commitment and an MBA is not easy. My son requires a lot of attention in addition to many early morning and late night meetings with my colleagues in the US and Europe. However, with  huge support from my wife, I am able to squeeze my time to read textbooks, go over the online lessons, catch up on live sessions and work on my group/personal assignments. My daily routine has drastically shifted since my pre-MBA era but I knew what I was getting myself into, so it is all within my expectations.

  • Do you have any advice for anyone currently thinking about studying for an MBA?

If you want to become an effective business leader, I strongly recommend considering an MBA, as it is a journey to acquire the tools to become a better manager and grow as a person to become an effective leader. Therefore, when choosing an MBA programme, it is important to think about what kind of person you want to become after completing the programme, as a leader and manager. If you come across MBA programmes that have the value and curriculum you resonate with, I encourage you to apply for it!