Yuki Kitaoka

Yuki’s MBA learning journey

Cambridge Venture Project client: Symbiosis
Global Consulting Project client: Asahi Shuzo
Concentration: Global Business
Extra-curricular activities: Cambridge Asia Business Association (CABA) committee member

Why the Cambridge MBA?

I chose the Cambridge MBA for several reasons. First of all, class size is relatively small in Cambridge compared to other business schools, which suited my preference to have a close interaction with my peers. Secondly, I chose Cambridge because of the people. Everyone I met – from admission officers to students to alumni – was genuinely nice, collaborative and supportive, which are the very qualities and spirit that I value in my life. Finally and most importantly, I instantly fell in love with Cambridge; my gut feeling told me that I just had to experience Cambridge! Obviously there so many more reasons but those are my top three.

How was your Global Consulting Project experience?

GCP was one of the greatest experiences I had during my MBA at Cambridge. I did a GCP with Dassai (or Asahi Shuzo), a Japanese Sake Brewery; we conducted market research and proposed a strategy to grow Dassai’s business in Europe. The topic itself was attractive and I very much enjoyed working with the company. What made this experience so rewarding were my colleagues. There were five people in my team with different background and experiences. We worked very hard to complete the project and I still remember the day when we successfully delivered our final presentation in Japan and celebrated with Dassai’s sake – it was a very special moment especially after the challenging journey leading up to the presentation.

Your plans for the next five years?

I very much enjoy working for a pharmaceutical company as it directly impacts our society. In my current position (FP&A Manager at Eli Lilly and Company Japan), I am familiarising myself with the company’s business model and building a strong network inside the company and the pharma industry. In a few years, I hope to gain further experience within the finance department, possibly in treasury, corporate finance, or investment banking and eventually move onto the company’s US headquarters. My long-term goal is to become a CFO in one of the affiliates in the hope of supporting patients and societies globally.

The Cambridge MBA in three words…

Diversity, self-discovery, inspiration.

Any advice to incoming students?

You may already know but time is limited! Technically you only have nine months and you cannot do everything you wish to accomplish. Therefore please try to have a clear focus and priority before you start at Cambridge Judge. Another piece of advice from me is to get to know as many people as possible. Meeting so many like-minded people and learning from one another is definitely a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity you just cannot miss.




Waseda University, Japan

Pre-MBA role

Division Controller, L’Oréal

Current role

FP&A Manager at Eli Lilly and Company