MSIB Student Spotlight: Masaki Mitsuhashi

June 03, 2020
Masaki, known to everyone in the AIM community as Maki, has been devoting his time and energy for community development, disaster risk reduction (DRR) and Climate Change Adaptation (CCA) projects.


Masaki, known to everyone in the AIM community as Maki, has been devoting his time and energy for community development, disaster risk reduction (DRR) and Climate Change Adaptation (CCA) projects. A consultant and freelancer for 7 years, Maki worked with the Ramon Magsaysay Foundation, UN Environment Programme, and RTI International. 
He is part of the Master of Science in Innovation and Business Program (MSIB) class of 2020 whose members are expected to graduate this June. Maki is the recipient of the TEKTONIK Scholarship by two-time Grammy award-winning musician, composer, and producer, Dana Leong. 
Despite the voluminous program requirements, from course readings to his capstone project, Maki found time to answer some of our questions about his life as an AIM student.



Best memory while taking MSIB? 
My best memories while taking MSIB are those spent with my classmates, professors, and non-student friends from the program - from taking innovation classes, staying in school until 2 or 3 AM, joining competitions together, meeting our skilled and approachable professors. There are just too many memories I cherish from the program to pick the best one!  

What subject were you always looking forward to and why? 
I would have to say subjects related to marketing, finance, economics, and innovation strategy. I really loved the learnings from the classes. In fact, the frameworks and strategies that I implement at work right now are contextualized versions of my learnings in class. 
As an AIM student, I… 
I believe that the time to take action is now. 
The things we have learned in school are things that we can actually apply to real life situations. We are considered as one of the best business schools in the world and we should be living proof of it. I believe that everyone has different sets of skills and capacity but together we can all make such a great difference on society if we just work together. 

Masaki03Maki and his classmates on the Innovation Study Tour in Japan last January 2020 

Innovation matters because...   

Innovation is our way to solve problems which could then make the world a much better place to live in. It is a manifestation of the creativity of human beings to address certain pain-points we experience every day. 
Innovation has always mattered because everything that we experience today are products of creative thinkers who went and solved problems in their own ways. 
We need innovation to survive. Through innovation, we create more value and expand the pie. Because of this, we get to claim more value for all of us at the end. 
But we can’t innovate alone. Each of us have certain idea fragments that may not make sense at the moment, but when people put these fragments together we form a clearer picture. 
I end this section with a quote from Professor Maoi Arroyo: 
“Innovators Wanted: For hazardous journeys, small wages, bitter conditions, long hours of work, constant risk, safe returns doubtful, honor and returns on equity in case of success. By Endurance, We will Conquer” 
We need more innovators. Everyone is welcome to be one! 
Masaki02Maki and his Capstone partner Mon Sabanal receiving recognition from Mr. Stan Shih, founder and chairman of Acer Inc.  

Aside from grad school and work 
Everyone needs a creative outlet. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy or expensive! You can write poems on tissue papers, create paintings with coffee, take pictures using your smartphone, cook normal dishes with an extraordinary ingredient (but should be legal, by the way), or even sing and dance (or both). 
I tend to take more work than I can manage but I realized that having an outlet helps calm the mind which will help you think and work later on. 
I believe… 
I believe that everyone should enjoy the learnings (inside and outside of the classroom). Eventually, you’ll realize that you become more confident to do things you couldn’t do before. When you think about it,  the true test of learning is outside of AIM. Learning isn’t limited to the four corners of the classroom. We won’t get to live in that classroom but we get to live in the outside world (unless you really want to but I won’t judge). In the outside world, there’s no CP and grade but there are definitely more lives to touch. 
I believe that it’s okay to not be the best in everything. In fact, I believe it’s totally fine even if you specialize in only one thing. Because at the end of the day, you are not alone. AIM has made me realize that. I had my learning teams, my competition teams, my barkada, my batchmates, the program team and staff, the professors, school personnel, and even friends, family, and loved ones from outside school. These people fill in the gaps I lack. It’s not simply being wise about the learnings from school, but also being wise about the people you spend a lifetime with. 
I’m glad I chose the right people with me. 

Under AIM’s Aboitiz School of Innovation, Technology, and Entrepreneurship (ASITE), MSIB is a 15-month part-time degree program designed to teach STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Architecture / Agriculture, Mathematics/Medicine) graduates how to design and manage innovations in a start-up or a corporate setting. Classes are every Friday evenings and Saturday whole day. MSIB is now accepting applications for the 2022 cohort. Classes start April 2021.  

To learn more about starting your own innovator’s journey, please visit or contact Ms. Cherrie Ruby Magbanua at  

Author: Cherrie Ruby Magbanua

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