An alternative to Pre-MBA programs, Young Leaders Development Program (YLDP) is a one year Program for prospective applicants to global top 30 MBA Programs.

If you are committed to earning admission to one of the best business schools in the world in the next few years, participating in YLDP will help you to maximize the ROI of your MBA investment by preparing you 1) to succeed in the MBA classroom, and 2) to succeed in your MBA job search.

The total cost of attending some top tier MBA Programs exceeds $200,000.

With a dual focus on learning (by doing) how to actively participate in an MBA classroom, and learning (by doing) how to prepare a Personal Career Strategy, YLDP is designed with the aim of preparing you to maximize the opportunities available in top tier MBA Programs.

Benefits of Participating in YLDP

Acquiring New Knowledge

Achieve the learning goals and objectives for the Entrepreneurship, Innovation and Negotiation Courses, and enhance your Leadership Toolkit.

Future Leaders Preparing Together

Become better prepared to manage the rigors of a top tier MBA Program while learning with other highly talented and motivated young leaders in Tokyo.

Sharpen Your Career Strategy Focus

Gain a deeper understanding of your business passions, and become well-prepared to conduct an effective job search.

"As part of the application to YLDP, you must ask an alumnus/alumna from your prospective first choice MBA Program to recommend you. This usually results in a win-win because your plan to apply to a top global MBA Program either survives contact with reality or it doesn't."

Alternatively, you may ask one of MDI.TOKYO’s industry partners to nominate you. (We are happy to partner with TOEFL Prep Schools/Coaches, GMAT Prep Schools/Coaches, and Admissions Counselors).
Why? Working with a professional who is helping you to prepare for a globally competitive admissions process will also be able to help you to determine whether you are a good fit for YLDP.

Start Your Transformative Learning Experience

One Year Program

25 Learning Sessions

Completion Certificate

Follow the Young Leaders Development Program on facebook and LinkedIn.

YLDP Modular Curriculum & Schedule

The YLDP Curriculum combines our flagship Courses with our most highly qualified, early career Participants and layers on a Career Planning module. Learning Sessions are held on Monday nights.



Sept. – Nov.



Jan. – Feb.



April – June



July (5 Sessions)

“The primary reason that an MBA student matriculates at the Wharton School, or at any other top business school, is because they think it’s going to advance their career.

To some extent, they want to learn some specific skills and knowledge, but there really are other benefits that they look to achieve and to obtain:
1 ) access to careers
2 ) development of a social network that will benefit them throughout their lives
3 ) a credentialing or a stamping of approval that distinguishes them from other people in the labor force.”

– Profs. Christian Terwiesch & Karl T. Ulrich, Wharton

"What makes YLDP unique?"

High Potential Talent

Strict criteria for admission coupled with Monday night Learning Sessions, mean that you are surrounded by people who are competitive, dedicated, highly motivated, and willing to work hard in order to achieve their goals.

Dual Focus

In addition to the learning goals and objectives of each course, YLDP has a dual focus:
1) preparing you for academic success in a top 30 MBA Program,
2) preparing you for success in conducting a focused job-search from the start of your MBA Program.

Meta Alumni Network

Step 1. Friendships are forged in the YLDP.
Step 2. YLDP alumni embark upon their MBA journey.
Step 3. YLDP alumni network is well connected to top tier MBA alumni from around the world.

Why is YLDP focused on top global business schools?

If you go to any top business school, you will gain a skill set and mindset to make you a very good business leader. If you have in mind only an analytical job track, you might want to question the ROI. But if you see yourself as somebody who will swing for the fences and you can go to any of the top business schools, you’ll have a great background for doing that. I think it’s really hard to defend, at least in money terms, the value of an MBA beyond the top business schools.

— Glenn Hubbard, Dean @ Columbia Business School

YLDP Admissions


Note: There is just one track for YLDP: Monday nights 19:30 – 21:30.

  1. The online application form for YLDP is here.
  2. After you apply, a link to the nomination form (i.e. recommendation form) will be emailed to you. You will need to ask an alumni of your target MBA Program to nominate you to YLDP.
    • Alternatively, you may ask one of MDI.TOKYO’s industry partners to nominate you.
      • (We are happy to partner with TOEFL Prep Schools/Coaches, GMAT Prep Schools/Coaches, Admissions Counselors, and — when employers are sponsoring YLDP Participants — Human Resources Departments).


01. Minimum 3 Years of Experience. To be admitted to YLDP, you need to have a minimum of 3 years of professional experience, a willingness to commit to the success of your Learning Team and your Section Cohort, and an ability to prepare for and attend each Learning Session.

02. To Be A Good Fit for Top 30 MBA Program. You also need to have a record of personal, academic and professional accomplishments that meet the requirements for admission to top 30 MBA programs around the world.

03. Nomination (Recommendation) Form. Finally, you need to reach out to an alumnus or alumna of your top choice business school, meet with him or her, and ask him or her to nominate you as part of your application to YLDP. This is an especially valuable step, as it enables you to get honest feedback from an alumni regarding your likelihood of succeeding when you apply to your top choice MBA Program.

However, if you are unable to make contact with an alumni, but you are working with a TOEFL Prep School/Coach, a GMAT Prep School/Coach, and/or an Admissions Counselor, then a representative from this group who knows you well can also nominate you.

Alternatively, if your company is sponsoring your participation in YLDP, then the appropriate person within your Human Resources (HR) Department can nominate you.

Why? This strict admissions criteria enables MDI.TOKYO to create a cohort of YLDP Participants who are excited about being pushed to their learning and development limits.

Application Deadline

15 August 2017

Program Start

September 2017


In this section we list some of the most commonly asked questions about YLDP. You can find the answers by clicking on the question.

Can I participate in YLDP if I already have an MBA?

No. The reason is because this program is for young professionals who intend to apply to top tier MBA Programs.

If you already have an MBA, a top tier MBA Program will almost never admit you to their program.

However, you might be interested in our Building Successful Organizations Program which can help you refresh your MBA skillset and mindset.

Why do I need a recommendation from an alumni of my target business school?

In our experience, top tier business schools rely on their international alumni to help identify highly qualified candidates for admission.

By reaching out to an alumni, discussing your interest in their business school, and inquiring about your likelihood of being admitted, you will either be improving your likelihood of admission or quickly realizing that you need a different target school.

Either way, it is a win for you.

However, if you are unable to make contact with an alumni, but you are working with a TOEFL Prep School/Coach, a GMAT Prep School/Coach, and/or an Admissions Counselor, then a representative from this group who knows you well can also nominate you.

Is getting a recommendation for a top-tier MBA Program challenging?

In our experience, most international alumni like to mentor and champion the next generation of MBAs and they are happy to write a Letter of Recommendation for qualified applicants.

But, you should know that the recommendation process requires careful thought and deliberation.

This article offers great insights on the recommendation requirements at some top 30 MBA Programs: MBA Recommender Cheat Sheet.

How do I know if an MBA Program is right for me?

Many factors go into choosing an MBA Program….

Generally, GMAT Scores help you determine whether you are a good fit for specific MBA Programs, and Employment Data – reported in accordance with MBA CSEA global standards – will help you determine whether your target MBA Program is capable of placing you in a desirable position that begins soon after you graduate.

01. Median GMAT Scores:  In our experience the GMAT test is a good indicator of aptitude and fit. If your GMAT score is similar to the median (not mean/average) GMAT score at your target MBA Program, you are more likely to succeed while enjoying your experience.

If your GMAT score is much lower than the median score at a specific Program, then you might be overwhelmed; if it is much higher, then you might not be sufficiently challenged.

If an MBA Program has a low median GMAT score, or, if it does not report the median GMAT score on its Class Profile page, it might be better to apply elsewhere.

02. MBA Career Services & Employer Alliance: MBA CSEA is an 800+ member global alliance of graduate business career management professionals and employers. They maintain global, high-quality standards for reporting MBA employment statistics for full-time MBA Program graduates.

Because all member institutions use the same transparent reporting format, you can understand and compare how many full-time MBA students are getting good jobs and securing a quick ROI for their time and money spent in the MBA Program.

If your target MBA Program does not publish employment data in accordance with MBA CSEA, it might be better to apply elsewhere.

Will I earn a degree from participating in YLDP?

No. MDI.TOKYO does not confer degrees as we are focused on Executive/Professional education in lifelong learning formats.

If you successfully complete the Program, you will receive a digital Certificate of Completion which you can integrate with your LinkedIn profile.

When are applications due and when does the program begin?

Applications are due by August 15th. The program begins in September and ends in August… just in time for the start of the American academic year (if you are planning on earning your MBA in the U.S.)

Will MDI.TOKYO write a letter of recommendation to support my MBA application?

Yes, MDI.TOKYO is happy to provide a letter of recommendation for everyone who enrolls in the Program.

The purpose of the YLDP is to prepare Participants for success in a future MBA Program. Writing a letter in support of your MBA application is very consistent with the purpose of YLDP.

Please note that if you are applying in Round 1 for most schools, the recommendation will be very forward-looking and impressionistic as YLDP will have just started.

Can I be admitted after the YLDP Program has already begun?

We hope that everyone will start YLDP together and finish together, but we know that sometimes Participants may learn about the Program after it has already started.

In such a case, as a first step please Contact Us to learn whether any seats are available in the current Program.

What if I cannot complete the Program?

We hope that everyone who starts YLDP will complete the Program, but we know that sometimes work or life gets in the way.

Fortunately, our billing system is tied to our program modules. We send you an invoice before each module; i.e., the first invoice is sent before Entrepreneurship, the second before Career Planning, the third before Innovation, and the fourth before Negotiation. If you do not complete the entire Program, but you complete one or more modules, then you will receive a certificate of completion for each of the modules you completed.

After I complete YLDP, what if I decide not to apply to an MBA Program?

The decision to apply to an MBA Program is a highly personal one. If you decide not to apply, MDI.TOKYO will respect your decision.

YLDP Slide Deck

Are you ready to begin your learning journey?