An alternative to Pre-MBA programs, Young Leaders Development Program (YLDP) is an 8 month 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 (if you are a self-sponsored Participant) 2) to succeed in your post-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.

YLDP as Prelude to Applying to a Top MBA Program

YLDP is a rigorous Program designed for high potential/high performing employees.

This Program enables Participants to participate in an active learning classroom environment that emulates the teaching and learning approaches taken at top global business schools. Learning Goals are focused on acquiring knowledge about Innovation, Negotiation, and Entrepreneurship. Learning Objectives include building the following five skills: Critical Thinking, Communication, Leadership, Team Work, and Ethical Reasoning.

After completing YLDP, in addition to having enhanced their leadership toolkit, Participants are able to more confidently decide whether they want to prepare for admission to a top global MBA Program. Additionally, Participants who successfully complete the Program will receive a digital Certificate of Completion issued by MDI.TOKYO and will become members of the Alumni Network.

YLDP Modular Curriculum & Schedule

The YLDP Curriculum combines our flagship Courses with our most highly qualified, early career Participants. Self-sponsored Participants are encouraged to also complete the optional Career Planning module.

Learning Sessions are held on Monday nights, 19:30 – 21:30.



April – June



July (5 Sessions)



Sept. – Nov.



Jan. – Feb.

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.

Who Should Attend YLDP?

The primary goal of the YLDP Program is to prepare early career professionals for classroom success in global MBA Programs conducted in English. The majority of professionals who attend such MBA Programs from Japan are sponsored by their employers.  We anticipate many of the participants in YLDP will also be company-sponsored. Additionally, the following criteria are indicated for this Program:

  • Assessed by HR as being in one of the “Top Talent” boxes in the MDI.TOKYO Nine Box Grid (Mapping Prospective Participants to MDI.TOKYO Programs via a 9 Box Grid).

Additionally, prospective Participants should be

  • around 27 years old
  • able to meet the criteria for admission at a global top 30 MBA program conducted in English. This means that the participant must be capable of achieving high standardized test (TOEFL, GMAT) scores, even if they have not yet taken these tests.
Note: Self-sponsored applicants must complete an application form and must ask someone to nominate them for participation. Please Contact Us for details.


This Program leverages MDI.TOKYO’s innovative approach to admissions; that is, the admissions function is accomplished through the Company-Sponsored Participant’s Employer (via membership in the Talent Development Network) or via long-form application in concert with MDI.TOKYO:

For Company-Sponsored Participants

If you are a professional with HR or L&D responsibilities and you are a member of our Talent Development Network you can reserve seats for your employees to participate in YLDP.

Please contact us to discuss your needs.

For Self-Sponsored Participants

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).

Please contact us if you have any questions or to request an application form for self-sponsored Participants.

If you are an individual who is likely to gain admission to a top, global MBA Program in the next few years and you are interested in participating in YLDP, please ask your colleagues in HR or your supervisor (if he or she has L&D responsibilities) to reserve a seat for you through the Talent Development Network. If your company will not sponsor you, please contact us to request an application form for self-sponsored Participants.

Reservation Deadline

28 February

Program Start


Follow the Young Leaders Development Program on LinkedIn.

A Transformative Experience

One Year Program

25 Learning Sessions

Completion Certificate

“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.

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


  • The fee for the Program is 755,000 JPY (+ 8% tax) per Participant:
    • 300,000 JPY (+ 8% tax) for the Innovation Course
    • 150,000 JPY (+ 8% tax) for the Negotiation Course
    • 300,000 JPY (+ 8% tax) for the Entrepreneurship Course
    • 5,000 JPY (+ 8% tax) for the Career Planning Course.
  • The fee includes tuition, access to a Learning Management System that supports the Program, and all required reading materials which are mostly supplied digitally, usually as PDFs.
  • Participants are invoiced prior to each Course on the Program.
  • Payment can be made via bank transfer. In the case of individuals paying for their own participation in the Program, payment can also be made by credit card.


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 Self-Sponsored Applicants need a recommendation from an alumni of their 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 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.

When are YLDP applications due and when does the program begin?

Reservations from Talent Development Network members and applications from self-sponsored applicants are due by February 28th. The program begins in April and ends in March.

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.

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. 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.