Young Professionals Development Program


Build a foundation for advancing your career.

Program Design At-A-Glance

This Program enables you to develop soft skills while gaining a deeper understanding of your Purpose so you can be more effective within your organization.


The online Pre-Program Onboarding and Pre-Work module serve as a “Readiness Check” helping prospective participants and the professor to confirm that they are ready to participate in the Program. Module 1 provides orientation and final onboarding so all participants are prepared for a rigorous, relevant learning journey. Next, in Modules 2 and 3, participants learn about the components of Leader(ship) Development, Self-Development, and Teamwork, and they begin preparing to launch their Learning Team. In Module 4, participants are encouraged to develop a personal career management strategy that fits their values, interests, and goals while recognizing the untapped opportunities for growth and development in their current role. Finally, in Module 5, participants use Assigned Readings and Case Studies and a six-step learning model to develop “soft skills” (critical thinking, communication, leadership, teamwork, and ethical reasoning) while learning about the fundamentals of managing innovation in an era of disruption.

KNOWING. DOING. BEING. Hallmarks of leadership and professional development programs.

In addition to the number of participants that successfully complete the Program, final outputs in this Program include (1) a Personal Insights Journal (PIJ) which helps participants keep track of what they now KNOW as a result of actively participating in the Program, and (2) a Purpose to Impact Plan which helps participants think about what they want to DO with what they now KNOW and who they want to BE as a result of this learning experience and the opportunities for reflection it enables.


Finally, the Goal of this Program is transforming participants’ perspective about their ability to have an Impact on their organization as well as other important people in their life. Consistent with this goal, expected outcomes in this program include the following:

  • Professionals who can improve their performance by leveraging newly developed Soft Skills and greater clarity of professional Purpose.
  • Professionals who can advance their career by creating more value for their organization.
  • Professionals who are better positioned to participate in innovation initiatives.

The Thinking Behind The Program

The knowledge, skills, and insights acquired in this Program have many applications in the workplace making this Program a “win-win” for employees and employers alike.
Modules 2-4 emulate the professional development techniques that global, top tier business schools use to help newly admitted MBA students to prepare for a transformative MBA Program experience followed by improved performance at work.
Module 5 leverages a unique combination of two highly acclaimed approaches to graduate management education (experienced reflection & case studies) and a learn-by-doing approach to professional learning and development. This module is built on the backbone of an extremely popular second-year Elective Course in a top-tier MBA Program at a well-known business school.

Key Info

01. Start Dates & Duration

  • Spring
  • – Pre-Program Onboarding & Pre-Work Starts in March.
    – Program Starts in early-April.
  • – Ends in late-August/early September.
  • – 5-month Program
  • Fall
  • – Pre-Program Onboarding & Pre-Work Starts in August.
    – Program Starts in mid-September.
  • – Ends in early-February.
  • – 5-month Program

02. Location & Format

  • – This Program is offered online in a Live Session format via Zoom.
  • – 20 Live Sessions* (approximately 90 minutes each).
    • *An average of 4 – 6 hours of preparation with your Learning Team members is required for every other Live Session in Module 5. (This reflects the time required to properly analyze a case study).
  • – Completing the reading and writing assignments (in English) in advance of certain Live Sessions is required to achieve the intended learning outcomes.

03. Section Size

  • – Maximum Number of Students Per Section: Approximately 25 persons.
  • – Admission decisions are made by the Section Organizer. (Please see AdmissionsWho Should Attend section below for details).

YPDP enables learning at three levels:
Individual, Learning Team, and Section.

Every Individual Learner enrolled in YPDP joins a Learning Team. Each Learning Team consists of four to six members. The maximum number of Learning Teams in a Section is 5.
This tri-level approach often results in deeper learning and stronger bonds of friendship among Learning Team members and Section mates.

Who Should Attend

Fundamentally, the Young Professionals Development Program (YPDP) has been designed to meet the needs of busy professionals who are interested in advancing their career by developing themselves through active participation in a high-quality “MBA-like” learning and development experience.

An ideal participant is someone who would like to enroll in a traditional, top-tier MBA Program, but does not due to the amount of time required away from work or family in order to earn a degree.

Additionally, YPDP participants should have at least two years of professional experience and be comfortable with active learning programs delivered in English. She or he has
1) a passion for learning new business skills and knowledge, and
2) a strong desire to add to their Leadership Toolkit, and
3) a willingness to join a Learning Team.

Ultimately, the criteria for Admission are decided by the Section Organizer; that is, the Employer or Group Leader (幹事) who is organizing your Section of approximately 25 YPDP participants.

Why Should We Organize a Section?


use YPDP to make a demonstrable, cost-effective investment in employee development. This can lead to a better Employee Experience which can result in better Employer Branding.
Additionally, companies could use YPDP to improve the performance of teams and accelerate the “speed of business” by helping the teams to forge closer ties and deepen mutual understanding. For example,
  • Companies with cross-functional and/or remote teams could organize a Section.
  • Companies with teams of foreign and domestic engineers working together could organize a Section.
  • Companies with regional teams (e.g. Japan + APAC) collaborating across borders and functions could organize a Section.
  • Companies with employees who are “culturally distant” or “hierarchically distant” or “functionally distant” within the organization could organize a Section.
Companies could also use YPDP to create learning spaces for women; men; foreign engineers; LGBTQ; underrepresented groups; etc.


use YPDP to create new value for their members. For example,
  • groups could use YPDP to create new programs for their committees or sub-committees, helping members to strengthen the bonds of friendship.
  • groups could use YPDP to create a “safe learning space” just for
    • women,
    • men,
    • LGBTQ,
    • introverts,
    • mothers preparing to go back to work,
    • trailing expatriate spouses,
    • alumni
    • etc.
  • groups of lifelong learners could create their own “study abroad in the USA” experience without leaving home.
  • groups could use YPDP to create an engaging and social “back to school” experience for Silver Star Learners (i.e. retired and nearly-retired seniors).
  • groups could use YPDP to revitalize important friendships through a shared learning journey.


  • could use YPDP to develop professionally so they can advance their career.
  • could use YPDP to test themselves in an MBA-like setting to measure their actual interest and aptitude for success in a full-time MBA Program.

How Are Sections Built?

Section Organizer Decides

The Section Organizer is the person who decides Why the Section is being built, What are the criteria for admission to the Section, and, ultimately, Who is admitted.

The Section Organizer can be any responsible person. A typical Section Organizer might work in HR, might lead a large number of Employees in need of a learning & development experience, and/or might be a Program Manager – or even a volunteer leader – of a Group that wants to create new value for its members.

Learning Teams

There are a maximum of five Learning Teams in a Section. The Section Organizer decides how the Learning Teams are formed. Members of Learning Teams typically forge close bonds while collaborating to complete group assignments in Module 5. Assignments include Case Analysis Memos, Case Analysis Presentations, and After Action Reviews. Are you committed to your team’s success?

Reserve a Section Today

If you would like to become a Section Organizer and reserve a YPDP Section starting in April or September, please start the process by completing our reservation form:
For Companies
For Groups

Alternatively, if you prefer to chat first, please click the button below to get started.

What Will We Learn?

Program Modules

01. Program Overview

Get an overview and orientation, and complete the onboarding process.

02. Preparing for Professional Development

Reshape how you think, act, and see yourself as preparation for Leader(ship) Development and for Self-Development.

03. Foundations of Teamwork

Understand the role of teams in accomplishing organizational goals. Learn about Team Design, Team Launch, and Team Process Management. Prepare to launch your Learning Team.

04. Managing Your Career

Learn concepts related to crafting your life and managing your career. Develop a Personal Career Strategy that fits your values and goals. See the potential for learning and development in your current role.

05. Managing Innovation

Develop your soft skills while applying a Six-Step Learning Model to learn deeply about the fundamentals of managing innovation in an era of Disruptive Innovation.

How Will We Learn?

There are 20 “Live Sessions.” Additionally, this program requires a significant amount of reading, thinking, and reflecting. It also requires communicating and coordinating with your fellow Learning Team members.

Module 1 includes a lecture, onboarding survey(s), and completing the process of registering a Learning Management System (LMS) account and an online Coursepack account.

Module 2 includes Assigned Readings, Lectures and Discussions.

Module 3 includes a Simulation, Debriefing, Assigned Readings, Lectures and Discussions.

Module 4 includes a Simulation, Debriefing, Assigned Readings, Assigned Surveys, Worksheets, and Discussions.

Module 5 uses Assigned Readings and Case Studies to learn about issues related to managing innovation. The Assigned Readings usually provide a lens (i.e. a theory or framework) which is useful for examining the subsequent Case Study. “Cracking” each Case Study provides many opportunities to practice analyzing issues, develop professional skills, and recommend strategic options related to managing innovation.

Who Is the Professor?

Sean M. HACKETT, Ph.D.

Sean M. HACKETT, Ph.D.


In addition to his leadership role at MDI.TOKYO, Dr. Hackett is a Professor at the Graduate School of Business, Aoyama Gakuin University (AGU), and has been teaching in universities since 2001. Information about his higher education activities can be found at HACKETT LABS. Dr. Hackett’s teaching and research interests are at the intersection of cross-cultural management, innovation, negotiation, and entrepreneurship with a focus on how digitalization transforms existing businesses and makes new businesses possible.

Dr. Hackett has a B.A. in Government and International Studies from the University of Notre Dame (South Bend, IN, USA); an M.A. in International Relations from Sophia University (Tokyo, JAPAN), and an M.S./Ph.D. in Management of Technology from Vanderbilt University (Nashville, TN, USA). His Ph.D. dissertation research was generously sponsored by the Kauffman Foundation. As a Rotary Foundation Fellow, he also spent nine months studying the Japanese language intensively at International Christian University (Tokyo, JAPAN).

The experiences of having studied in academic degree programs housed in Colleges of Arts and Letters (University of Notre Dame, Sophia University) as well as in a School of Engineering (Vanderbilt University) – and having taught primarily in Business Schools (Drexel University, Waseda University, and Aoyama Gakuin University) – have enabled Dr. Hackett to see the world from a variety of perspectives. He connects easily with students and professionals from all walks of life.