Frank Hawkins Kenan Institute of Private Enterprise

UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School

Leadership Fellows

Tetsuo Nishihara

Tetsuo Nishihara

Background: I was born and raised in Tokyo, Japan. I graduated Keio University in Tokyo with a B.S. Economics in 2004, where I played volleyball in the varsity team. Upon graduation, I joined Sumitomo Electric Industries, which is a Japanese manufacturing company, producing automotive components. In Sumitomo, as a Sales Specialist, I was responsible for leading cross functional teams to win supplier contracts from car manufacturers. After I worked in Tochigi, Japan for three years, I moved to Marysville, Ohio as an expatriate staff, where I expanded local business and managed the local sales team.

Career Path: During four years’ of my tenure in Ohio, I found it very challenging but quite exciting to lead diverse teams which consist of people who are from very different backgrounds. The recession which started in 2008 also made me realize that leadership skills are very important especially in an economic turmoil. I wanted to become a leader who can lead an organization even in the recession, and that is why I decided to come to UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School which has a well-balanced general management education and a great leadership development program. Aside from Kenan Institute Leadership Fellow, I also serve as the president of MBA Ambassadors, working closely together with the school’s admission office, to provide the business school applicants and the prospective students with a link to the current UNC Kenan-Flagler MBA students in order to attract great talents from all over the world.

Interests and Hobbies:I am passionate about Argentine Tango dance. I traveled to Buenos Aires, Argentina to learn dance skills from local professionals and shared those with my fellow dancers in the U.S. I also love to travel abroad and have been to more than 20 countries, such as Bolivia and Morocco.