Search Block



A successful researcher and endodontist ever seeking new things to learn.

It all started in Japan. I grew up in a country town called Ibaraki but spent my teenage years in a large busy city called Osaka. Selecting what to study at university was hard. Japan is a patriarchal country, so career progression is difficult for women. However, I learned this is a different case for the medical profession, which led to my decision to study Dentistry at Osaka University.

In a very competitive market, I knew that continuing research and obtaining a medical licence would solidify my career. Therefore, after achieving my bachelor’s degree, I decided to study for a PhD while working at a conservative dentistry specialising in endodontic work such as root canal treatment and restoration. I also received four government scientific research grants which funded my clinical research for 9 years.

I later moved to Tokyo and worked as an endodontic specialist to improve my technical skills and develop my customer service skills.

I wanted to learn more in a different country

Although the working environment at dentistry in Tokyo was positive, I wanted to learn more about the industry and see more of the world.

I was excited by the idea of moving to Australia to work as a dentist. I read a blog by a Japanese dentist and after reading about the career opportunities in Australia, I was even more excited and certain that I would continue my studies in Australia.

My agent recommended the MBA specialising in Health Services Management taught at Kaplan Business School (KBS). This MBA would teach me practical strategies of managing dental clinics, which would help progress my career even further.

I was excited by the idea of moving to Australia to work as a dentist

While I was making my decision, John Powers, an Academic Director at KBS and an actual dentist, kindly took the time to speak with me and answer all my questions about the MBA and the reality of working as a dentist in Australia. I enrolled right after.

I was thrilled that KBS accepted me into the MBA and offered me a scholarship!

My learning experience at KBS

My lecturers are knowledgeable, attentive, and approachable. They currently work in the healthcare system, so I gain industry insights and practical strategies. As the class sizes are small, my lecturers can address each student by name and have time to provide personalised support. The assignments are practical and relevant to current industry issues.

Japan is largely a homogenous society, so I have enjoyed making friends from different backgrounds and learning more about their cultures. I have enjoyed practising my English skills.

The Student Experience Officers on campus have helped me with small things, such as enrolment changes, to big things, such as adjusting to a new country. The Careers Central team have helped me write my resume, develop my LinkedIn profile, find jobs, and practice my interview skills.

I was happy to learn that KBS has a lifetime of learning guarantee, which means after I graduate, I can enrol in any MBA unit in my specialisation from anywhere around the world at no cost! And I can receive free lifetime career coaching with the Careers Central team.

My personal advice

Here are 5 things that I have learnt while studying and working:

A dentist needs good communication skills.

As a dentist, although technical surgical skills are important, it is vital to have good communication skills as you will need to help your patient(s) understand their diagnosis and the next courses of treatment. You need to translate medical terms into everyday language.

Take things step by step, and do not try to rush ahead.

My bachelor’s degree, PHD, clinical research and work experience were vital steps that shaped my career. If I had skipped a step, I would have missed out on necessary knowledge and skill development.

Embrace change and new experiences.

It took a lot of courage to leave everything behind – my hometown, my career in Japan, my steady income - and try something new, but it was a path I needed to take. I have learned and grown the most in new and uncertain situations.

Never stop learning from people around you.

You can always learn something from someone and build upon your professional and life skills.

Always follow your instincts and intuition.

Be true to yourself.

Wakako Kiba continues to study her MBA at KBS. After she graduates, she intends to attain permanent residency in Australia and work as a dentist in Adelaide or Perth.

Feeling inspired? If you’re considering a career in the growing field of Health Services, find out more about studying an MBA (Specialisation: Health Services Management) at KBS.