Why did you decide to do an MBA at GLOBIS?
I joined GLOBIS to find a new direction in my life. I already lived and worked in Japan for around a year, but felt it was time for a career change. GLOBIS was appealing to me through its more practical approach to learning, the ongoing Personal mission theme as well as their partnerships with huge corporations and new venture firms providing an outlook to many internship opportunities in various industries. Lastly, compared to other MBAs, the price is very reasonable and there are various scholarships available.
When I first visited GLOBIS for a spontaneous and informal information session, I knew this was the place to study in Tokyo. It was a good fit for me personally, as having the intention to stay in the country, I wanted to open new career opportunities, establish a network with people from Japan and all around the world, all while broadening my education and developing my personal mission.
How is your typical day at GLOBIS?
Oh, that’s a hard question. Is there a typical day? Of course, there is a class schedule based on the courses you’re taking at the time. That means classes from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. Days can be quite challenging, considering the hours of preparation work beforehand. But, like in the real world, in order to fully understand what’s going with the case at hand and participate in the class in a constructive way, you had better know what you’re talking about.
My days usually start quickly going through my things I need for the day (for the classes, study groups as well as GLOBIS unaffiliated events such as Japanese classes, other workshops about Japan, interviews, Job fairs etc.). At home or on the way to school I grab some breakfast. When arriving at GLOBIS there is a check-in system, to log your attendance which is crucial as you can fail a course if you’re not present by the required time. If I have classes in the afternoon, then we have around one hour for a lunch break.
After my regular classes, we gather for study groups, self-reflection of the day or preparation on our own in the library or at a nearby coffee shop. Alternatively the day continues with other classes such as Japanese or informative seminars, (GLOBIS) networking events or all the exciting things you can do in this awesome city.
How has GLOBIS changed the way you think?
Before, I was more focused on the teacher when learning in a class environment. Through the case discussions at GLOBIS I literally broadened my perspective, learning from the lecturer but also a lot from my peers. Not only are the fellow students coming from all around the world, but also from various backgrounds. Everyone has his/her individual strengths which help to complement others. It is similar to working in an international project team at work.
Furthermore, I gained more confidence presenting ideas in front of a group, without much preparation or just on the go. This MBA definitely encourages you to be in the front line, not just participate but also to lead the discussions at times.
How are you finding life in Japan?
First of all, experiencing Japan as a tourist and actually living here are two quite different things. Life in Japan as a foreigner has its unique challenges through its sophisticated, fascinating and deep-rooted culture, their dedication at work and in free-time, for basically everything they do in life. Oh, and don’t forget the language of course! If you’re coming from abroad, it’s a must to at least understand some survival Japanese. The Japanese people appreciate it a lot and your life becomes a lot easier if you’re able to communicate at least to a basic level of the language. They are very forthcoming, however, and help you with gestures and a lot of patience.
Personally my life in Japan can be pretty much summed up with “work hard, play hard.” The GLOBIS MBA is an intensive one-year package and from day one you are encouraged to make the most of it. There are so many things to do and experience here that it is anything but boring.
Be prepared to have your ups and downs in this country, however, like everywhere in the world, there is a culture shock and adaptive period until you have found your own balance. The experience is worth it – Japan is probably the safest and cleanest country in the world with lots of great food and interesting people, offering many opportunities – if you’re ready and willing to take on the challenge.
What are your career plans? How is GLOBIS helping with them?
GLOBIS is offering individual consulting and helps you to develop your own personal career. In a class environment you start to compare yourself with your peers – which has some benefits but also distracts you from focusing on your individual goals in life. GLOBIS is there for you to help you individually with internships, career after GLOBIS (in Japan or abroad) and with your business plan, if you’re more the entrepreneurial type, creating and innovating societies with your own venture.
What advice would you give to people considering studying at GLOBIS?
It’s definitely an advantage if you have an idea of what you want to do after your MBA as the one-year program will pass by in the blink of an eye. Furthermore, as already mentioned earlier, discipline yourself to learn Japanese! It does not just make everyday life easier, but also gives you immensely more career opportunities.
Besides that, I advise you to choose your battles, don’t dwell on little issues that will come up now and then when living in a different culture. By prepared that not everything will go according to plan, have an open mind, be flexible and ready for new opportunities and ideas coming your way. After all, the GLOBIS MBA is not only about learning new skills and creating a network, but also creating your own goals, understanding yourself better and finding your personal mission. Explore. Dream. Discover.