Admit Interviews

Koichi Kondo / MIT Sloan Fellows Class of 2023

Self Intro/Linkedin
I'm Koichiro Kondo, Chief Data Scientist working for Dentsu. My ambition is to transform Dentsu into a data-driven but human-centric company. Please see my bio on Linkedin for further detail.

You had a unique experience going away to study in high school. I think that these turning points are important and how was that meaningful for you?
Yes, it was extremely important. This experience to follow my adventurous spirit, to jump out of my comfort zone and to live independently from my parents really built my lifelong values. After this experience, I equipped myself with a fearless mindset against a new environment and new culture.

Why did you decide to join your company?
The main reasons are people and culture. Dentsu has a lot of rock star employees with excellent communication skill sets and venturous mindsets. However, the advertising business itself faced a turning point, so I assumed that young employees have more opportunities to work for a big project. My assumption was correct.

You grew up in a very traditional Japanese environment and joined a traditional Japanese company, but the company has pursued many global challenges and in your career you could live and work abroad, how was that challenge? Why was it meaningful for your career?
I moved into the UK in 2016 with just two small Boston bags. Literally, I didn't have anything including a friend and a reputation based on my past achievements when I arrived in London. However, this tough circumstance reminded me of the importance of building my capability and reputation from scratch. Also, I made a lot of life-long friends and mentors from different cultures in this period.

Technology has been disrupting many industries. How did you adapt to learning about data and data science and how has that been meaningful for your career?
Catching up with cutting-edge technologies is an endless effort. Through this career path, I can become aware of my limitless curiosity as one of my strengths because many have already given up catching up with this trend. As an expert in the data field, the trend in the next 10 years will be how to control AI and how to harmonize humans and AI.
I believe I and Dentsu can contribute to this field significantly.

When did you start to get interested in the MBA program?
In 2019, the fourth year in the UK, I felt I needed to pivot my career to a more managerial position to maximize my impact on Dentsu.

What was the hardest part of the application for you?
Essay. I had not written such a long and sophisticated essay. It seems to be an endless effort as well.

What did you prioritize when selecting an MBA program?
Firstly, I prioritize the length of the period over other elements because of my company sponsorship regulation. Secondly, I really wanted to go to the US school because I had already lived in the UK.

How did Edogijuku help you prepare a successful application?
Ed knows a typical pitfall that Japanese students struggle with and gives us a totally new perspective and angle to see our careers. The way to deliver a message to Westerners was really helpful.

If you could go back to 20 years old and make one change, what would it be?
I would be more enthusiastic to study English and travel to foreign countries!

What advice would you give to applicants?
Be yourself, but learn from others' advice. Don't hesitate to change yourself as well.

Taiki Nagamatsu / Harvard PLD

Self intro / Linkedin

Originally you were considering an MBA. Also an MBA from a European school. You decided to pursue a non-MBA program so can you tell me more about this decision because there are many programs and why do you think that this program was the right one for you and your career?
There were mainly three keys for why I chose the HBS Program for Leadership Development, a fast-track alternative to the executive MBA.

1. To gain confidence with absolute experience to make me think that “I can compete with global talents”.

My strongest purpose was that I wanted to gain confidence by interacting with global top elites. The confidence stemming from the unparalleled experience will surely be a robust core value to pursue my future career at any stage.

2. To envision my career by acquiring decision making skill, global perspectives, and cross functional leadership.

My vision is to make Japan a more competitive country in the global field through my career. Therefore, I desired to learn the necessary factors I still lack in a global, competitive environment.

3. To minimize the impact for my family

Though MBA initially seemed the best way to pursue, life events, especially having two children, made it difficult for me to attend a 2 year full-time program.

With the above consideration, eventually I started to think about a 1-year European MBA. Later, I realized that the above purposes can be achieved with part time courses such as Executive MBA, which are even more non-restrictive. Finally, I decided to apply to HBS PLD without sponsorship.

Your career seems to be going well, how will the study at Harvard help your future career?
I believe that the HBS PLD enables me to become a global talent and bring more positive impact on my organization/business. In addition, the students are more senior than usual MBA courses, so the course might give more pragmatic views which can lead to huge business.

A lot of people have trouble showing the people they are working with why they have to study abroad and they struggle to find the people to write the letters of recommendations -can you give some advice?
My purpose was to gain confidence and related factors as a global talent so that I can boost my company’s business and globalize Japan. To show that simply to my manager, I prepared powerpoint slides, set a meeting, and explained how this application might have a positive impact on the company. As a result, he did not hesitate at all to write an LOR and wrote a very good one.
If you are struggling with asking help from your manager, I recommend that you be clear and concise about the reason why the manager needs to support you.

It is really hard to work full time and manage the time to prepare all the things that go into a winning application - can you tell how you managed your time to complete your application successfully?
I spent over 6 years in total preparing everything, from age 28 to 34. Therefore, I did not feel at each moment that I was rushed or that I lacked time. In other words, perhaps I was patient enough.
When I was 28, I started to study for the TOEFL and GMAT, and made scores in around 2 years (TOEFL 110 and GMAT 710).
After I made the scores, because of the many life events, I suspended my application for a while. When I turned 32, I started to prepare for the INSEAD MBA with the help of Ed, but finally decided not to apply.
Finally, when I was 33, I restarted to prepare for HBS PLD with the help of Ed again, exactly while I was taking the second paternity leave for 3.5 months. Using most of the time for taking care of my children, I spared 1~2 hours every day to prepare for applications, especially while the children were taking a nap and after they slept in the early night.

What was the hardest part of the process?
Unlike usual applicants, I spent a lot of time on each process, and thus time management for making scores or writing essays were not so big an issue. The most difficult part was to cope with anxiety that if I could not get into any of the schools, the effort I made may end up in vain. Because I use English in my daily work, I kept convincing myself to think that even if I do not get into a business school, the study will benefit my future career anyways.

What was the most valuable thing about the Edogijuku Services for your applications?
With so many “why” marks from Ed’s reply in the essays I drafted, I could dig deeply about the reason “why I want to study at business school”. This made me think thoroughly of the business person who I wanted to become in the future. From this, I felt that this service is not only about helping applicants be enrolled into prestigious schools, but also about making the applicants realize what they truly want to achieve in their future.
In addition, the advice from Ed was reliable ~ points that I should elaborate, expressions, length ~ and without the support, I am sure that I could not be admitted to HBS.

Do you have any other advice for future applicants?
Applying to business school is not an easy way. Through the processes, you might face various difficulties: scores, essays, time, money, family, work, and even the pandemic.
If you feel that the school you initially wanted to go to now seems not the right fit for some reasons, I recommend that you think differently and keep seeking for another possible way.
Unlike Japanese universities, global schools are far more diverse, and there are so many options. If you do not give up, you will find better paths which may potentially leverage and enrich your career.

Finance / Columbia Executive MBA Class of 2024

Self Intro/Linkedin
Graduated from Kyoto University and entered a top trading company as a new hire. Transitioned to a career as a financial consultant at a global firm, which brought me to working in NYC.

You come from a domestic background, how did you foster your dream for your global career.
I visited 50 countries, which broadened my point of view.

Why did you join your first company?
My first company has a lot of alumni from my university. It was natural to me that I joined the company.

You decided to change your career and join another company, can you share your ideas about that decision.
That was my turning point since I was able to come to NYC because I joined another company. However, the transition was really tough and I don’t recommend it to my friends!

How did you get the opportunity to work in the US? Was that a difficult decision?
I voluntarily raised my hand for this position and was selected among many candidates. I wanted to work in the center of hte world economy and that was not a difficult decision for me.

Did working in the US motivate you to apply to the EMBA program? Did you feel getting an EMBA was necessary for your career?
Yes to the first question. I was interested in MBA in Japan for a long time, but I never actually started working on that. I think I didn’t have a real motivation for an MBA in Japan. After moving to NYC, I met some EMBA students in CBS and NYU, continuing their career. I thought it would be a great idea. Yes and no to the second question. For me, an EMBA is not only because of my career. I wanted to get great experience in a top US school and make international friends.

What was the hardest part of the application for you?
Score making for verbal. Japanese candidates are good at math and so am I. I didn’t have any difficulty in math, but verbal was really tough to me.

What did you prioritize when selecting an EMBA program?
I do not have a company sponsorship and really wanted to go to M7 since it is a huge investment. Given the location, Columbia was my 1st priority among M7.

How did Edogijuku help you prepare a successful application?
Since I was living outside of Japan, Edogijuku was such a great tool for me to collect information relevant to Japanese candidates.

If you could go back to 20 years old and make one change, what would it be?
I would definitely go to a top US graduate school soon after undergraduate in Japan.

What advice would you give to applicants?
I think assertiveness is really important in US schools. Currently I’ve been struggling with it as a student. Applicants could practice giving their opinion in English before schools start. That will help them to make an impact on the classes.

Daizen Tanaka / Chicago MBA/MSCS 2024

Self Intro/Linkedin
My name is Daizen Tanaka and I currently work for Google Japan where I lead product strategy for Google's digital marketing products such as Search Engine Advertising. Prior to this role, I was in sales for 3 and half years, mainly supporting small medium sized businesses to transform their marketing strategies.

You played a varsity sport in college and challenged yourself to go to the US. How did that turning point impact you?
Studying abroad in the US and playing a varsity sport in college (NCAA) was a truly life changing experience for me both academically and athletically. Unlike a college in Japan, that in the US requires a lot of commitment to classrooms including assignment, participation, presentation etc. and it was eye-opening to me. Since then I've been motivated by this culture and wanted to come back to the US. I was also impressed by student athletes who play varsity sports at a very competitive level, but also demonstrated excellent leadership and commitment academically.

You are not an engineer, but you decided to pursue a career in technology, how did you come to that decision?
Given that I come from a family business background, helping SMBs through technology has been one of my passion areas. I also found the unique culture (i.e. fast-changing, ambiguous) in the tech industry appealing and wanted to meet different types of people. Google seemed the best place among my choices but also very challenging in terms of the culture i.e.) I always need to apply to different roles/ positions, send resumes, do interviews, and make connections with hiring managers - so basically need to figure out how you want to build career trajectory and navigate yourself within Google even at an early stage of career.

When did you decide to apply to the MBA program or were you always planning to pursue an MBA?
I started thinking of MBA in the 3rd - 4th year at Google as I was surrounded by post MBA people (boss, colleagues) so it was natural for me to think of that as a future option.

What was the hardest part of the application for you?
Score-making was the hardest part in the whole process and I wish I could've switched from GMAT to GRE earlier, but now looking back, I believe essays were also equally important as score making too.

What did you prioritize when selecting an MBA program?
1) School curriculum 2) Ranking 3) Location 4) People/ Culture - Those are equally important, but in my case, school curriculum is the most decisive factor as I wanted to pursue my career in Product Management and Booth is one of the schools that offer the joint MBA/ CS program. This is an ideal program for me to gain both business management and product management (technical know-how) to become a Product Manager. Plus, you can finish the program within 2 years, the same as Full time 2Y MBA and will earn both master degrees. This will help to put us back in the workforce in the tech industry faster than a normal dual degree program.

How did Edogijuku help you prepare a successful application?
Edo always welcomes my ideas, discusses and then helps me brush them up. He never rejected the ideas or forced me in a certain rule/ format from the beginning whereas other counselors (I know) might sometimes do so. That's why I feel fit with his style, and he kindly shares examples of past applicants and steps in, speeding up the process when necessary. Edo also helps to connect other applicants through events so this is another competitive edge you can gain at Edo gijuku.

If you could go back to 20 years old and make one change, what would it be?
If I could go back to 20 years old I would have transferred to a school in the U.S or other countries. One year of study-abroad was fun but definitely not enough in terms of language and culture etc. I know MBA is also a transformational experience but if you want to gain exposure to a different culture/ environment, sooner is better in my opinion.

What advice would you give to applicants?
Preparing for the whole application process while working is very stressful but I learned a lot through this process and tried to enjoy every minimal learning/ failure. A few pieces of learning/ advice from my end; 1) Find your company/ other applicants: Preparing an application process alone is mentally tough. I was lucky to find my friend also doing MBA prep mid-way through and often shared information, essays and did mock interviews since then, and they became my motivator too. It'd be nice if you could try to talk to other applications and make friends at prep school or through Ed gijuku. 2) Try GRE: I know some applicants including myself did better on GRE than GMAT and I wish I could've switched it earlier to save my time. If you already take the test multiple times and don't feel fit for GMAT, I highly recommend trying the GRE. 3) Know how get in the mood/ motivated: MBA prep is a long marathon and there's always up and down (especially score-making process in my case :p) so set your expectation and know how to get refreshed and motivate yourself. I went to the sauna once a week and ate yakiniku after the test to re-set. It has become a lot easier to do campus visits now so I would do that too. 4) Be open-minded: I originally wanted to go to a different school but failed in the 1st round but then later came across Booth's dual degree program, which ultimately became my ideal choice with the wisdom of hindsight. You don't need to stick to one specific program and want to ensure you research enough for other great school programs/ curriculums that may fit you better. (I later realized that many people didn't even know about the dual degree programs and regretted not applying.)

Project Leader in Global Consulting Firm / MIT Class of 2023

Self intro / Linkedin
My core responsibility is to support Japanese energy company to change their business model under the pressure of carbon neutral

When did you start thinking about the MBA?
I decided to apply an MBA just 9 months before application deadline (never studied and thought about it before)

You seem to have a really good fit with consulting and your company and I think that you did a lot to support people looking for careers, can you tell me about this?
I think “a real fit” is to overlap the place where you have aspiration and the place where your company and society need. I joined my company as a new grad after graduating university with B.A. Since then, I have supported leading Japanese companies to establish their new businesses and business entities (i.g JVs) . My university experience joining several brand design or business creation contests is evaluated by my company which supports clients to embark on the new area under market changing. I feel that consultants who have creative thinking and logical thinking skills are still rare in the market. So, I can feel I fit my company well.

I’m assigned to the internal initiative of new grad recruting officially. In addition, I personally take a mentor role for junior members both mid-career and new grad voluntary. As I write later, I have wonderful mentors (almost “family, brothers, sisters”) to come this far, so I’m happy to support people as my mentors did for me. A lot of different opportunities are in my company, so people can find their ways. By supporting them, I can look back my journey with objective views and it helps me to keep my motivation and refresh aspiration.

You were also good at identifying your areas of strength and this is important in the application process, can you share insights that might help future applicants?
I believed understanding of fits between school needs and my aspiration/experience was the key. So, I focused on creating a story to win in the application process. One big change caused by COVID-19 I expected was being sponsored by the company or acquiring a scholarship may change the game; because the school needs money. Also, having the option to go back to the previous company would be seen positively; schools want to keep good results for the careers of graduates.
So, I emphasized

・My fit in my company and career, possibility of getting sponsorship, continuous my company support to work as a member of leadership team and my recruting initiatives

Also, I assumed that the resume and essay are much more important than test scores for Japanese students. Interview is the most important component; I read several interview articles in which the HBS admin office said that the test score doesn’t reflect Japanese applicants’ English and communication skills. My hypothesis was if the essay and resume are appealing, they will never kick-off the applicant just because of the test score. (I have sense that the hypothesis is true)

You decided to prioritize the first round and timing is important so can you share some ideas about this important decision?
Because my career is not so unique, to apply for the first round was important to secure the seat for consultants. Also, I expected my work schedule would become tough from autumn.

There are a lot of people who apply who grow up in Japan. You took some time to go to the US to study English communications and this was a very positive experience for you can you provide some insights about this experience?
I do believe it didn’t change any impressions of the school to my English skills. However, I learned the importance of what to say in business situations. If my contents and arguments are interesting and insightful enough to people, I can get the seat even though my English is poor.

You are busy as a consultant, but make time to contribute to community activities and things outside work. This is important and can you talk about your activities outside work?
Outside of my work, I’m voluntarily coaching university students who are thinking consulting as their first career to understand the reality of consulting jobs and necessary intellectual skills beyond learning how to use tools(Power point, excel etc)

If you could go back and change one thing when you were 20 what would you do?
I might spend my time abroad to improve my English but nothing has been regretted about my past decision

MIT has the video essay and this can be challenging for people who grew up in Japan and never lived extensively abroad, but you seemed to do well and enjoy this part of the application. Can you give some tips about what made you successful?
The theme was “introduce yourself to your future classmates”. So, I talked about my personal interests and paid attention. My tone and facial expressions told me that I am a passionate and genial person(just imagining my first day in MIT Sloan ). Incorporating several “hooks” to arouse school's interests is the key; interesting key words or using visuals effectively.

What was the most valuable thing about the Edogijuku Services for your applications?
The intensive discussion with Ed. Ed gave me the objective views supported by track records. Also, the list of potential interview questions are really really helpful. I could feel that I had been prepared for all the questions at the real interview..

Do you have any other advice for future applicants?
Only you know your strengths. So, I recommend being open to Ed's counsel and accepting his advice. Also, you should have hypotheses then use him to test it, not just wait for his advice. This kind of collaboration makes your application competitive.

So maybe you could write about how your father or other mentors inspired you and positively influenced your career. It is one more thing I thought about for your unique background.
Their coaching style is to support me to make the stage and ask me to show my best. They repeatedly said “Don’t worry. Don’t have to feel you have to take the whole responsibilities by yourself. It’s our job”. The cordial support has encouraged me to go beyond my official responsibilities. Without them, I couldn’t have gotten the early promotion and the sponsorship. So, it’s my turn to back up junior members!

Yu Tateishi / INSEAD Class of 2023

Self Intro/Linkedin
Experienced 4 years of global sales in the insurance industry, and moved to consulting. As a consultant, I am mainly in charge of project management for large global projects in the insurance industry and the pharmaceutical industry.
Privately, I spent 4 years living in New Jersey, US as a child, and experienced working in US environments both as an insurance sales and as a consultant. My passion outside professional activities are sports and animal protection; I belonged in the lacrosse club in university, worked part-time as a fitness instructor and am currently a member of an animal protection NGO.

You started your career in the insurance industry, can you share some details about why you joined your company and what makes you passionate about the industry?
I started my career in Tokio Marine because I felt the cultural fit for the company. I participated in the company internship, and I enjoyed how passionate members of the company indulged in business like team sports. I was able to imagine myself in the company easily.
What made me passionate about the industry is my experiences of engaging in disaster support for earthquakes and hurricanes in Japan. I learned the value insurance can provide in times of disasters.

Even though you had success in your company, you joined another company mid-career, can you share your reasons for that career decision?
One of my most exciting projects in the insurance industry was supporting an auto manufacturer to expand business in the EU. I was collaborating with Deloitte Consulting in the project, and I learned how consultants support client businesses in a wider aspect. I always had the desire to expand my roles and business skills, so I transferred to Deloitte through the project network.

When did you start thinking about the MBA, earlier in your career or after you changed jobs?
A global MBA had always been my aspiration as I had dreamed of pursuing a global career since university days. I chose to go now because I felt the learning curve get easier after spending a while in consulting. I wanted to take on the challenge to stretch myself and attain a whole new perspective.

How did you develop your career vision?
It took time, and honestly, I am still constantly making revisions. But I used the opportunity to share my past experiences and emotions since childhood, and I tried to put together a story. I made discussions with Ed, my friends and MBA graduates, and kept on changing parts where I felt awkward or insincere, not genuine.

What was the hardest part of the application for you?
Polishing my career story to become a story which I can be proud of. It took me many trial-and-errors to refine my story with consistency while shaving off my feelings of wanting to impress the school using exaggerated or unnatural stories.

What did you prioritize when selecting an MBA program?
Global perspective and ROI of the program. In terms of ROI, I wanted to maximize the density of the duration and benefits after graduation while minimizing the opportunity costs. Although extremely exciting, MBA is just one of many options in life, and I had many other career aspirations after graduation as well.

How did you come to your final decision about INSEAD?
Global perspective and ROI of the program. I truly believe INSEAD is by far top in these two metrics.

How did Edogijuku help you prepare a successful application?
Ed helped me in two ways. 1. Edogijuku has a lot of history and network on schools and past applicants. Making discussions with Ed helped me ideate what works for me, and what doesn't. 2. Ed is a professional with words and grammar, and I was saved by his support of polishing nuances and squeezing essays in the word limit.

If you could go back to 20 years old and make one change, what would it be?
I would have liked to be more open-minded to a variety of challenges. I was a child devoted to sports only, and at that time, I believed that anything else valued me less. I may not have gotten far, but I feel I could have used my childhood to pursue different activities and perspectives also.

What advice would you give to applicants?
Definitely start early. I was able to enjoy the entire application process because I did not have to worry about scoremaking after the application season began. I was able to stay calm throughout the process and take time to generate my essay stories.

Rex Chen / Kellogg MMM Class of 2024

Self Intro/Linkedin
I joined Citi’s global leadership program in 2018, focusing on the bank's digital transformation. In various projects, Citi gave me the exposure to collaborate with senior managers and to think at a strategic level. Also, I’m deeply attracted to disruptive fintech services in my personal life. Both my professional and personal experience guided me to pursue an MBA, where I could have the opportunities to access fintech hubs and to work in strategic consulting.

You joined a special program in your company after graduation, can you explain about that program and your decision to join it to start your career?
Citi offers the most well-known leadership program in Taiwan. Compared to other offers I received, this job provides me an unique opportunity to take ownership of high-profile projects and to work with department heads to resolve unfamiliar problems. I’m a curious person who truly enjoys learning from different people, therefore this role fits my personality to rigorously collaborate with various experts.

You have a clear vision for the future, can you share how you developed your career vision?
An investment failure in my family severely impacted my childhood and made me interested in finance. After studying various economic and finance theories, I learned that there’s some systematic way to help amateur people, like my parents who suffered from financial loss, to acquire normal returns and secure their retirement savings. My working experience further confirmed the effectiveness of leveraging technology to reach financial inclusion. However, I also see many financial innovations happening in the US but not in Taiwan. Therefore, I aspire to gain more experience working in a global fintech hub and enhance financial efficiency.

When did you start getting interested in the MBA?
I started getting interested in MBA before I joined Citi, regarding MBA as one of the potential career developments. I understood my job provides many leadership developments, but pursuing higher education could also provide regional access and functional transfer. After working for a few years, I’ve grown in my current role and want to further expand my impact on fintech. I found that an MBA can help me achieve this goal, therefore I started my MBA application.

What did you prioritize when selecting an MBA program?
I mainly considered fintech resources and my fitness in the school’s culture. Therefore I narrowed it down to schools that are well-known in fintech or technology management. I would suggest applicants talk with more current students and alumni to learn more about each school's offering and culture.

What was the hardest part of the application for you?
Self-awareness exists in every single process of the application and it's a critical mindset that I found challenging to cultivate. How do my personalities differentiate me from other colleagues? How do I manage stakeholders? How my past experience leads to future success? Every school believes the past success is the best indicator of future achievements. In the beginning I used many quantitative indicators to prove my achievements, however self-awareness is not only about what I did as a single person, but also about how I reached this achievement with other members. Many people are doing unique things everyday so they regarded those as usual things, just like fish don’t know their uniqueness when they are born and swim in the ocean. I tried to talk with many colleagues from different perspectives to understand how my personality helped other team members to achieve our goals. Their inputs and anecdotes are extremely helpful for me to build my application strategy and personal image.

How did Edogijuku help you prepare a successful application?
Edo plays a critical role in every process of application. Starting from determining application strategy to interview preparation, Ed provides constructive feedback for me to keep improving myself. Both at a strategic level and logistic level, he helped me position the best of myself in the application process. Furthermore, he connected me with other MBA students to learn more deeply about each MBA program. Ed is diligent and pays due care to students. Compared to the experience of my other Taiwanese peer applicants, I feel lucky to have Ed as my consultant. I would say I couldn’t achieve my dream school without Ed’s support.

If you could go back to 20 years old and make one change, what would it be?
I would broaden my horizon by meeting with more people to learn from their insights. It’s always critical to step out of your comfort zone to embrace different ideas.

What advice would you give to applicants?
Application is a process of self-reflection. For me, I find the best way to succeed is to enhance self-awareness. I suggest applicants review their life milestones and every decision behind that, there are always some drives and motivations that make each candidate have unique life stories from others. It’s about how you make decisions, how you communicate, and how you think. Those drives could further lead candidates to another unique life chapter in the future, and all we have to do is to illustrate this brightest characteristic vividly to the Adcom and interviewer.

Finance / Wharton MBA Class of 2024

You made the decision to study abroad at Duke before starting your career, how did that unique decision impact your career?
I confirmed that I want to work in a diverse/international environment in my career with Duke experience. Also, I enjoyed my time at Duke, which stimulates me to go for an MBA after a couple years.

You were interested in finance, but why did you decide to join your company?
That was actually my mistake. I thought I was gonna learn more finance stuff as BLK is known for finance but turned out my team was more focused on fintech not pure finance.
Technology has been disrupting many industries. How did you adapt to learning about your company’s unique platform and how did that influence your career?
I am hoping to pivot my career more on the investment side. So I am hoping that my MBA experience will open the door to finance.

When did you decide to apply to the MBA program?
I knew that I wanted to do an MBA when I was in college but I decided to apply for the class of 2024 in 2022.

What was the hardest part of the application for you?

What did you prioritize when selecting an MBA program?
Brand and alumni network. Also location was important to me.

How did Edogijuku help you prepare a successful application?
I knew Ed from my Duke application so it was easy to work with Ed as he also knows about my background. He helped me to brush up my ideas and had a clear essay.

If you could go back to 20 years old and make one change, what would it be?
I would go to US college and stay in the US instead of coming back to japan

What advice would you give to applicants?
Prepare GRE/GMAT/TOE/IELTS as early as possible.

Shuya Yoshimura / Oxford Class of 2023

Self Intro/Linkedin
Working for a leading trading company, handled the automotive / mobility business. Having had international experiences when having business trips and being dispatched to a subsidiary in Manila, Philippines for 2 years.

Your company gave you the opportunity to work overseas and gain international exposure even though you grew up in Japan. How did that global exposure help you change and grow your global perspectives?
The business in the Philippines gave me the opportunity to have a close look at the lives of lower-income people in developing countries. I found that various social, political, economical, and religious issues resulted in inequality worldwide. That gave me the opportunity to seriously consider how to make an impact on the society in the future.

Working in the Philippines helped shape your future vision. Can you share that turning point?
In addition to the above consideration toward the social impact, the interactions with excellent Filipino business people, like top managements of our joint venture company, helped me understand that their hungry mindsets for their careers are totally different from a “Japanese Salaryman”. That motivated me to change my mindset for my career.

What did you prioritize when selecting an MBA program?
Diversity and connections to developing nations.

How did you decide on Oxford Said MBA?
I was attracted by its strong focus on social impact, which is unique among business schools. I would like to change my career to make a social impact in the MBA program.

What was the hardest part of the application for you?
Score making

How did Edogijuku help you prepare a successful application?
Initially I contracted with another counselor in May 2021, but I could not get along with her because she did not try to listen to me. So, I changed to Ed at the end of July 2021. Compared to the first one, Ed tried to make my application documents unique through conversations. In addition, he has lots of information about the preferences of business schools and gave me informative tips to show my fit with each school.

If you could go back to 20 years old and make one change, what would it be?
Studying abroad to have wider perspectives.

What advice would you give to applicants?
I recommend that you should be yourself. Depending on your background and experiences, the topics of essays and the time to study English and GMAT/GRE are different. So, please do not be affected so much by others. I am sure that everybody has bright parts. Please think about how to spot it and show it in the essay and interview.

Yutaka Iwasaki / Cambridge MBA Class of 2023

Self Intro/Linkedin

You decided to pursue your career in the insurance industry. Can you share your reasons for why you joined your company?
With the expectation to contribute to the development of Japanese companies and the economy.

Many industries are being disrupted these days and your company is facing many changes, what is the biggest challenge in your industry and how does this relate to your decision to pursue an MBA?
The insurance industry is one of industries which are and will be disrupted, but it can overcome this challenge by transforming itself with DX. I hope to develop my career in a new department to pursue DX where I can utilize my knowledge and experiences in the MBA.

Many schools are interested in leadership and you developed many interpersonal and leadership skills in college as part of your extra-curricular experiences. Can you share how these experiences were and are important to you?
Exactly YES. Developing my leadership is another reason for applying for the MBA. I have been the youngest member in most of the teams I ever joined, but in future management positions I will have to build and lead teams. I expect to develop my leadership skills by working and collaborating with cohorts from various backgrounds through extra-curricular activities.

When did you start getting interested in the MBA?
When I got engaged in October 2020, I decided to apply for the MBA. I got the corporate sponsorship in December 2020.

What did you prioritize when selecting an MBA program?
Related to my motivation for the MBA
The availability of high-level entrepreneurial courses
Opportunities to develop my leadership skills

Restriction from my employer
The term of the programme is less than two years

What do you like about the Cambridge program?
Entrepreneurship: its entrepreneurial environment (located in the Silicon Fen entrepreneurial ecosystem)
Leadership: hands-on projects in each term.

What was the hardest part of the application for you?
GMAT, ILETS, Essay, Interview… All of them were challenging but keeping my mind positive is the most difficult and hardest part of the application. Advice from Ed and communications with other applicants and senior colleagues were helpful to keep me motivated.

How did Edogijuku help you prepare a successful application?
Many sound advice which are tailored to each applicant. I could understand points of essay questions, deepen my consideration of essays and myself, and make strong essays. His support for interviews was also helpful to make a strategy to effectively present myself to interviewers. Moreover, his response was always prompt!!

If you could go back to 20 years old and make one change, what would it be?
This question is like an essay question. lol
I would train discussion skills so that I can think deeply and have my own opinion. When talking with friends from overseas, I feel they are well trained to discuss. Do not be a typically “shy” Japanese person.

What advice would you give to applicants?
Talk a lot with graduates who experienced the MBA application!!
You should have someone with whom you can consult when you face challenges and troubles in the application process.