I was born in North East Japan and moved to the UK to do my bachelor’s degree. After graduation, I joined one of the largest management education institutions in Japan in its international business division as an original “start-up member”, responsible for launching two new international businesses. I then started my MBA at IE Business School in November 2013.

To choose the right school, you need to thoroughly assess yourself to know what you want. Actually, I spent months doing so before applying to understand my goals, needs, and values, and IE was a good fit for these.

One of my goals is personal development in order to be ready to become an entrepreneur. I would like to start up my own business or bring innovation to a market, society, and organization in a company that I really like. Needless to say, IE is known for its strength of entrepreneurship and opportunities such as Venture Lab, Venture Day, entrepreneurial focuses of courses and events, and a strong network with entrepreneurs are very attractive. I am now taking the Entrepreneurial Management course, which helps to equip me with technical knowledge and skills to become an entrepreneur, and have begun to convert ideas into businesses working together with my classmates.

Another goal is to acquire skills and knowledge of social business. I experienced the magnitude 9.0 earthquake and tsunami that stuck my hometown in Miyagi, North East Japan in March 2011 and saw thousands of people who lost their family, houses, and businesses. From this experience, I decided I would like to contribute to the various regions affected. IE offers many opportunities for me to enhance my perspective, network and understanding of social responsibility and I can be better equipped to make a positive contribution to the growth and development of economy and society in my hometown. To challenge myself further, I nominated myself and was recently voted a board member of the IE Net Impact Club!

I have a need for social recognition and intensive learning. The facts that IE is a top-10 business school and is known for its innovative and demanding program align to my needs. Also, the length of the program is 13 months. It is very important to people like me who do not want to spend 2 years or more of their lives in academics.

My values about people are well met too. The meetings I have had with the alumni and students led me to believe that they are outgoing, well-educated, supportive, honest, and most importantly, “down-to-earth”. At IE, we are divided into a small group in each term to work together on assignments and projects. My group consists of an American, British, Chinese, Colombian, Costa Rican, Polish, and Japanese. We work closely everyday and I see that they are also hard-working and team-oriented.

But why Spain? Spain is in an economic downturn, which would concern many MBA applicants. First, I was thinking of doing my MBA in a country where I do not speak the language in order to challenge myself. Also, location is very important to me and I wanted to study in a metropolitan city to optimize my personal life. Many aspects such as culture, people, food, sports, night-life, shopping, and heritage in Spain have fascinated me.

I am confident that I made the right decision because IE is a perfect fit for my goals, needs, and values. In choosing a school, the reasons will be different for everyone, and there is no school that would fit everyone. Assess yourself and find your goals, needs, and values. If you see that IE is a good fit for these, come join us!

We are in middle of the first term, and I study until midnight and sleep only 4-5 hours. The good news is that I passed tryouts at IE Football Club and have become one of the 25 players selected out of 90!