My Background Before My Exchange at Hitotsubashi ICS
I also believed that the MBA would be a great opportunity to realize some long-held aspirations – some of which were only tangentially related to my professional development. One of these long-held aspirations was to live in Japan for a short while, as well as get an introductory taste of the Japanese language. Japan – its history, culture, and role in the world – has fascinated me ever since childhood, and I wanted to explore this as a personal “side-project” during the MBA.
I thus took up 6 months of Japanese language courses as part of LBS’ Language Programme– along with some private tutoring and learning – and gained a very rudimentary grasp of Japanese. As soon as spots for the International Exchange opened, I bolted for Hitotsubashi ICS and was excited to receive the go-ahead to attend Japan’s leading business school.
Meeting My Tight-Knit Community of Classmates
I have now spent two months attending ICS – somewhat physically? – from my room in Yushima, Tokyo. The first thing that struck me when meeting my new classmates was how close-knit the MBA community is at ICS. LBS’ MBA cohorts comprise hundreds of students, with my cohort (MBA 2021) reaching just shy of 500. By contrast, my ICS cohort only reaches the low 40s, making for a much more intimate experience. This feeling of community is reinforced by the seminar, or zemi, system, which sees small groups of students paired with a faculty member for more targeted and spontaneous academic or extra-curricular projects.