My story

How did I end up in Japan?

This is the story of Daniel Jacobson. A fellow that does things a different way, often straying away from the beaten path.

-What am I doing now?

Right now, I’m in the job hunting(shuukatsu) process.

– MBA at Doshisha Business School

I just graduated from the MBA program – “Global Business and Management Studies” at Doshisha Business School(DBS). DBS opened in 2004 and follows the vision of the founder Joseph Hardy Neesima in creating conscientious business leaders in the globalized world today. DBS has a strong focus on sustainable development and cross-culture management and that’s the reason why I choose it.

I believe that enrolling in and studying a full-time MBA is a significant investment in capital and time. Therefore I freed up two years of my life and invested them here. In regards to the considerable sums to pay for tuition, living expenses, insurances, travels and other costs, I have secured funding from both CSN(Swedish national board of student aid) and from generous scholarships. (See Awards)

Another major activity I did as an MBA student was a part-time job at IKEA. I got it just after a few months living in Kyoto. This allowed me to greatly enhance my Business Japanese skill at the same time as having a great fun every day. (See part-time job:  IKEA)

I also recently started working as a content writer for Gaijinpot, one of the most popular websites for foreigners in Japan.

Finally, the most thrilling experience during my time as a student in Japan was my time as a half-year intern at the Embassy of Sweden! (See Internship: Embassy of Sweden)

– What led up until now?

I’ve always been fascinated about Japan. When I was a kid I was lost in the amazing worlds of video games like Zelda or Final Fantasy, which planted a seed in my mind. When I got into high school, other things like manga and anime fascinated me and I later discovered the world of martial arts, practicing Aikido and Kendo for several years.

I’ve done several visits to Japan where the first one was in 2008 right before the financial crisis. I made a journey of self-discovery with my friend Elias and went to KAI Japanese Language School in Tokyo for 6 months crash-course in Japanese. This opened up my eyes for the beautiful language and the fascinating culture of Japan that can only be discovered by coming here. After that, I studied Japanese at Stockholm University for one year. I took the basic knowledge I got while studying in Japan and refined it and grounded my Japanese.

Having thought about my future a lot and wanting to work abroad and with international connections, I decided to enroll at the program International Business Management at Södertörn University.  My friend Shahyan and I got a prize for a best financial essay of the year for our bachelor thesis about financial analysts.  At my time at Södertörn University, I also joined the multinational IKEA corporation as a part-time worker at the store. During the last year of that program, I took my second trip to Japan as an exchange student. I went to the Asia Studies Program at Kansai Gaidai in Osaka for another 6 months.

I met several amazing people during that time and got introduced to Doshisha University by a visiting scholar. I contacted the school and could meet up with a professor and talk about what their MBA was about. The possibilities of taking a master’s degree abroad had never really crossed my mind and when I came back to Sweden I started planning on how to get enrolled. I continued working full time for IKEA and saved a lot of money to finance my future project in Japan.

– How did I get accepted to grad school? – And how can I afford it?

The process in getting accepted is quite long, involving many steps. About one year before the program began, I started preparing and taking the tests GMAT and TOEFL. GMAT is mandatory and TOEFL if you are not an English speaking native. I contacted a professor about writing an academic letter of recommendation and also my previous employer for a work experience recommendation. As I did this almost one year before I started the school, the process of getting it was much easier when the time came. In February 2014, I got the great news that I was accepted!

In the following spring about half a year before starting the MBA program I applied for a scholarship called the Sweden-Japan Foundation. Supporting Swedish people wanting to improve Sweden-Japan relations in different fields. A few months after that I got a letter in my mailbox saying I GOT IT!

Sweden, Japan, Kyoto, Tokyo, Doshisha, MBA, IKEA