Tag Archives: MBA

New experiences from the second semester

The second semester at Doshisha Business School is more then halfway through and I want to share my experiences so far. The rainy season has begun with sunshine following buckets of water pouring down. I’m writing up these thoughts sitting at the student lounge at the third floor of the kambaikan building.

During the second semester, I took the following courses in the first quarter:

  • Business Research Methods; a compulsory elective course (?) which is continuing the Critical Thinking class.
  • Finance; We choosed one listed company (Rakuten in my case) each and analyzed them according to what we learned in class. This excellent class was taking up Finance, viz. Financing, Investing and Pay Out decisions.
  • E-marketing; We all created projects and promoted them through Social Media and using analyzing tools. Our group made the Tomodachi Crossing real life meet up group for people in kyoto. The project was so successful we decided to continue it after the course.
  • Master thesis course 1; This is the beginning our Master thesis, where we are finishing our research briefs.

At the second semesters, second quarter I am currently taking the following courses:

  • Statistics; A class where basic statistics is taught together with statistical tools such as SPSS.
  • Economics for Sustainable Development; As the name of the course suggests, we are looking at sustainable development through an economics perspective as seeing how it can be used hand in hand.
  • Global intensive 1; An intensive one week course about Entrepreneurship.
  • Master thesis course 1 (continuing)

In addition to this I’m continuing taking two new japanese courses:

  • Japanese Written Expression 5
  • Japanese Spoken Expression 6

I was placed in two different levels since my Japanese verbal skills is exceeding my written one. While being a Global MBA student at Doshisha Business School is quite tough, I see learning Japanese as one of the most important artefacts I’ll carry with me after my time here.




  • ビジネス研究の方法:クリティカルシンキングを継続して行う必修選択科目です。
  • ファイナンス:私たちは(私の場合は楽天)個々で上場企業の中から一つを選び、クラスで学んだ内容に応じて、それらの企業を分析します。この優れたクラスは、金融、資金調達、投資や配当の決定をカバーする内容です。
  • E-マーケティング:我々はプロジェクトを作成し、ソーシャルメディア、および分析ツールを使用して、そのプロジェクトを促進しました。私のチームはTomodachi Crossingという名のプロジェクトを作成し、実際に京都に暮らす人々のために集まりやイベントを企画しました。プロジェクトは大成功に終わり、私たちはコースの後もこの企画を継続すとことを決めました。
  • 修士論文コース1:これは、修士論文の準備のためのクラスです。


  • 統計学:基本的な統計学を学び、それと同時にSPSSなどの統計ツールを学ぶクラスです。
  • 持続可能な開発のための経済学:コースの名前が示すように、持続可能な発展を経済学の観点から見て、それがどのように手と手を取り合い使うことが出来るかを学ぶクラスです。
  • グローバル1集中:起業についての一週間の集中講義です。
  • 修士論文コース1:(継続)


  • 日本語文章表現5
  • 日本語口頭表現6


What am I doing as an MBA student?

Up until now, I’ve mostly written about things that happened outside of Doshisha Business School. This time, I will focus on my school life here in Kyoto, Japan. So far, 2.5 months have passed and I’ve taken 7 courses simultaneously this first quarter (the maximum courseload that you could take), and was quite intense. My program consists of 32 international students from all over the world who have gathered at a building called Kambaikan at Doshisha’s Imadegawa Campus. Here, we spend most of our weekdays attending lectures, working on projects, and sitting in our exclusive business school lounge discussing life in Japan. On evenings and Saturdays, the Japanese MBA students (JMBA) come to the school to attend their lessons and study at the library. Every Saturday, a group of us meet for a language exchange and to share our experiences.

This quarter, I took courses in: Accounting, Business Economics, Operations Management, Strategic Management, and Critical and Analytical Thinking. Additionally, I took two optional courses: written and spoken Japanese, level IV.

The quarter started off nice and slow, but ended in utter mayhem. I overestimated my own abilities, and my 7-course workload in addition to doing other things really stressed me out. I simply had too many things going on at the same time – my MBA studies, kendo practice, interviews for my part-time job, meeting friends and making new ones, exploring Kyoto, etc. I made some strategic decisions and cut out Kendo club for now, as it conflicts with the schedule of my new job at IKEA. One Japanese course also had to go, since I felt that I would learn much more Japanese working at my job (more about that later).

The second quarter started on December 2014. Currently, I’m taking: Marketing, People and Organizations, Business and Society in the Global Context; and continuing with Critical and Analytical Thinking, as well as my Japanese speaking class. Having only five classes instead of seven is working wonders! I’ve also rearranged my priorities to:

  1. Getting an MBA degree
  2. Working at IKEA
  3. Meeting people and exploring

Mari Kondo, who teaches my Strategic Management class, asked us to come up with an idea for a business plan and to implement some of the strategic frameworks that we have learned. My team and I ended up making this silly, but awesome, video. Enjoy!!!

Financing – Scholarships

Living abroad usually isn’t cheap. It can be difficult to go from receiving a fulltime salary to nothing if you aren’t prepared. An MBA degree isn’t for free (at least outside of Sweden). There are many expenses related to moving to Japan, and to make the ends meet, you need to find ways to finance that (whether through loans or working a part time job). In my case, I did it through three channels:

  • Savings
  • Student loans
  • Scholarships

I spent one year working and put almost 1/2 of my monthly salary into a seperate savings account for this purpose.

Student loans

As a Swedish citizen, I received a student loan from the government at a reasonable interest rate. This loan covers the majority of my current tuition fees and my living expenses.


This is where it gets interesting. Scholarships are a type of aid that is merit or need based. There are many scholarships out there, but they are quite competitive in their selection process. They usually have specific critieria. I’ll briefly go through the scholarhips that I’ve been awarded:

  • Sweden Japan Foundation. Back in Sweden I attended a scholarship ceremony by the Sweden-Japan Foundation and received some money to finance my expenses in Japan. I got to meet Bo Dankins, the chairman of Business Sweden and Princess Christina. The event was followed by a dinner and “after work” networking.
  • Doshisha University. 50 % Reduced-Tuition ScholarshipDoshisha reduced my tuition fee by 50% early on!
  • JASSO scholarship for graduate studentsA few weeks ago I got news that I also received this scholarship for 6 months!
  • Doshisha University Graduate School Scholarship Award for 2014. And a few days ago, another scholarship fell in through the mailbox: the remaining 50% of the tuition fee is now covered as well!

Thus, with advanced planning and good luck, I was able to fund my life in Japan so far! And maybe you can do it too!

First week at Doshisha

I just finished my first week as a graduate student at Doshisha University. A lot has happend and I got many new friends here.

I’ve joined my first student circle, the kendo club kenrenkai(剣練会). Went to a seminar by a Google manager. Had courses in Accounting, Critical and Analytical Thinking, Business Economics and Strategic Management. They have many fancy names but seems basic so far. Exactly one week ago we were welcomed by the president and the deans of the school. There were speeches, songs and prayers. Yes Doshisha is a school based upon christian principles. But more about that later. Here are some pictures!

Taking an MBA in Japan!

Hello! I’ve just created this blog so you can follow me in my coming adventures in Japan. As some of you already know I have applied for Doshisha Universitys MBA program and got accepted! This will mean a two year stay in Kyoto, Japan!

I’m having this blog to write about my life, thoughts and experiences as a Swedish person and a graduate student at a Japanese university.

After a little more than a year has past since I left Japan the last time, I’ll be arriving at Kansai International Airport the 13th September. I’m thankful to have friends there helping me out. One of them offered me to stay at his place the first night even though I’m coming in the middle of the night. After that I’ll be staying at another friends house until I find an apartment of my own!

The apartment I have in Stockholm will be rented out during the time and I’m packing my bags and going through all my possessions. I must say that I’ve gathered a fair deal of junk so far.

Daniel, Stockholm