A Japanese Testimony


They say that experience counts more than anything else. My time here has gone by more quickly than I expected; in fact, almost eight months have passed since I enrolled in the Sports MBA program at the beginning of this year. I’ve been fortunate to be involved in many events and gained a lot of experience and knowledge that I could not have acquired in my home country of Japan.  These experiences have helped me broaden my insight and has enhanced various abilities that I haven’t had before. From fieldwork in the Dominican Republic to volunteering in All-Star week events, lectures from professors or alumni guest speakers, all activities in the MBA program have helped me grow.

New skills are frequently available as well. Recently, Brandon Maier gave us effective advice to improve our presentation skills and Nicolas Benson guided us on how to prepare for a job interview. An also interesting workshop was taught by our classmates Sean Bell and Cole Cook, who instructed us on how to use Photoshop, which will definitely be helpful in our future jobs in terms of making well-designed presentations and documents. Thanks to their efforts, we have all devoted ourselves to learning a new skill without caring about time constraints. We actively asked questions and they kindly walked around the classroom to make sure each and every one of us understood the basics. I believe that sharing skills with classmates in workshops like this is one of the most effective activities we do in the Sports MBA program.


I finally had the opportunity to provide another interesting experience to the group, as I gave a presentation about Japanese culture.  Since our program focuses on international sports business, it is necessary for us to gain a better understanding of other countries’ cultures. To be honest, I enjoyed the presentation. I wanted the opportunity to tell more stories about Japan. I did the best I could, even with my improved but still accented English. My classmates were listening carefully. I was so happy. I liked that my classmates tried to understand my home country. Many of them said “Good job, I enjoyed the presentation.” It was the most honoring words I’ve received from my classmates. For the first time since I came here, I felt I was useful to them.

My previous experience in the program has been challenging. For the first few months, I could not do anything for my classmates. Given that English is not my native language, I often had difficulty communicating with classmates and professors. The language barrier sometimes depressed me, which I had not ever experienced in my life. Sometimes, I was scared of talking to classmates and felt like an inch ahead of me was all darkness. I did not know what to do. The only thing that I did was stay positive.

Circumstances have changed in the last few months. Little by little, I have become comfortable making a comment in a group discussion with my classmates. Although I still struggle to understand some things and need their assistance at times, they are always willing to help, which allows me to raise my hand and ask more questions actively. Without their help, I would not be able to be here now. New life, new things, and new experiences are often challenging, but all of these are worth it in order to be successful. Now, it seems that the cloudy sky has been opening up, and more and more light from the sun is coming in, just like it does in my home, the Rising Sun country, Japan.