Why I Chose a Japanese (and not a U.S) University [MY RESEARCH]

October 9, 2019 0 By Peter Engel


Hey guys! I’m Loretta
and welcome back to my channel! The summer is definitely full on now!
It’s HOT! Last week I finished another semester at school here in Japan and it was a big one because I am down to my last semester in school. THE END IS IN SIGHT! Which means unlike before, no more textbooks. It’s all just practical research. The thing is, since I started grad’ school I posted a lot of videos vlogs about school life and story times from my POV but after reading all your comments I realized I never actually talked about WHY I’m going to school in Japan So I want to lay all the cards on the table and tell you WHAT I’m doing at a Japanese school and WHY. The 1st question I always get is:
What school am I going to / What am I studying /
Is it English or Japanese? I go to a Japanese national university, the name of which I can’t tell you quite yet. But I promise I will tell you soon! I study business, I’m getting a Master’s degree in Business Administration it is completely, 100% in Japanese. The thesis I’m writing, the research I’m doing, everything is in Japanese. It’s a full on graduate school experience. Which leads to the next question! #2: WHY am I going to School in Japanese? Why didn’t I just go to
school in Japan, in English? There are American Universities in Japan and schools that teach courses in English. That is true!
So let me be real honest with you: The first, practical reason is because I’m on a scholarship. I’m on a MEXT scholarship from the Japanese government which in most cases on sponsors you to go to Japanese national universities. Some do have English-based programs, like Keio University, etc. But you’re not going to be able to go to a school like Temple U. or even a school like Sophia University is very hard to get into on the MEXT scholarship. MEXT wants true-blue, Japanese colleges and they want foreign talent going into
those schools That’s just the nature of the program in most cases. I wanted to go to grad school back in the states, but the truth of the matter is I just couldn’t justify the price! I’d applied to Colombia’s Japanese pedagogy program I looked into a Japanese Studies program at NYU and after applying and looking at them closely I felt these were just excuses for me to do something more Japanese but the price tag just wasn’t worth it! So I just ever enrolled. But when the MEXT scholarship became an option I realized that this is something that allows me to go to school for free but allows me to pick a degree that is more relevant to my actual career. That leads me into my longer answer, which is basically Universities have brand value. There are Ivy League schools in America that are cool just because they’re Ivy League’s when they’re equally amazing programs at
other non^Ivy League schools. (Go William and Mary!!!) There’s a common narrative, especially
for kids in the liberal arts Where you want to pick a school or degree based on your passions. From your view your thinking I want to learn the thing that makes me passionate and makes my gears turn! That’s amazing! That’s great! However, the point of going
to University is not to learn something. The point of going to university is to
get a certification that precedes you into your career. I’m 100% behind people
learning and studying their passions but learning is a lifelong journey and
Universities more often than not are a disguised price tag that are built to
give you access to a certain social circle, to a certain job circle, to a
certain career or degree path. I’m going to go on a tangent here but certain schools are brand names because the people in that field understand what it is that you probably know and what your personality is probably like before you even sit in an interview. That’s why a certain degree is very powerful. This is something a struggled with when I picked my original undergraduate major because I love languages, culture and people so to me it made the most sense to study
the thing that I care about So I got a degree in linguistics and while you couldn’t minor in it I had enough credits to fulfill a minor in
International Studies and music. I graduated happy and smiley and about six
months later The price tag of that same degree was no longer in deferment. My school loans turned on and it was now time to pay back for all those years
I spent in school. At the same time I was trying to see that same degree to future employers. So getting back to my original point, right about now when you are watching this video It should be about August 4th. Which is a very big day for me because it is in fact, my 30th birthday! Coming to Japan at this point in my life has been a big turning point in my career I’ve worked a good handful of strenuous jobs and I realized that this doesn’t necessarily mean something to everyone! You can learn anything in life and you don’t need to pay tens of thousands of dollars just to do it. This is something I’ve been thinking about recently looking at why I picked my major in Japan and why that’s actually meaningful. In Japan, a liberal arts degree from the College of William Mary is simply a bachelor’s degree a certification to work and get a work visa. There are a lot of brand name schools around the world Harvard, Oxford, in Japan there’s Tokyo University but in my field (business), getting in MBA in English that’s NOT form Harvard, means almost nothing. So getting a MBA from a Japanese university in English Not only is it the wrong country but if I didn’t even do it in Japanese then that looks more confusing. However, getting an MBA in Japan in
Japanese prepares me to do business in Japan. So in a nutshell:
the reason I’m getting my degree in Japan in Japanese Japanese is because:
(A) I received a scholarship making it free (B) Doing it in Japanese prepares me to do business in Japan I have a United States undergraduate and
I’m working now on my Japanese masters which combined, together gives me access
to jobs both In the United States, in Japan and somewhere in between. The point is that in your individual case and career no matter where you’re going, or if you don’t even know Your diploma/resume is nothing more than a paid elevator pitch and the first things that introduces you before you walk into an interview. You make sure that resume says something about why you should be there so you have a chance to really get in there. That’s it. I promise I’m doing preaching. I just felt like I had to get that off my chest! So the next questions is about the Japanese idea of
レジャーランド( lit. “leisureland”) I’m not sure if this is a popular word anymore But it’s a word that describes a very true sense of Japanese education in that, you work REALLY hard to get into schools but once you’re into University, you’re good! Supposedly you just have to graduate at that point. I got a lot of questions asking if my schools the same. Obviously my school is hard for me because it’s in Japanese but it’s not…….*grunts* 😛 I feel like it’s a lot easier to get good grades as long as you do certain things. Your grades are probably going to be okay as long as you don’t skip class and you do the reading. In the States I feel like you could get away with never doing the reading but on your final papers and our tests but on your tests if you don’t have the
exact correct information, you could still fail. You could put in all of your effort and still fail. In Japan, I was so worried because I knew that my best is still going to be below a native Japanese speaker so I worried I’d fail no matter how hard I tried. Your effort seems to be a lot more weighted than your actual content regurgitation at least in grad school for me. I found that as long as you showed you did the work that you at least tried to do it did at least the minimum page requirement and showed up to every class then you will definitely pass and probably do well. So it’s difficult because you have to do all the work but you don’t have to be perfect. So, getting on to the last part I want to tell you WHAT it is that I’m actually studying. Shakai Kagaku-fu Keieigaku Senkou Hakase Katei Zenki
(Graduate School of Social Sciences, Business Major, Pre-PhD) In English the closest thing is probably a Masters in Business Administration, an MBA but because its Hakase-Katei Zenki, the pre-course to the PhD track it’s a lot more thesis/writing heavy and my thesis! I should explain that… In the modern age because of the internet there’s this common belief that you can connect with any person, business, or country easily because of our digital connections. In the business world there is a theory from
Harvard Business School specifically from Pankaj Ghemawat, around this idea of the flat world or globalization. there’s a theory that these concepts have created a bias a lot of businesses, especially internet startups set themselves up for failure because they assume they have access to an infinite market to in customer, in any country, anywhere simply because they put a website on the
Internet in multiple languages. The thing is that this is a bias! For example the case when Google tried to expand into China that did not go over so well because there’s a lot of regulation around what can be put on the internet and what can be shared between people. So coming from America you think everybody uses Google but in China they have their own
in-house services like Baidu, etc. like that the idea that Google and web
searching would be easy in Russia by the context of its language the
language the Russian language is so complex that the way that search
terms and SEO works in English it doesn’t work the same way it does in Russian and it doesn’t lend itself to that type of search. So it was very difficult for these big, giant companies It was harder and it took a lot more money
to actually try to get to these markets so my thesis is looking at that theory
of bias and what does it actually mean to be a business in the global age
specifically in the context of Japan. Japan right now has its own set of
biases specifically around the Olympics and specifically around the ideas of
globalization this idea that there’s an infinite market of foreign people that they can market to if they just speak English With Rakuten and the Englishnization movement there’s this idea that if we can just be more English-ready we can have our hands in markets all across the world! My thesis is that no, that is not necessarily the case! So my research is based on case studies and interviews with Japanese corporate managers asking
does their strategy actually make sense Is their strategy biased? In addition to that narrative I’m matching this with a market survey asking people around the world what they think of Japanese companies How do they interact with companies in Japan that are trying to connect with them? What are the pain points? What is the disconnect between Japanese
companies and the people who love Japanese stuff. So I’m really excited! Like this tiny IC recorder is every precious interview that I’ve been
doing with Japanese companies I feel like this is the golden treasure of everything I’ve built; my life’s work! So that’s kind of what I’ve launched in these past few weeks and what I’ll be doing all year before I (hopefully) graduate! The reason I bring this up also is because I want to invite anyone who’s interested! You can actually help me out an participate! The survey is going for a few more weeks It’s open answer and requires you to
write as little or as much as you want The survey is available in 8 different languages so please pick the language that you are most comfortable with if you’ve never been in Japan that’s fine If you’ve ever like anything Japanaese,
anything whatsoever and you want to help
me out with my research I’ll leave a link below! We’re kind of all over the board today But I’m at a huge turning point right now
and I kind of wanted to share that with you. If you have any questions,
comments, ideas etc leave them in a comment below and I will see you there! Thank you so much for watching today!