The MBA Diary

MBA onboarding I: Pre-departure

“They take good care of us!”

That’s what the current students of the my school say about it. It made me reflect about my onboarding experience at Hitotsubashi ICS more than a year ago. Here’s how it went:

Shortly after receiving the offer from the Japanese Embassy, I received an email for Young Leaders Program (YLP) scholarship recipients, from the faculty in charge of YLP students, Michael Korver. It welcomed me to the school, briefly detailing out information on visa, flight tickets, transportation, housing, as well as the tentative schedule after we arrive in Tokyo and contact information.

Next, I received a set of documents to help ease my transition to MBA. First, a pre-matriculation booklet that gives an overview of the course — the schedule, the things that I needed to do before enrolling in the program i.e. online courses on accounting, finance and quants and information on tuition expenses. Secondly, a document on housing that listed accommodations the main campus in Kunitachi and in Tokyo that we could rent (YLP scholars received a separate email, that offered us a placement at Tokyo International Exchange Center at Odaiba). Finally, a document listing the things that I needed to do as I arrive in Tokyo, like:

  • Things to do as I arrived in Tokyo i.e. keeping boarding pass, shipping luggages and transportation to get to Odaiba;
  • Finding a guarantor for housing;
  • Registering myself at the city ward to register myself as a resident;
  • Registering for National Health Insurance;
  • Opening a bank account; and
  • Getting a mobile phone.

Ooh. Also a spreadsheet filled with information of all of my future classmates!

Then, I received a list of required textbooks and calculator for the core courses. Bought most of them at Kinokuniya since BNM staff were entitled to almost half price off at that time of the year and the rest, I bought from the previous students through an auction coordinated by the student board.

The last email I received before leaving for Japan was by the faculty director, Yoshinori Fujikawa (who ended up becoming by zemi advisor) who shared the schedule of the team-building session in Takao and the orientation week that was going to happen just a week after our arrival in Tokyo.

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