Second year as a year of new challenges and opportunities

The beginning of my second year at university was the beginning of many wonderful things. I started attending a graduate school seminar with a professor from Oxford, who will be my main advisor for the years to come. Thanks to this seminar I also started working at Keio University as a research assistant.

At this time, I work on a creating and compiling a database of thousands of middle to larger size Japanese companies and their merging with startups, new ventures, and smaller businesses. This brings me to another new project of mine that I started with my seminar professor and one PhD candidate. We are writing a paper on the development of Asian capitalism and the relations of large and small businesses, specifically in Japan and South Korea -  and for this paper we use the research I’m doing with my database. This work will be presented firstly at a conference in Kyoto this Spring, and hopefully (if I receive the necessary funding from my university), in Chicago this Summer during the Academy of Management Conference, where I will present as a co-author of this work. These are very exciting times for me, full of challenges of course, but a great source of motivation and an impetus for growth nevertheless. On a lighter note, I immersed myself in the study of Korean after toying with self-study for a while. I believe that aside from China, Korea is one of the most important players both economically and culturally. Hopefully, my Korean endeavors will culminate during my third year with a study abroad program in Seoul. Furthermore, I have celebrated one full year as a member of the University’s Kendo club, a Japanese martial sport with long history. There are exams to be taken, and I will participate in my first Kendo tournament quite soon. Just like during my studies at Open Gate Boarding School, I believe that maintaining a healthy physique is essential to keeping a healthy mind. Releasing stress after a long day of classes by having bamboo sword fights with my peers is a wonderful way to, ironically, relax. The Spring semester is about to begin and I wholeheartedly hope I can meet the expectations of all these wonderful people that have been and are supporting me throughout my studies, learn many more things by joining another seminar on international security (this one will be in Japanese), and generally make good use of my time in Japan.

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