BA Japanese/International Management/Languages, Cultures and Business

Two months ago, my family was approached by a Japanese tourist. Aware that I knew Japanese, my uncle got me to interpret and when I spoke in the language, the tourist smiled. I was thrilled to be able to speak Japanese outside of a study setting and we ended up exchanging addresses. It was then that I knew I wanted to pursue Japanese further to put it to use in a meaningful career. Taking it at university would no doubt help me to achieve this.

On the other hand, my interest in business began in secondary school. My class were studying Cadbury as a multinational corporation. I was amazed by the way it adapted itself to excel across various territories! This inspired me to seek a role in the Business sector that could put my foreign language ability to use.
Every week, I tutor 2 students in Japanese to prepare them for the GCSE exam. This has been rewarding for me as I am able to instil in them a deep interest in Japanese society that goes beyond its animation industry. Teaching them has required me to go further in my studies of Japan in order to properly introduce them to its various traditions, like its famous summer festivals. I plan to teach them about the Edo period alongside their current curriculum. This job has taken me deeper into my love for Japan and has improved my ability to communicate and aid others in their learning.

French A-Level has helped me consider the societies that develop the languages we speak. This subject has fostered my interest in foreign tastes and fashions. My proficiency in grasping new vocabulary and syntax has also been strengthened by this course, which will help me to improve my language skills during my studies.

In August, I visited Paris. While there, I bonded with French youth and experienced life from their point of view. This has improved my social skills since I chose to approach them in French when we first met. This has furthered my linguistic confidence and my appreciation for other societies.

Business Studies has taught me how our world is shaped by the firms around us. This discipline has shown me how to analyse from a close viewpoint. This helps me to think logically and explain, step by step, the implications of a specific choice or event. This keeps me from taking large leaps in logic so I can produce work that is structured and easy to understand. This will aid me greatly in writing for my degree.

Studying Economics has shown me the intertwined relationship between society and enterprise. This course has given me the ability to evaluate the effects of a policy or law on businesses and communities. I have learnt how to step back from specific examples and case studies in order to judge the overall effectiveness of a movement. This will prove useful to me as I write essays and dissertations with a critical mindset.

Core Mathematics has kept my numerical skills sharp. I have learnt from the statistics modules to consider the drawbacks of certain sampling methods and why the data they produce can lead to false conclusions. This skill will serve me well in selecting appropriate evidence to support my arguments in my writing.

I have recently finished a summer internship at RedSeven Marketing. During my time there, I gained valuable insight into the life of a recruiter. I learnt how to meet strict deadlines, how to manage multiple projects at once and how to manage the work/life balance - skills that are vital for any degree.

I have also achieved Grade 6 in Piano Performance with the ABRSM. Music is a source of stress relief for me and has helped me to carry on in harder times. This will keep me grounded during the more intense moments of higher education. I am currently working towards Grade 7, which I hope to achieve this year. I hope to join the music societies at university to continue polishing my skills and to find someone who enjoys the piano just as much as I do.

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Author's Comments

Written for entry in 2020. Oxford was the only university I was applying to for just Japanese - my other options were International Management, Japanese and Economics, and Languages, Cultures and Business (Japanese language option) at Bristol and King's College London, SOAS and Leeds.

I am happy to have received offers from all the unis I applied to! It was really difficult trying to balance both the business and the language aspect of the courses I applied to, and in fact had to rewrite this app a few times to foreground the Japanese aspect of things (and boy was it difficult. In the end I crammed the rewrites into one night... the bit about tutoring students honestly struck me during the last rewrite - I kicked myself for not mentioning it in my earlier drafts haha)

I had to rephrase a lot of my words, too, since I kept going over the line limit as a punishment for trying to format it nicely... Good luck to everyone! I really hope that reading this personal statement will serve help you out!

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