Thursday, 20 October 2011

The KMD Application Adventure

Yesterday I got accepted into Keio University's Graduate School of Media Design! Holy hell, how amazing is that?! Doing my Master's in Japan is not just a dream any longer. I am so happy right now.

This probably came as a surprise to most people, not because they were doubtful about me getting in, but because they did not know I had already applied there. I made a conscious decision not to really tell anyone about it, only really told the people that I had to tell it to (such as my family + my supervisor, his wife and my Japanese teacher since they wrote recommendations for me), since I did not want a whole bunch of people feeling sorry for me if I happened to fail. I wanted to bear that alone this time around. Don't ask me why. I guess since not getting in would've made me fall from so high I did not want to intensify my pain by having other people's sympathy. I apologize for this. m(_ _)m

Anyways, this all began start of September already. I filled in the Web Entry form and the way it made me feel is indescribable. It was the first concrete step I took toward my dream and it made me shiver. After that I was writing my Research Proposal like a madman trying to bring all of my heart and passion across and taking care of various other things for the 1st screening. One of the biggest challenges in the process was taking care of the application fee. The first payment method presented in the application guide was something called a Postal Money Order, which post offices in Finland have ceased to offer a long time ago. Hurray for advanced society... Then the second option was a Demand Draft, but no one at banks actually knew what that was. Great. That's where my cheque adventure, which I wrote about [here], came in. Remittance Cheque was the third choice. I seriously shat my pants about the typo on the cheque thinking I might die if I would not make it to the next round because of something silly like that. I was doubting myself a lot at that time anyway, but various things managed to cheer me up tremendously. Like the recommendation letters my supervisor, his wife and my Japanese teacher wrote for me. I was really touched by all the nice things they said about me, it felt so nice seeing how proud some people were of me. I really felt that I could be accepted based on their letters alone - they made me sound so amazing. I asked most of my family to read my Research Proposal once I had finished it in order to get their opinion on their quality and it felt really nice hearing all of them say it was really good. It felt especially nice when my mom, who does not show very often that she's proud of me, said after reading it: "reading this makes it very much seem like you will get in".

In the end, after lots of stress and various obstacles I managed to mail off all the material for the 1st Screening on the 12th of September. I had wanted to mail it with FedEx, but holy hell it would have cost like 200€ - that's seriously insane. DHL was no better. In the end I went with EMS and it luckily worked very well. Also, after sending off my application I did some more research on what a Demand Draft is, and I think the cheque that I sent was actually that. The cheque I sent was a bank cheque (which is what a Demand Draft seems to be), meaning it is issued by the bank and does not require a signature. Oh well, all the better for me!

The results of the 1st Screening were released on the 3rd of October at 7:00 am my time. I was so nervous all night. I even saw a few dreams about going to check the results when I did manage to drift off into sleep for a while. When I went to actually check the results after waking up randomly at 7:30 am, my heart was thumping so loudly. It was seriously crazy. Man was I relieved to see my examinee number on there.

The next step was to have a Skype access test prior to the interview date. Thus I spent one Friday morning talking to a random Japanese woman on Skype and after that I went to the Itella Posti oy office and got me my newspaper job, woo! My interview was then scheduled for 15th of October. I tried to prepare myself for it the best I could, I spent ages thinking of all the reasons why studying there is my dream right now and what motivates me. My supervisor and my sister gave me many encouraging words concerning the interview and being believed in like that definitely boosted my drive to do the very best I can and succeed. With the unpleasant atmosphere at home I decided that I would direct all my melancholy into my energy reserve for doing my very best to make my dreams come true. I'd have these lines from UNBREAKABLE stuck in my head when I distributed newspapers at night:

キミの夢は こんな場所にはないと"

Which means:

"At night stars say,
Your dream is not in a place like this"

I have to say, that thanks to my luck, the interview really could not have been more ill-timed. It was at 10:00 am my time last Saturday and the night before that I had my first shift distributing newspapers by myself. I got home very exhausted and sore at 6:00 am and had time to sleep two hours, after which I felt really sick and tired. I really thought I'd puke if I tried to say something. Not good. Somehow though I managed to feel slightly better like 5 minutes before the interview started, haha. Somehow I managed to be less nervous during this interview than any other one I had been to before. Maybe having worked all night had it's benefits after all. So there I was, talking with three Japanese men. I talked so much for like 30 minutes, I was pretty proud of myself. I actually had a feeling afterward that I had done quite well, but that feeling started deteriorating in the next days haha. On a random side note, I was not able to go to sleep after the interview either, because I had scheduled the Nana Overseas Project picture for that day too. I seriously felt like a time bomb that might explode at any moment during that day. I am really surprised I made it out alive. xD

Then on Tuesday the final results were announced at 7:00 am. I was so nervous again, even more so than when the results of the 1st Screening were announced. This was it. I was so amazingly happy and relieved when I saw my examinee number in the listed of accepted applicants. I can't believe how lucky I was.

I really want to thank everyone who's been part of this process with me by offering me advice, helping me, providing me with support and believing in me. Couldn't have done it without you. <3 Also another big thank you for everyone who's happy for me. :)

Sorry once more for keeping most of you in the dark for so long.
m(_ _)m


  1. Hi, I will have the very same interview tomorrow..can I ask you what did they ask you??

    1. Hey!
      The interview might seem a bit intimidating at first, but it really isn't too bad. I can't say I remember very clearly what I was asked due to being so exhausted when I had mine, but from what I can recall, here are some tips!

      I suggest you think of answers for these sort of questions before hand: why did you choose KMD? What do you have to offer KMD? What do you think KMD has to offer you? Your strengths and weaknesses? What are you interested in doing in KMD? Why Japan?

      The questions can vary quite a bit I think depending on which professors are interviewing you, but as long as you make it very clear to them that you are full of enthusiasm and are really determined to get into and study at KMD, you should do fine!

      You are aiming to start in September? I hope to see you here then!

  2. Thank you for the messages and very happy that your dream has come true! I'll have my 2nd screening this month and this article helps me a lot, thank you again! I'm a little curious if you are working in Japan now or not, didn't mean to bother.