Reika Igarashi

Reika Igarashi

Hi Reika, why did you choose Leeds University Business School?

I attended some of the demo MBA lectures held in Tokyo and I was very motivated by the guest lecturers and thought the Business School would be the best one to study at. In addition, I've always wanted to study Corporate Communications and there aren't many universities which provide Corporate Communications as an MA course.

How had you heard about Leeds University Business School?

Some of my friends from my former university came to the Business School to study International Business and International Marketing Management so I knew about the Business School and courses on offer but I got more information at UK university forums held in Tokyo.

Tell us about your course – why did you choose it? What elements of the course inspired you to choose the Business School/University?

The term 'corporate communications' is still new to the Japanese corporate world and as I have studied International Business Communication, I was interested in how corporations communicate to stakeholders and how they manage communications. The Toyota Crisis which happened in 2009 made me realize the importance for corporations to send out the right communication. That's why I decided to choose this course. Importantly, the course is very academic as well as practical so students can learn not only important theories, but also PR skills and practice those skills. It sounded challenging but I thought it was good for my CV and I like to be challenged so I chose this School and this course.

What was the best part of your studies here – what did you enjoy the most?

I liked the diversity of the nationalities on my course. It is very important to understand the different cultures and adjust oneself to study and work with your colleagues. It was sometimes very difficult because we had different ways of doing one thing but it was always inspiring!

Do you have any noteworthy achievements from your study at the Business School that you can tell us about?

I was awarded the very first Corporate Communications and Public Relations award! I enjoyed every subject within my course but I especially enjoyed the module Internal Communications and Change Management which I achieved the highest score in my class and Corporate Communication Strategy.

What were your career aspirations when you arrived?

I had no proper work experience other than part-time jobs, but I always had a dream to become a bridge between Japan and the world and I have always liked the communication side of business. Therefore, I thought studying this course was the first step in getting closer to my long term goal.

Were your career aspirations expanded by studying here? Did the skills and experience you acquired on your course give you the confidence to widen your career choices?

Definitely, yes! The course helped me widen my skills and realise what I am good at. I was never confident about myself but the course helped me express myself and my opinions better and now I feel I can be successful in the marketing or corporate communication field. The experience and knowledge I gained at the Business School will always be the cornerstone of my career.

How has your career progressed since leaving the Business School? Have there been any notable highlights?

I will start working at the British Embassy Tokyo as an intern from January 2014, where I will be using all the skills I gained from my course especially from the PR in Practice module.

What are your ambitions for the future?

I am thinking of taking the exam to become a diplomat and working in the PR department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Japan. My dream is to become a bridge between the world and Japan and I will do my best and keep challenging myself to make this come true.

How do you think Leeds University Business School rates against other universities?
Lectures at the Business School are amazing. They are helpful and insightful with lecturers who encourage their students to achieve their goals.

What was your impression/experience of the facilities, the staff, your peers, the student union, the City of Leeds and the region itself?

People in Leeds are very kind and cheerful. There is good shopping, restaurants and lots to do! I loved the Business School and I especially loved the libraries.

Would you recommend the Business School to others?

Yes, the Business School is where you can explore yourself and your abilities. You can make life-time friends and realise what you can really do.

What advice do you have for current students or alumni wishing to pursue a similar career?

Never give up. Challenge yourself! Play hard and study harder!