Megumi Takemoto, Japan
Full-Time MBA 2020
Academic Roles, Achievements and Activities
Finalist in ESADE and elBullifoundation Creativity for Business Innovation Case Competition
Founded a startup and participated in ESADE Accelerator Program as one of the selected teams/ideas
What is invisible but essential about YOU? or ESADE? or Barcelona?
Just after I graduated from Tokyo University in Japan, I started traveling around the world by motorcycle by myself for three years. It was my second time going abroad after a graduation trip to Turkey months before. I went around Australia first, then flew back to Japan once, and started again from Los Angeles, United States, went down to Central, South America then went to Europe and West Africa through the Sahara Desert.
Not exactly ‘around the world’ as I had originally planned. Nonetheless, it was an eye-opening experience to see things and to talk to people that I would not have known, otherwise. Every day, I encountered new things and met people who helped me broaden my horizons. However, this journey brought one of the life-changing challenges I have ever faced.
One day, as I drove up to the famous Ruta 40 in Patagonia, Southern Argentina, I fell from motorcycle and almost broke my right knee. It was my first time to see how fat in my body looks like that scared me a lot. To make things worse, I was literally in the middle of nowhere. The closest village with 40 people was around 100km away. Luckily, the motorcycle was not damaged. I managed to get to the village, and a nurse put stitches on the wound.
At that time, it took me five minutes just to walk one meter. I had no choice but to leave the motorcycle there and to go to Buenos Aires, in order to go to the proper hospital and to recover in a safe environment. There was no public transportation available at the village, so I waited and asked a tour bus coming through once a week to take me to the bigger town, then spent three days transferring bus lines to get to Buenos Aires. Fortunately, I had known a hostel owned by a Japanese there.
After all of these, it took me half a year to start traveling again. Besides my knee injury, I had almost everything stolen in a hostel in Mexico, I was stricken with malaria while going down through the Sahara Desert, and I had many other minor troubles.
What I learned from these experiences is that the hardest moments would always make me feel that it is almost impossible to face or go through them. Surviving these incidents made me realize that going through a very tough challenge is not the end of the world. These almost impossible to handle challenges will always be a part of the process of creating something new – a new product, a new journey and a better version of myself. Eventually, everything is going to be okay. All I need is patience and a strong will to go on. Also, there will always be that someone who could help me, if needed. Now, I am a single parent with two children, quit a decent job, doing the MBA, and going to start my company. I may need to overcome many challenges that are waiting for me, but I believe I can do it, and I can make my dreams real.