Student Profile: A Q and A with Keisei Ohta

Kasai Ohta talks about adjusting to life as an R.A., tennis, and his dream of attending Harvard University. Photo by Marissa Hochstetler.

by Tien Tran – News and Features Editor


Keisei Ohta is a really cool, really smart guy from Japan. As a sophomore tennis player, an R.A. and a business major, Keisei’s also a pretty busy student. When I met Keisei for our talk in the Larks Nest, he was already suited up for his afternoon practice. Luckily, he made time for this interview.

Q. What brought you to Hesston?
A. When I was in England I was always watching movies, going shopping, and didn’t study at all, so I decided to study in a rural place. I went this special Japanese institution to find American Colleges and they recommended that I should go to Hesston College.

Q. What is your favorite class?
A. I would say economics is the best class; I can’t really choose Micro or Macro. I particularly like the instructor, David LeVan. He teaches very well. And also since I’m a business major, this knowledge from economics will help me in the future.

Q. I know that you’re studying Finance.  It is a very tough and competitive career field. So why do you choose this field of study?
A. I plan to start a new business in Japan, so I need to raise capital in order to do so and I learned American financial institutions offer good wages; this is the primary reason.

Q. It is obvious that you have a strong interest in business, and you must have done well in business classes last year.  Describe your academic achievements.
A. I currently have 4.0 GPA, hence, I’m on Dean’s list for both semesters last year. And I’m one of four business scholars from last year.

Q. You must be busy to get such good grades in classes like that. So do you have times for school activities?
A. I may have to say that I do not have much time for school activities. I sometimes go when someone comes to my room and almost forces me to come, but generally I’m either studying in my room or playing tennis.

Q. You like tennis, and I heard that you want to be tennis coach assistant this year. Did you play tennis at home?
A. Actually I have already been assigned a job as an assistant. Better or worse it makes me even busier. I actually started playing tennis seriously in the U.S. and I did play some tennis for fun in England as well. But I had never played tennis in Japan. Also, probably because Japan is too small for tennis courts, we do not have many tennis courts and existing tennis courts are either very expensive or owed by tennis schools which means we have to take lessons in order to use these tennis courts.

Q. What is the most challenging duty you need to overcome as an R.A?
A. The biggest challenge is a difference between Japanese and American characteristics. For example, recently my modlings knocked my door for no reason at 12 a.m. when I had already been sleeping, saying “Wake up, Keisei!” They also shoot water guns to my door which is actually quite louder than you think. Anyways, they say something like “This is America and we have a party every day.” I’m trying to get used to their “parties,” but it is still challenging to me.

Q. If you like business, you must like to problem-solve. So what kinds of problems do you want to solve in life?
A. All top business universities require us to take calculus, but I do not know how it applies to real life and even business. I want to be able to answer this question.

Q. I think your answer shows a bit about your personality. What is the most interesting thing about yourself that people don’t know?
A. I think I’m naturally very serious, but I really hate serious atmospheres and therefore myself being serious. So I’m trying to be as funny as possible, but I don’t know if it’s working. I need someone that makes the atmosphere surrounding me funny.

Q. Let’s talk about your goals in life. What are you going to do after graduating from Hesston College?
A. I’m trying hard to get in Harvard University. I know it is really hard and I won’t make it if I become lazy even for a day. That’s why I chose to be an RA and accepted [the role of] tennis coach assistant. I also hope these positions make my résumé look nicer.

Thank for your cooperation, Keisei. Hope you will have a successful year at Hesston College!

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