Otsuka People Talk

Global Project Leader

With a BA in economics, she entered Otsuka Pharmaceutical as a Medical Representative (MR). After joining the company’s Overseas Challenge Group, she became inspired to study English intensively. Today, she is in charge of a team planning Otsuka's central nervous system (CNS) pharmaceutical business in the U.S.

In collaboration with NHK Enterprises, Inc.

March 2013

Becoming a Medical Representative

When I graduated from university, the job market in Japan was very tough. Although I applied to about 60 companies, I decided I wanted to work for a company that provides career opportunities to women. I heard that companies with a lot of female executives are more supportive of female employees, so that is how I chose a company to work for.

Although I intended to apply for a position in beverage sales at Otsuka Pharmaceutical, since I had submitted my resume to as many as 60 companies, I could no longer remember exactly what positions I had applied for. At the interview, the Otsuka representative asked me “You applied for a MR position, right?” Since I couldn’t say I applied to be a MR by mistake, I just said yes, and that is how I came to be a MR at Otsuka Pharmaceutical.

The pharmaceutical sales area is very specialized, and you need to acquire a lot of knowledge before you can visit a doctor’s office. The required study is especially difficult. During the first three months after joining Otsuka, I studied more than I had ever had in my life. At first, I was nervous just to visit a doctor's office, but gradually I became better at my job, and doctors were adopting drugs that I had introduced to them. I was a MR for ten years, and it was very rewarding and beneficial to be able to build personal relationships with various physicians.

Inspired by the Overseas Challenge Group,
she aimed for a position in overseas business

I love Japan, and I intended to work all my life in Japan, so I never thought about going abroad to work. However, last year I joined our company’s Overseas Challenge Group, and I learned that unless Japanese employees start working abroad, it will become more difficult to advance our various businesses. It was then that I began to study English, and now I have a position in overseas operations.

The group consisted of about 30 young MRs, and we learned about business directly from the company president for about six months. The study sessions lasted five hours at a time, and we read books, had discussions, and gave presentations on how to apply what we had learned in our own work. Everyone involved became very inspired, and we learned about business and began to think about what we needed to do to work abroad. One of the purposes of the group was to select several people to handle Otsuka business areas overseas. When the group began, the president told us to speak as much as possible and say whatever came to mind. During the meetings, my brain was really stimulated, and whenever the president asked us what we thought, everyone would think quickly and come up with a response. By the end of each meeting I was exhausted and my head hurt from all the thinking.

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