Otsuka People Talk

Global Project Leader

After graduating from a Japanese university, she took a job in a department store. Later, she earned a degree in film at California State University, Long Beach, before joining Otsuka Pharmaceutical as a Medical Representative (MR). After four years, she transferred to Otsuka's marketing department, and is now a young leader of global projects for the U.S. and Europe.

In collaboration with NHK Enterprises, Inc.

March 2013

Earned a degree in film in the U.S.

My background is a little bit unusual. After graduating from university in Japan, I started working in a department store selling art. Then, I decided to follow my childhood dream of going to a U.S. university, and I got a degree in film. Finally, as fate would have it, I joined Otsuka Pharmaceutical.

To be honest, I did think about working in film. However, I knew I wanted to take on a new challenge in a very different line of work, and I decided to hunt for a job in a completely different industry. Once a year, representatives of large Japanese companies gather in Boston, providing students an opportunity to interview with them. I was lucky enough to get an interview at the Otsuka Pharmaceutical booth. I knew it was very unusual for film majors to apply for jobs at mainstream companies, and sure enough, most companies turned me away as soon as I mentioned my degree in film. Although the Otsuka recruiter naturally asked me why I decided to apply to Otsuka with my film degree, I didn't sense any kind of barrier at all. It felt like Otsuka would give me an opportunity regardless of my gender, experience, or title.

Joined Otsuka and became a Medical Representative in Japan

At first, I thought the company would want me to work in their global business, but instead I was given a job as a MR, selling pharmaceuticals in Japan. I didn't know anything about drugs or diseases. Many of the other people hired at the same time as me had degrees in pharmacology or science. Of course, I was the only one who was a film major. Although I learned from everyone else, it was very challenging at first.

We had tests every day. Once the day had ended, I would review and prepare for the next test. It continued like this for about half a year. After the MR training, we had to pass a certification exam to officially become a MR. I remember how happy I was when I passed the MR exam.


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