Otsuka People Talk

June 2017

Medical Representative

If I say I can do something I am encouraged to do it rather than stopped, so I can think for myself and do the work I am passionate about.

An interview with a mom who is taking advantage of reduced working hours while continuing to do the job she loves.

Why I joined Otsuka

An older friend from college told me about being a Medical Representative (MR), and I thought it sounded interesting. I looked into a lot of different companies, but the main reason I ultimately chose Otsuka is that they not only treat sick people but also help healthy people to stay healthy. I think this is one of the defining features of the company.

Keeping ahead of schedule

I have been working as a Medical Representative (MR) for 10 years, and in that role I work with both hospitals and private practices. I currently work reduced hours, a system under which you can choose to work 6 hours between 8am and 8pm. I review my schedule for the day and then decide what hours to work-usually that's 10am to 4pm.

On days when I start work at 8am I'm normally finished by 2pm, so I can pick up my 20-month-old daughter early, play with her in our local park, go grocery shopping, and cook dinner. Otsuka is an easy place for me to work as I can enjoy a good work-life balance, as long as I coordinate my schedule with my clients.
The thing that has changed since I became a mom is that my day can suddenly be completely turned around if, for example, my daughter has a fever, so I've started to make sure to do things in advance that I would previously have left till later. I also prioritize fixing my schedule with my clients to ensure that I can do everything required in the time available.

Support from management and family

Sometimes my daughter's nursery calls me to collect her as she has a fever, and I can't make it to important appointments. When this happens my manager steps in and goes in my place. Knowing that my manager understands my needs and is there to help when needed makes it much easier for me to do a good job; I'm very grateful for their support.

My husband also actively supports me. He will go and pick up our daughter when I can't, and he takes her to nursery in the morning whenever he can, which is a huge help.

Passion for my work as an MR

When I returned to work the thing that I was most concerned about was my product knowledge, but Otsuka's online in-company training system has allowed me to get myself fully up-to-date. While I was on maternity leave a number of new drugs were released, and during the year I forgot some information about other drugs, but having on-demand access to these resources helped me regain my confidence.
I really love being an MR. I'm motivated by being able to do the work I'm interested in, and at times being responsible for entire projects.

Otsuka allows you to do the work you want to do

The number of moms who work reduced hours is increasing, and Otsuka understands their needs and has systems in place to support them. As long as you use these systems well, it is possible to maintain a good balance between your home and work life.
The fact that Otsuka allows you to focus on work that you are interested in, and doesn't stop you simply because you are a mom or because you are working reduced hours, makes my work life very enjoyable and is one of the big benefits of working at Otsuka. I can tackle challenges such as area management on my own terms, and continue to do the work I am passionate about.

We're evaluated based on our work and how we communicate with the team, and this motivates me to do a good job. Also, I think that there are relatively few Medical Representatives who work reduced hours, and understanding that my output has the potential to affect the support systems that are put in place for younger colleagues in the future is another motivation for me to do the best job that I can.