Building Connections at MathWorks Tokyo

TokuhisaBy Tokuhisa, education sales


One thing I enjoy about my work is making unexpected connections with interesting people across the company, regardless of position or work history. In my role on the Sales team at MathWorks, I get to collaborate with members from Application Engineering, Training Services, Customer Success, and Marketing—it is a team effort, not just an individual effort. At many companies, the Sales function tends to emphasize the individual player aspect.

Being Part of a Team—at Work and at Play

I also enjoy connecting with colleagues on a more personal level. Salsa dancing has been a passion of mine for almost 20 years. I have experience teaching lessons at events and gyms and can teach beginners. I saw an opportunity to bring this interest to MathWorks, and formed a salsa dancing team with other members of the Tokyo office. Prior to the pandemic, we used to get together and practice every Monday after work. Team members included managers and individual contributors from different departments such as Marketing, Application Engineering, Customer Success, Globalization, Consulting, and Sales, and we had a lot of fun.

Once a year, when staff from offices around the world came together in Boston for our Sales Kickoff event, we practiced with the MIT salsa dance team. One year we also performed at the Tokyo office’s Winter Celebration party.

Group of eight people in casual clothing posing on a dance floor.

The Tokyo salsa team with MIT’s salsa group MIT Casino Rueda in 2017.

Group of four men in white shirts and four women in red shirts posing in an arranged stance.

The Tokyo office staff who demonstrated salsa at the Winter Celebration.

Forming a New MathWorks Office

I joined MathWorks back in 2009, just as the first MathWorks office in Japan was being established. My path to the company was somewhat winding. I studied commerce and got a law degree, but after finishing graduate school, I decided that law was not for me. Instead of working in the legal field, I found a job as a sales representative for a semiconductor-related trading company. As a sales engineer, I sold electronic measuring equipment; I particularly enjoyed demonstrating that equipment and selling to university customers. The company later closed this division due to the semiconductor recession, and when I was looking for a new job, I found out that MathWorks was going to establish the Tokyo office.

When I first joined the company, I was in charge of semiconductor-related companies as a commercial license sales representative, but about six months later I transferred to Education Sales. I was excited about this shift because I remembered how much I loved selling to university customers when I started my first job in Sales.

Through my work with universities that are implementing Campus-Wide Licenses, I can contribute to research, education, and globalization while continuing a path of career development.

In this role, my responsibility is to help technical colleges and universities evaluate, adopt, and renew Campus-Wide Licenses for MATLAB and Simulink. I have access to faculty, staff, and students in a wide range of research fields, from engineering to science to medicine.

Through my work with universities that are implementing Campus-Wide Licenses, I can contribute to research, education, and globalization while continuing a path of career development.

I felt a sense of accomplishment when the Campus-Wide License was introduced at my alma mater, Waseda University, after years of working on the proposal. I have been personally involved with the university for a long time, so I love it and feel at home there, and I enjoy interacting with the faculty and staff.

In addition to enjoying the nature of my work, I enjoy the company culture as well. MathWorks does not expect working long hours or staying late in the office. In addition, we are encouraged to take advantage of holidays and time off as needed. This lets me spend time on hobbies and with my family. Getting this extra family time, and building meaningful connections with colleagues—whether it be through cross-team initiatives or dance practices—has been extremely rewarding for me.

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