SOAS University of London

Nicki Soffe

My degree in Japanese was what got me in the door in my initial position at Reuters

Year graduated from SOAS
1991

Programme studied
BA Japanese & Economics

Job title and name of organisation 
Director of Marketing, Asia Pacific, SunGard

What do you like about what you do?
Regional scope of the job means that there is never a dull moment. Marketing to potential customers in Australia is very different from Singapore which in turn is very different from Japan, China and the rest of the region. The markets we serve are at very different levels of development and the cultures are obviously very different both internally & externally.

How has your time at SOAS helped you succeed in this role? 
My degree in Japanese was what got me in the door in my initial position at Reuters where I was working with Japanese customers in London and then gave me the opportunity to move to Tokyo and look after non-Japanese customers there. After moving to Singapore in a regional role I was then head hunted into a semi-competitor organisation due to my Japanese language skills.

Can you give current students any tips on getting into this kind of work? 
Gaining a wide range of experience is key. The job that I started in was by no means my ideal job but it was the entry point into a large organisation which provided many opportunities over the following 15 years. Be prepared to try things that you never thought you would be good at or interested in as you never know where it may lead.