A Path of Resilience

It wasn’t just one life-changing experience that put Emi Asazaka on her road to success, but more like six years of them.

At 9 years old, she was one of the only Japanese students in an American school in London, where her father was working with an American finance company.

Born in New York City and after living her first nine years in Tokyo, Emi was plopped into a sea of children from all over the world. Not speaking a word of English, she had to make friends with her classmates somehow.

She did it with the help of English as a Second Language classes and sports – from swimming to basketball, soccer, and softball. “Playing sports had always been a big part of my life,” she says. “At that school, sports helped me make friends and taught me how to be a team player – and to never give up.

“Those six years were when I learned to engage with people from all over the world with different backgrounds and ways of thinking, and be accepted by them. I learned to feel confident in myself.”

Emi credits her parents for encouraging their daughter to try anything she wanted. And she made the most of it. "I've always tried to make the most of the opportunities that are right in front of me," she says.

Emi and her mom at the Sydney Opera House - Platinum Club 2016

Today, she is an Account Executive in digital marketing sales with the Retail and Consumer Products Group vertical in Japan, and her ease with all kinds of people, her commitment to teamwork, and her refusal to give up have been instrumental in her success. In just two years with Adobe, she has achieved Platinum Club and been nominated to Leadership Circles.

Emi with her manager Tak Shirai and Eugene Saburi, President Adobe Japan, at Adobe sales kickoff.
Emi (left) with her mom at Platinum Club 2016.
"Emi always thinks first about the customer, not about selling products. She's a natural leader who can handle multiple global deals at a time. She's passionate about driving the business, always positive, never complains – she just makes people happy, executes, and brings in huge deals." – Tak Shirai, Sr. Mgr. Enterprise Sales, Digital Marketing

As successful as she is, business wasn’t Emi’s formal course of study. At university in Tokyo, she studied law and politics. “But I always knew I wanted to be involved in business and marketing,” she says, “so I took seminars in business.” She began her career in sales at HP before coming to Adobe.

And she loves it here.
“I love talking with customers and figuring out how to help them. Having good relationships with customers and knowing we are contributing to their business success – that is what keeps me going.”
Golfing with customers .

And if a win doesn’t happen, “I try to remember that setbacks are inevitable,” she says. “I try to look on the bright side and stay optimistic, and see what I can do better next time. I don’t dwell on it or let it bother me all night. I get some sleep – that always refreshes the mind.”

And she keeps going. “Once I’m committed,” she says, “I don’t give up easily. I’m driven by goals, but I also try to stay relaxed.”

If she gets the chance to manage one day, Emi wants to be more than a strategic thinker and driven to succeed.

"Good leadership is more about soft skills, about being optimistic and caring, about seeing potential in others and motivating them to achieve. The best managers in my career have all shown these qualities.

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