EP. 118【EN】Embracing Authenticity and Let Your Natural Leadership Emerge from Within – Jae Yeon Choi, Managing Director of MSD Taiwan

Remember the quote from the movie Forrest Gump? “Life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get,” and that’s how Jae Yeon Choi, Managing Director of MSD Taiwan, felt her career has been like. From working in a rigid government agency where there weren’t many women as colleagues, to pursuing her MBA, to now working in a leading pharmaceutical company working to improve people’s lives – Jae Yeon shared how she found authenticity to be the key to leadership and teamwork. #Impact, #Legacy, and #GrowTogether are her three most important hashtags. What are yours? Listen more to this episode to find out how a women leader is found.


Jae Yeon Choi / MSD Taiwan, Managing Director

Jae Yeon Choi is Managing Director of MSD Taiwan, pursuing the aspiration with the team to make a positive impact on more patients and families in Taiwan.

With an MBA from the Kellogg School of Business at Northwestern University and more than 18 years of experience in the pharmaceutical industry, Jae Yeon is passionate about helping others aspire for a greater vision and enjoys her journey to become a better version of herself. Being a mother of 10-year-old twins, Jae Yeon also enjoys playing and learning from them.


Jae Yeon grew up in a household wherewith her mother’s entrepreneurial spirit empowered her to pursue her aspirations. However, she soon realized how her parents’ encouragement to her – specifically, a young woman – to realize her potential is not typical in Korea in the 90s. As she entered into the workplace, she witnessed the uphill battle for women to earn equal treatment as their male counterparts, often resorting to hiding their true selves to fit social expectations in male-dominated environment. For example, traditional business networking in Korea typically involves heavy drinking. As someone who does not drink, Jae Yeon faced a challenge: should she conform or stay true to herself? She chose authenticity, which was not easy, but sent a powerful message that it’s perfectly acceptable not to drink. It became a conscious reminder for Jae Yeon to always be her genuine self, even if it requires her to be different and against the norm.
“Sometimes I’m hesitant to show my vulnerability. As a young manager, I thought all the leaders are perfect and they don’t make any mistakes and they’re charismatic. But this is not true,” she said.

This authenticity is particularly important in today’s workplace, and especially true at MSD, because for once, there are four generations represented in the organization, from Boomers to Gen Z. Jae Yeon’s advice to emerging leaders and managers? Do not mimic stereotypical leadership styles. Instead, she encourages individuals to embrace their uniqueness and listen to their hearts, allowing their authentic leadership style to emerge. Knowing oneself and leading from within is the key to success.

【 在這集聽她說 】
1. Her career: from government agency in Korea to the Pharmaceutical industry.
2. Difficulties working in a traditional 90’s Korean culture as a woman.
3. Why representation matters for women in leadership.
4. Being a role model and tips for mentoring relationships.
5. Advice for younger managers in managing stakeholders.


【 延伸閱讀 】


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