From rock bottom to 130K-usd/year interpreter
Oguma's story began when she was 20 years old, freshly-graduated from junior college, with only 6 yen to her name, and a TOEIC score of 280. She attended an English school for six months while balancing three part time jobs, on an hour of sleep, until finally achieving a TOEIC score of 805.
With this success, she was hired as the lead instructor for a famous English conversational school, and by age 21 was supervising six native and Japanese teachers.
In one year, she had doubled the school's students. Once she had achieved a TOEIC score of 950, she was accepted into an interpretation school, where she studied like crazy for a year and a half -- while working as a full-time instructor -- ultimately passing the highest grade of EIKEN Test in Practical English Proficiency.
At 23, she debuted as the exclusive interpreter for a prominent foreign corporation.
In three years, she had fulfilled her dreams of becoming an interpreter, at a time when it was said to take ten, even for bilingual speakers.
However, the casual business English that was required in foreign corporations proved difficult for a 100% Japan-bred interpreter, compared to interpreters who had experience living overseas.
With this, Oguma decided to concentrate on a single area of expertise.
At Japan's Communication Research Institute, she challenged herself to become a technical interpreter, and by 27 was earning ten million yen per annum.
Oguma continued to further her studies as a technical interpreter at an American manufacturer.
She founded her own interpretation team, and took on more managerial roles.