Paying it Forward

AAC members visit North Carolina A&T campus for Toyota Day event

April 05, 2017
When Michaela Edwards was a business student at North Carolina A&T State University, she valued opportunities to connect and learn from alumni who were once in her shoes.

Now a route planning analyst for Toyota, she was happy to return the favor at the first-ever Toyota Day on A&T’s Greensboro, N.C., campus, home to the historically black college and university.

The gathering was a collaboration between members of Toyota’s Diversity and Inclusion group, its HR College Programs, and the African American Collaborative (AAC) and A&T’s College of Business and Economics (COBE) and College of Engineering (COE).

Although A&T is a recruiting site for Toyota, the event was geared more toward telling the Toyota story.

“As an A&T alumna, I think it’s important to reach out to students and provide them the necessary information to have effective interviews and give them tips to start their career on a successful trajectory,” says Edwards, who graduated in 2010. “The students can benefit from viewing the pathways taken to transition from a college student to a professional.”
Candid Conversations -- At the first Toyota Day at North Carolina A&T State University, team members Kenn Tatum, manager of Production Engineering, (top left) and Mark Southall, manager, Administration and Planning, (right) answer students' questions and share professional experiences.

The partnership allowed students to interact with professionals who are actively operating in the positions that many of them are looking to secure upon graduation, as well as provide a better understanding of Toyota’s operations.

The day also included topic-driven class visits in management science, business environment and supply chain.

As Toyota advances into new mobility arenas, the company is strategically targeting a diverse workforce to becoming even more globally inclusive.

“Toyota Day at NC A&T was the perfect time for me to have face-to-face, candid conversations with the faculty, students and staff about my experiences and to share what a solid company Toyota is to work for,” says Neecha McDougal, a Toyota procurement consultant in Logistics and Packaging and a COE graduate. “I can only hope that all former A&T students will feel compelled to return and leave the door open and the ladder down for students to follow.”


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