Switching Gears: How Lexus Encourages Exploration Across Disciplines

Switching Gears: How Lexus Encourages Exploration Across Disciplines

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Like various parts of life, careers can take many twists and turns. At Lexus, some employees find that their journeys at the company aren’t always linear. As a leader in mobility, Lexus offers a wide range of career options for prospective employees, as well as those already working at the company.

From marketing to manufacturing, at Lexus, career versatility is what helps drive innovation and supports the company’s philosophy of continuous learning. Plus, it keeps employees curious and open to new opportunities.

We’re sharing the stories of three individuals who started in one area at Lexus and are currently in different professional positions. Here’s what they had to say about their career journeys and how changing disciplines can be beneficial:

Endless Possibilities
After college, Jaime Cawyer landed a job staffing nannies with families for short-term placement. That position gave her a crash course in customer service. Following that job, she worked at a branding agency as a project manager. Together, the skills she acquired from those roles would soon come in handy for her journey at Toyota and Lexus.

Her first foray into the company was as the social media analyst for Talent Acquisition at Toyota in Plano, where she managed the Life at Toyota social accounts. She also worked on the careers website refresh project and helped maintain and build on the company’s brand to attract talent to Toyota.

“When I was initially hired into the role, I was mainly working on our social presence and employer brand management,” Cawyer says. “Soon after I started, I was given the opportunity to expand on my digital branding experience by managing our careers website refresh. Through this work, I was given a lot of visibility to other groups, and a deep dive into the company’s brand through a digital lens. Between my project management experience and my digital work through Toyota, it was a natural transition into my current role.”

Today, Cawyer is the senior digital marketing strategist for Lexus.com in Plano. She acts as one of the product owners for the site, managing development, strategy and content execution for the brand’s vehicle model year changeovers and new model launches, and she also promotes the electrified lineup. Additionally, she works closely with the product marketing team to deliver the best user experience for visitors to Lexus.com.

Cawyer always knew that she had a myriad of career options when she first joined the company and didn’t hesitate to take advantage of opportunities.

“I knew that Toyota and Lexus were places that nurtured growth and movement within the company, and it was one of the many reasons I wanted to work here,” she says. “I don’t believe it’s common for companies to give these kinds of opportunities to try new fields, so it’s truly a unique experience.”

Embracing and Implementing Continuous Learning 
Developing a career with the Toyota and Lexus brands was always a goal for Antonio Mendoza.

“When I initially started with Toyota and saw the potential, I did see myself growing with the company,” he says. “I knew that with hard work and dedication I could accomplish more. This was further validated after networking and learning that some departments within Toyota have at least one Brand Engagement Center (BEC) alumni.”

Mendoza’s first job at Toyota was incoming brand engagement advocate (BEA) for the Toyota BEC, where he assisted guests with product-related concerns via phone.

“My initial role as a BEA for Toyota BEC was the foundation that prepared and led me to my current role as an acting team supervisor (ATS),” he says. “Applying what I learned and having some of the best trainers and using critical thinking and applying my problem-solving skills when handling guest concerns positioned me as an SME (Subject Matter Expert) over time. This gave me the exposure to be selected for special projects such as mentoring new employees and being assigned some of the escalated guest concerns.”

Now Mendoza supports a team of seven representatives handling both product liability and specialty handling.

He attributes his success to putting himself out there and building strong relationships.

“Networking is one of the best ways to learn firsthand what others do at Toyota,” Mendoza says. “I also recommend sitting down with a member of a team you have interest in. You can learn what roles you would enjoy doing but also roles you know are not a good fit for you.”

He adds, “My journey with Toyota has been incredible thus far. I’ve learned to be patient, trust the process, and say yes to opportunities presented because they can lead you in a path you had no idea you wanted to take. I’ve met incredible people along the way and value every opportunity they take to provide words of wisdom and/or encouragement. I’m nowhere near where I want to be, but every day I am one step closer.”

A Skyrocketing Scholarship  
When Marcus Anderson was searching for scholarships for college, he came across an offer that would set him up for success beyond his academic endeavors.

“Upon seeing a scholarship opportunity with the Rainbow Push Coalition and Toyota, I jumped at the opportunity to apply,” Anderson says. “Upon applying for the scholarship, I was then chosen to have an opportunity to fly to Toyota’s headquarters in Plano, Texas, to interview for the scholarship and network with managers from different departments.”

After receiving notice that he had in fact been awarded the scholarship, he was also granted an opportunity to intern with Lexus Western Area during the summer of 2019.

Subsequently, he completed two summer internships with Lexus Western Area and Sales Operations. Following those stints, he became a management trainee at the Lexus Central Area office and a district service & parts manager.

“I have most recently moved into a role as an analyst for the Business Initiatives team within HR,” says Anderson. “My journey so far with the company has been rewarding and beneficial to my professional growth and business acumen. I have fostered many relationships with my peers and colleagues that have directly molded me into the professional I am today and set the example of what mobility truly looks like.”

Anderson is proud to work for a company that supports and champions individuals who want to expand and grow. He believes that it can be beneficial for the employee as well as the bottom line.

“Mobility of thinking not only creates new opportunities for employees, but it encourages new perspectives and ways of thinking when teams are collaborating, which leads to growth and expansion as a company,” he says. “I believe the opportunity to work on different projects and the transferrable skills you can learn and apply from these projects makes the company stand out in a positive way.”

Originally published November 2, 2023

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