Full name: Katherine Shill
Year of graduation: 2015
Business department worked in: Corporate Social Responsibility, Corporate Communications, Compliance and Facilities.
Length of placement: One year
Toyota Blog: Hi Katherine, tell us a bit about your role within Toyota
Katherine Shill: The CSR & Environmental Affairs department looks after work-related charitable requests and environmental achievements, whether that is here at the UK Head Office at Burgh Heath (BH) or with the dealer network. On a day-to-day basis I am personally responsible for the Toyota Fund for a Better Tomorrow, TGB’s small community grant scheme, which means being responsible for its administration, finances and communication.
TB: What projects have you worked on and particularly enjoyed?
KS: Green Month. Before Toyota, I had worked on several smaller projects but never had as much responsibility as Green Month has given me. This has been the most challenging aspect of my role but I have thrived on working through all stages and with the highs and lows a project brings.
TB: What have you learnt during your time at Toyota?
KS: Working at Toyota has helped to confirm that CSR & Environmental Affairs is the right pathway for me, but by shadowing fellow placement students, I also realise that departments such as Marketing and HR are not as scary as I first thought and that I do have the skills and expertise to succeed in those roles should I choose to go into them upon graduation.
TB: How do you think you have changed during your time at Toyota?
KS: I really think that I’ve matured. My decision making is better and I’m much better able to interact with senior staff. I think that I am better at handling difficult conversations and situations – I have to let people know if their fund application has been unsuccessful. I’m really glad I did this placement.
TB: Would you do your placement again?
LN: Yes, in a heartbeat.
TB: What has surprised you most about your placement?
KS: I read a lot beforehand from previous students that they got real responsibility at work; I wasn’t sure if this would really be the case, but I’m really pleased to say that it is!