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How She Got There, Hilary Corna, Former Senior Executive Officer for Toyota Asia


Name:Hilary Corna
Job Title and Description: Author, Speaker, Operations Consultant, Former Senior Executive Officer for Toyota Asia
College Name/Major: Elon University; dual major in International Business & Asian Pacific Studies, Minor in Japanese
Website: www.HilaryCorna.com
Twitter Handle: @HilaryCorna
Instagram Handle: @HilaryCorna

What does your current job entail? Is there such a thing as a typical day?

Hilary Corna: My typical day consists of a morning run, a 30 minute morning routine, spending the early hours on creative and what I call "I don't want to do this" work, then leave the afternoons open for marketing, logistics and meetings. My current job entails four major responsibilities:

1) Content creation -- Building out training materials for clients, new presentations, and managing the weekly #DareYourself blog

2) Marketing -- Updating and creating new marketing promotion materials like my speaker kit, content on the website, print mailings, and conference materials.

3) Operations -- Managing logistics for events, book inventory, invoices, event follow ups, and more

4) Team -- Weekly meetings with my five contracted staff, individual follow ups, and providing them with the tools and training they need

What is the best part of your job?

HC: Sharing the Japanese teachings of kaizen with the world. My book, One White Face, is one way, speaking events allow me to share it through storytelling, and consulting allows me to teach it. Toyota shared their wisdom with me and now I get to share the gift with others. It's the utmost honor.

What was your first entry-level job in your field and how did you get it?

HC: Kaizen Leader for Toyota Motor Asia Pacific in Singapore. I bought a one-way ticket to Asia with a pipedream of working abroad fresh out of my career. This was unique in that I knew I wanted to work abroad when I was young so I went immediately after graduation and without a job! I got my job after 6 weeks of research, networking preparing and then serendipitously meeting a famous Toyota Executive and his family at a pool of a condo where I was staying.

What words of wisdom (well-known quotes, an anecdote from your boss) do you find most valuable?

HC:"Show me, don't tell me." This is was my bosses at Toyota used to say. I find it so valuable because it encourages one to lead by example.

What is one mistake you made along the way and what did you learn from it?

HC: I worked too hard in my twenties and disregarded a lot of my family's needs. I learned that there is nothing more fulfilling then being a good sister, daughter and family member and that this is more rewarding that any career success.

What has been the most surreal moment of your career thus far?

HC: Holding my book for the first time in the headquarters of UPS in L.A. on my way to one of the biggest meeting in my life. It was pure and unreal.

What do you look for when considering hiring someone?

HC: Humility.

What advice would you give to a 20-something with similar aspirations?

HC: Find a way to stand out. The power of being the outsider is that attention is on you. When you get it, act wisely. Don't just be different. Use the honor of that space and opportunity to invoke change for the better, for everyone.

What’s the one thing that’s stood out to you the most in a resume?

HC: Less words. More action verbs. Numbers (measure your work to show impact). Specifics and not ambiguity. When people speak with their own words instead of cliches. When the statements are about the team rather than the individual.

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