Associate Spotlight: Emily Nguyen
Compliance Analyst, Emily Nguyen
We often hear about the importance of a growth mindset or believing you can succeed when you take on new challenges. Emily Nguyen, Compliance Analyst at Toyota Industries Commercial Finance, Inc. (TICF), integrates these concepts perfectly.
“From building websites to working in finance, I look at opportunities that allow me to learn, grow, and ask ‘why not’?” Emily says. “If there is something I can volunteer for outside my normal daily duties, I usually will.” Her various projects have given her a glimpse at numerous functions throughout the company and nurtured her interest in other positions, contributing to a fulfilling and diverse career path. In fact, during her six-year tenure at TICF, Emily has held five roles and received three promotions.
After earning a degree in communication technology, Emily began her career at PDS Companies, a financial services company specializing in hard-to-value assets like oil and gas. She then moved to Time Warner Cable where she capitalized on her love of sports (and fed a childhood desire to be a sports analyst), helping with programming and scheduling for various sports networks.
Her expertise in data management led Emily to Toyota. “That’s where my career really began,” she says. Because TICF was a new entity, it opened doors to opportunities that were harder to come by in more established companies. For example, she met members of the leadership team on her first day. “I noticed an exciting pattern in which leaders would assure associates that we were the foundation of the company, which helped empower me to want to excel and move forward,” Emily says.
Her first project entailed building a program to ensure data integrity so that anything that went through the management system—such as customer invoices—was correct. “I immediately saw how focusing on getting the little things right adds value,” Emily says.
Since then, she has worked in a variety of functions, all the while learning new skills and collaborating with a talented team. “I have always had so much support in every position along the way,” she says, although her colleagues would likely attribute her growth to her willingness to learn and work hard. These diverse experiences make her a stronger team member, because her background with various departments gives her instant rapport and makes her a more adept partner.
Emily’s current role as a compliance analyst is an exciting departure from other positions that were more focused on operations and processing. Here, she researches new laws and determines how they pertain to the company. This entails collaborating with the audit and legal areas to identify risks and subsequent controls. She has helped implement several improvements related to TICF’s central repository system for policies and procedures. These include setting up and training new users and working with different business units to create policy updates and form implementations.
The work is fascinating, but what Emily most appreciates about her job at TICF is the people she works with. “The importance of culture sounds like a cliché, but having worked in other companies, I know what we have here is unusual. As soon as you walk into the TICF building, you encounter smiling faces and people who are genuinely happy to be here and equally committed to the value of respect and putting the customer first. You see it shine through,” she says. In addition, she appreciates the ready access to leadership and the colleagues who have supported her along the way.
Among those she credits for her success at Toyota are her first manager, Dana Kent, who set the tone and instilled confidence; Shirley Pridgen, whom she describes as “one of her biggest cheerleaders”; Scott Ashimine, who has helped her map out her career and provided valuable feedback; and her current boss, John Crews, who is a true teacher and is quick to share his legal knowledge. Her current teammate, Debbie Diaz, has been an excellent resource and treats Emily as an equal, despite Debbie’s deep experience.
Emily credits her work ethic to her parents, who immigrated to the U.S. from Vietnam before she was born. “Their example of sacrifice and work has been a tremendous inspiration and has shaped how I choose to approach my career.”
When she’s not working, Emily has always loved outdoor activities, from sports to hiking. However, as the mom to a young daughter, she has come to realize that parenting leaves less time for solo outings. Now, she parlays that love of activity into pursuits with her daughter, such as riding bikes together or just watching her play.
She also maintains her commitment to lifelong learning; she recently finished her MBA and is currently learning Japanese. Her curious nature even infuses her travel, as Emily’s goal is to visit every library in the world.