Lexus student placements: Jamie’s story

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Full name: Jamie Roser

Year of graduation: 2015

Business departments worked in:  Lexus Product Marketing, Lexus Fleet Services, Accessories Business Unit.

Length of placement: Two years

Lexus blog: Hi Jamie, tell us a bit about your role within Lexus

Jamie Roser:  The department I work in is responsible for bringing Lexus models to the UK market and determining the specification and price. I compare our product with competitors’ and taking into account the cost, the level of specifications, we can make decisions on where to position our own products. I publish this information monthly.

I have to have good competitor knowledge and keep up to date with their news. I’ve been out and about a couple of times, including a car show at the start of the year – I was the product expert! I work with some external agencies as well, helping to get the right product information into our marketing.

LB: What projects have you been working on?

JR: The biggest project I’ve worked on was relating to the development of a new navigation system. I was asked to put together recommendations for a pricing point, based on my own research into competitors and market standards. I then presented it to my manager and the Lexus Director, and I’m pleased to say that my recommendations were accepted! I really enjoyed fact finding and producing a piece of work that was all my own, not just reporting/analysis of others’ work.

LB: What have you learned during your time at Lexus?

JR: I’ve really learned how a business runs, how all the departments integrate together, although I knew about other roles and that they were important to the business, there were some that I didn’t expect that I would need to deal with.

I’ve also learned about how far in advance the business needs to plan in order to have the right cars in place for sale, as well as how important it is to get the balance between reactivity and proactivity.

LB: How do you think you have changed during your time at Lexus?

JR:  I’ve become more confident around the office. I wasn’t sure if, as a student, I would be expected to just keep my head down and stay out of the way, but that’s not the case.

I have to answer calls from the centres about the products and they often have the customer sitting with them, so I have to answer immediately – the first time it was terrifying! But you have to do it, and you get on with it and it gets better.

I’ve also learned about decision making, presenting my arguments, as well as time management and how to act in a professional environment.

LB: What has surprised you most about your placement?

JR: I was pleasantly surprised that it wasn’t just filing. We cannot legally sell our cars in the UK unless I’ve done my role correctly; that’s a lot of responsibility and trust, which is great. I’m even expected to have discussions with management at the European head office! I was also very pleased with the social side of the office, having taken part regularly in squash and football, as well as various competitions, quizzes, meals and even karaoke!

LB: Would you do your placement again?

JR:  Yes, definitely, although I am looking forward to going back to university.

LB: What would you say to someone who may be considering a placement with Lexus?

JR:  It’s really enjoyable. Students are well-known in the business and are expected to do good work, but also to be sociable. You can really get involved and go the extra mile both in work and outside; there is so much to do and so many people to meet. There is a great student community as well because there are around 20 of us at any one time, so we can have a good social life together.

Where next?

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