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Business

What I Learned: Sandra Phillips Rogers

Toyota Motor North America's Group Vice President, General Counsel, Chief Legal Officer, and Corporate Secretary on her first job, scooping ice cream in Beaumont.
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“My first job was scooping ice cream at Baskin-Robbins in the eighth grade in Beaumont, Texas. I took the job because I wanted to have extra money to buy equipment for tennis. I was also on the drama team, and I wanted money for expenses. I was raised in a family of four children and my mother was a schoolteacher, so money was tight. You think toyourself, ‘My friends aren’t working, here I am working.’ It seemed like a full-time job. I learned that if you want things in life, you have to work for them. They don’t come free. I can work, earn a dollar, and use that to fund the things that I


Even as an ice cream scooper, she was competitive.


need to do. The second thing I learned is  to continuously improve. I have always been a little competitive. Can I make the best banana split? Can I do it quickly so I can serve customers more quickly? I worked with my two sisters, and it was always a competition. The third thing I learned is customer service; I learned that people don’t want somebody scooping their ice cream with a scowl on their face. When I approached my job with a smile on my face and met the customer’s needs, I was rewarded. Always put your customers first—the lesson serves me well today.”

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