Quisha Ray's journey from Gatton College MBA graduate to HR leader at Toyota Motor Manufacturing speaks volumes about her commitment and strategic acumen. After completing her MBA in 2004, Quisha secured a role at Toyota as an HR Specialist, leveraging her newfound knowledge and skills to make an immediate impact. Over the years, she rose through the ranks within Toyota's HR department, demonstrating a deep understanding of employee relations, labor management, and company-wide initiatives. Quisha's commitment to excellence and her ability to navigate complex organizational challenges earned her accolades and recognition within the company.

In her current managerial role, Quisha plays an essential role in supporting HR efforts at Toyota's various locations, including the newly built Mazda Toyota Manufacturing Plant in Huntsville, Alabama. This recent assignment showcases Quisha's versatility and adaptability as she navigates the complexities of setting up the HR department for success in a new facility. Drawing on her 25 years of HR experience, Quisha brings a wealth of knowledge to her role, guiding her team in employee relations, communications, and internal investigations.

Reflecting on her time at Gatton College, Quisha recalls winning the Case Competition as one of her favorite memories. Collaborating with her peers to develop a strategic plan for a grocery delivery/pickup service provided valuable hands-on experience and insight into the world of business strategy. Little did Quisha know at the time that her innovative ideas would foreshadow trends in the retail industry, such as the surge in demand for grocery delivery services during the pandemic.

One aspect of the Gatton MBA program that Quisha found particularly valuable was the emphasis on data analytics. Courses in data collection and analysis equipped her with the skills needed to leverage data effectively in her current role. Today, Quisha relies on employee surveys, engagement data, and exit interviews to gain insights into employee morale and identify areas for improvement within her team.

The Gatton College and the University of Kentucky hold a special place in Quisha's heart, serving as the foundation for her professional journey. The prestige and reputation of Gatton College have not only boosted Quisha's confidence but also opened doors to new opportunities in her career.

Quisha's career advice for recent graduates is simple yet profound: embrace change and seize opportunities for growth, even if they take you out of your comfort zone. Her decision to relocate to Huntsville, Alabama, to support Mazda Toyota Manufacturing exemplifies this advice. Despite the initial challenges of starting anew in a different city, Quisha's courage and hard work have paid off, setting her up for future success both within the company and beyond.