Kia Motors: A Career Conversation with Ariel Hudson

What motivated you to join Kia?
I was motivated to join Kia after I was originally contracted for a temporary position. The team was very inspirational and inviting. The work environment is collaborative and very diverse. I saw representation for myself at all levels. Every department, whether production or admin-related, treated me with respect and was very personable.  

How does Kia convey to employees a sense of belonging?
There is representation for everyone. We have team relations representatives that check in on every team member and we also have monthly team buildings.  

In what ways has Kia supported your professional development and growth?
I received a mentor to train me. I worked directly with my supervisor on multiple projects. He also provided positive feedback and constructive criticism. Kia has also paid for me to receive a PHR certification to further hone my skills as an HR professional.  

In what ways are you supported in maintaining a healthy work-life balance?
I travel a lot for my work. My manager has accommodated my schedule, so I may rest to reduce the chance of burnout. Also, when I put in PTO to take a vacation for the first time, my team celebrated me because I am very passionate about my work. Also, when I was sick, my team covered my meetings and deadlines, so when I returned there wasn’t much for me to catch up on.  

How do you know that you’re making a difference/having an impact with the work that you do?
We have a badge system where we can reward each other for help. I have received badges from all levels for my work. Many of the specialists that I work with lets me know they see a difference since I started. I can see it in the engagement of internal and external stakeholders.  

What makes you proud to represent Kia?
I am proud to represent Kia because it is a wonderful company that prides itself in continuous improvement for everyone—not just the vehicles. You can see it in the training, surveys, interactions, etc. We are a growing community in the market and with one another.  

In what ways do you feel like you’ve grown since working for Kia?  

I am more confident in my decision making and I communicate effectively. Kia has really brought me out of my shell. I am one of the youngest to work in our plant and that was a hard adjustment; however, I am supported and knowing that has made me confident to do my job.  

What do you wish you had known about the professional world when you were a student?
I wish I had known the communication style and etiquette for professional settings—beyond the interview.  

In thinking about emerging young professionals, what advice would you share to those seeking their first opportunities?
Don’t be scared. Be a sponge when networking; soak up all the knowledge you can from others. Make mistakes and learn from them. Don’t get discouraged and blaze the trail that you want to walk 

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