Spotlight on Rob Wunsche: From Engineering to Sales to R&D

  • Rob Wunsche

At DENSO, there’s always opportunities for our employees to rotate into new roles, and even learn new skills to do a different job entirely (reskilling). Rob Wunsche has moved around our organization, going from engineering to sales to research and development (R&D)! Here’s what he had to say about his experience:

“Back in 2012, the DENSO Toyota sales team was looking for a technical person to join as a sales engineer. They approached me and admittedly, I thought it was a terrible idea at first – at the time, I didn’t have a very positive opinion about sales. After being told it could be limited to a two-year assignment, I agreed to the transfer.

I’m so glad I did. In fact, a few weeks after starting the new role, I was already convinced I wanted to stay beyond the two years. I got to work side-by-side with what became my most inspiring leader. I learned I was completely wrong about sales. I never worked harder than I did in my sales role, and I got insight into other aspects of DENSO – like corporate communications and tradeshows – that I never would have before. And, despite having worked in automotive for more than 15 years, the transfer showed me parts of the industry I had never seen – marketing, product planning, etc.

After some time in the role, I made a move back to engineering, but in R&D. Now I look at where we are taking DENSO in terms of future technology – whether it be through innovation or partnering with companies or start-ups.

I never would have been able to be in this role had I not made that first transfer. In fact, looking back, I feel like my career really didn’t start until I made that move. I wish I had done it sooner.

If an opportunity presents itself, take it. Even if it seems scary, it will make you grow and become a more well-rounded person. And remember, your human network is the most valuable thing you have, especially in a big company. By making a move, you could double that network.”