THE AUTOMOBILE MECHANICS PROFESSIONAL DIPLOMA
a path leading to a variety of careers …
When considering a professional diploma in automobile mechanics, the first career that comes to mind is working under the hood of a car with specialized tools. While this is true, it is in fact only one of the many doors the diploma can open.
Meet former and current students Liyah, Nicolas and Mark from the West Island Career Centre (WICC) Automobile Mechanics’ program to learn more.
Q & A with Liyah
– Current WICC student
Q: Why did you choose the Auto program at West Island Career Centre?
Liyah: I came here to learn about cars. I was curious about how they work. Not necessarily for a career as a mechanic but more for the personal knowledge.
Q: What is it like to be in the Auto program?
Liyah: I’m the youngest student in the class and I’m a girl… sometimes it’s hard because I feel like I have to prove that I’m good. Sometimes I have to ask for their (guys’) help. But now they ask for my help too. The program is getting easier because I know more and more.
Q: What has been the best part of the program?
Liyah: All of the hands-on work. Taking things apart and putting them back together. I love the feeling of excitement when, after you’ve put something back together, it works!
Q: What are your plans for the future?
Liyah: I want to work in a garage for one year to get more experience. When I applied for my stage they wanted to know when I finish because they are looking for someone, so maybe I will work there.
Then I think I want to have more interaction with people. So, maybe I’ll become a Service Advisor… but that would be a challenge because I’d have to prove myself again, this time to clients. But I’m up for that challenge.
I plan to work in the field for quite awhile and then, I don’t know… but it’s good for me to know about cars because I don’t think cars are going to go away for awhile.
Q & A with Nicolas
– WICC Graduate, November 2015
Profession: Sales Representative in the used car department at Excel Auto
Q: Why did you choose West Island Career Centre?
Nicolas: I love cars and I wanted to learn how to work on them. CEGEP was not the right choice for me. I wanted something different… I was interested in the Auto Mech program and I had heard good things about it. I’m very happy with the choice I made.
Q: Why a career in sales rather than mechanics?
Nicolas: I like the clean aspect of it. I like talking to people. I saw the ad on Auto-Jobs when I was in the Job Search module at school and I was interested. And, both of my parents are in sales… it’s in my blood. Halfway through the program I told my teachers that I wanted to sell cars. They encouraged me. I thought working for a commission would be cool. It’s kind of stressful because it’s all up to you and your performance. But I’m doing pretty well.
Q: How do the skills you learned in your program help you in your current position?
Nicolas: Knowing about cars and being able to explain the components to the customers, so that they know what they’re buying, is very helpful. Customers appreciate that.
Q & A with Mark
– WICC Graduate 2007
Profession: Teacher of Automobile Mechanics
Q: Why did you choose the Automobile Mechanics program at WICC?
Mark: My brother graduated from WICC in the late ‘90s and was working as an apprentice. He helped me get a job as a Service Technician. After working for about five years in the industry I knew I wanted to become a mechanic. That’s when I came to WICC.
Q: What was your career path after you graduated from WICC?
Mark: I worked for a little while in a corner garage doing restorations – metal works and mechanics. Within six months I started working as a mechanic at Subaru and I worked there for over seven years.
Q: When did you start teaching?
Mark: I started teaching at WICC in April 2015. Now I’m back at University taking a Bachelor of Education in Vocational Studies.
Q: How does it feel to be teaching side-by-side with your former teachers?
Mark: It’s been good. Interesting. Because I’m fresh out of the industry I have a lot of knowledge with respect to what is currently happening. Teaching gives you a different perspective. It is the most humbling thing ever. You know what to do but now you have to explain the why and the how. I’ve learned so much.
Q: What would you say to people who are exploring the possibility of the Auto Program at West Island Career Centre?
Mark: It’s an amazing trade. If you have a love of automobiles, it’s a great place to come. You can put your passion to the test. Learn about the internal workings of a car. Whatever you go on to do, it is a skill you will take with you.
The common thread running through these conversations is enthusiasm, pride and excitement. The message? Tap into your passion.
West Island Career Centre
13700 Pierrefonds Blvd., Pierrefonds
Visit the West Island Carreer Centre website for more information about the Automobile Mechanics Professional Diploma.