Personal Skills Mean Professional Growth
So what skills do you need to make it in the field, aside from technical know-how?
Become your shop’s resident tinkerer: bring old parts and components home, take them apart, and learn how they work. Then pick your supervisor’s brain with all of your questions.
Veterans in a shop are ready to help you, but only if you approach them with humility. Show them that you’re willing to learn, that you respect their knowledge and skills and, often, they’ll happily share what they know.
Cars and trucks grow more complicated every year, as does the level of knowledge techs need in order to repair them. Don’t fear these challenges—embrace them. You’ll fail at times in the beginning, but that means opportunities to learn every day. Above all else, become your own biggest fan. If you have a bad day, shake it off. Don’t create negative energy by trash-talking yourself. Always focus on the positive, and put that energy into your work. The more you believe in yourself, the more others will, too.
What's it actually like to be a successful woman in the auto tech field?
Check out Bogi's inspiring story.
Bogi’s journey in automotive didn’t begin as a child. Her car knowledge was not a right of passage or anything beyond a means of getting from point A to point B. Her tech industry story began with a love of VW Beetles. Her drive to own one led her to enroll in a high school shop class. This experience would impress upon her so profoundly that it altered her life trajectory and propelled her to become a nationally lauded fixture in the auto industry—from a high school shop class to fully restoring a VW of her own, she ultimately abandoned her law school pursuits and enrolled in Universal Technical Institute (UTI). Her journey, although unique, manifested an intimate awareness, perspective, and purpose regarding the limited opportunities and treatment of women as customers and laborers within the automotive industry.
This ignited a fire that culminated in a committed career as an automotive industry advocate, dealer-trained BMW and ASE master-certified technician, and a fierce proponent for inspiring women to pursue opportunities within the automotive and skilled trade industries. Her passion led her to start her first shop, 180 Degrees Automotive, which she successfully ran for over 10 years. Her current shop, Girl Gang Garage, provides women from all over the country with a unique environment for practical learning opportunities.
For Some, Success Starts in High School
While many high schools offer basic auto shop, others take it a step further, like Myers Park High in Charlotte, NC. This school actively encourages girls to pursue auto tech careers. Students perform state inspections on campus and are encouraged to do them at local shops as well.
But it’s not all work and no play. In April of 2018, they rebuilt a 1977 Chevy pickup engine and entered it in the “24 Hours of Lemons” contest in Kershaw, SC. Not only did one of them get to drive it during the race, the rest were on hand as cheering squad and pit crew. Although they didn’t come close to winning (they finished 56th out of 62 cars), they did get the prize for “Most Heroic Fix.”