Why did you choose to study at TAFE after university?
I chose to study at TAFE due to the ability of being able to study 'hands on'. I have also studied at university, but found TAFE more beneficial in succeeding in my chosen automotive career.
What did you enjoy most about your course at Kangan Institute of TAFE?
Learning real skills that are applicable to my daily tasks in the workshop. I appreciated having teachers that have been in the trade for many years as the knowledge they provided ... was invaluable.
How was studying at TAFE different to high school?
The difference between studying at TAFE and high school is the ability to be able to study what you most enjoy. Not only do you learn what you will use everyday, but also the people around you have the same interest.
What made you want to be a mechanic?
Since a very young age I loved tinkering with cars. After completing my Diploma of Engineering I realised my real passion was to work with my hands. Starting my apprenticeship as a mechanic was the best decision I made.
Can you tell me about what you’ve been doing since you started your apprenticeship?
To date some of my achievements include (winning the Kangan Institute’s) AR Jackson Award, being named Best First (and Best Second) Year Apprentice with Mercedes-Benz, as well as Apprentice of the Year in 2010 (and) 2011. (Being named) 2012 Victorian Apprentice of the Year, 2012 Australian Apprentice of the Year Runner Up, a Finalist in the 2013 Group Training Australia Apprentice of the Year, and a Finalist in the 2013 rotary club Young Achievers Awards. Some of my career highlights include being chosen 4 years in a row for the AMG Drive Experience Pit Crew and completing my apprenticeship in three years (instead of four) ... Most recently I have been promoted to workshop controller.
What does a typical day involve for you?
A typical day for me would include starting work at 7.00am and receiving my first job for the day which usually consists tasks such as removing and rebuilding transmissions or engines, diagnosing electrical faults and carry out servicing. On average I would complete 3 to 4 designated jobs a day, which range from basic A class Mercedes all the way through to an SLS AMG Gullwing.
What has been the most challenging part of your apprenticeship?
The most challenging aspect of my apprenticeship has been learning how to properly manage my time. This allows me to carry out work efficiently and at a high standard. The first two years were difficult due to an apprenticeship wage, however, it is all worth it in the end.
What advice do you have for readers thinking about becoming an apprentice mechanic?
The most helpful advice I could give to encourage others in entering my training pathway is to always have a positive attitude. Have pride in the work you do and if you show initiative and put your heart and soul into what you do, then you will always achieve great things. The way I have got to where I am now is by simply listening to others and knowing that I will never know everything. It’s as simple as having the right attitude, passion and commitment and the training becomes enjoyable. Never have fear to ask people questions because the more you ask the more you learn. Most importantly, is waking up and knowing at the end of the day you are doing what you truly love because this will help you get through anything.