'Being a part in the success of these young people is extraordinary and very exciting'
Q: What is your education and background?
A: I’ve always liked vehicles and as a kid I liked building model cars. Even as a teenager growing up in Germany, I helped out my brother-in-law in his shop. I hadn’t seriously thought about becoming a technician until my younger brother completed the collision repair program at OC. I was surprise to see him start the program with beginner knowledge and emerge a knowledgeable technician. From seeing his transformation, I knew I wanted to do the same. In 2014, I completed the entry-level Collision Repair and Refinishing Certificate program at OC and starting working for a local shop one week after graduation. I continued my apprenticeship training and in 2017, I was asked to represent Okanagan College in Skills Canada Auto Repair Competition. I placed gold at the provincial competition and bronze at nationals in Winnipeg, MB. After achieving my Red Seal endorsement and gaining experience in the trade, I wanted to help others learn the craft which is why I became an instructor.
Q: What is your area of interest?
A: I am very passionate about the design of vehicles and new and old technologies on vehicles.
Q: When did you know you had found your discipline?
A: It has been a childhood dream to work on vehicle structures, starting with building scale models of vehicles from a young age.
Q: Why did you choose to work at Okanagan College?
A: My passion for this Industry, especially the change happening in our industry (going from the old school, dirty, physical demanding metal banging, mudslinging body shop to the new very clean, professional, delicate and involved repairs to the vehicles structure) lead me to see that we need to educate young people on these changes to further the progress in our industry and to promote this new and improved way of repairing and refinishing vehicles. So with my education coming from Okanagan College, I know that we deliver the best and most up-to-date training in the region, where students will get the real life experience of a new body shop right here in our facilities. We set up the training programs to lay the path for every aspect of the industry, from body repairer to refinish technician as well as estimating production and shop managing detailing and glass technician. Being a part in the success of these young people is extraordinary and very exciting.
Okanagan College was a major role in a turnaround of my life going from dead-end jobs to a successful licensed technician. During my apprenticeship, I was fortunate enough to be part of Skills BC and Skills Canada where I was able to represent Okanagan College and receive a gold medal in the provincial competition and a bronze medal in the national competition.
Being able to come to the place where it all begin and watch young men and women find their dreams and passions is an absolute blessing and honour. I am very thankful for this opportunity.
Q: What do you like most about the work you do?
A: I love sharing my passion of this industry and see how it awakes that same interest in some students, who then go out to find their own passion and dreams and see them get so excited when they make it to the next step.
Q: Favourite teaching experience?
A: When a student comes filled with complete pride to show off their latest accomplishment (or a task mastered).
Q: What advice do you have for new students?
A: Whatever you do, do it full-heartedly.
Q: Why do you think people should study Trades?
A: The type of work that is done in our industry is fulfilling because it is something made with hands: a creation, a correction and you can see the difference of before and after. Just being able to make such a significant change is well worth it.
Q: If you could go back in time, is there anything you would do differently?
A: I feel like I have made a lot of foolish decisions, but have learned from every experience. However, if I could go back in time I would try to pursue my passion sooner of becoming a technician.
Q: Where are you the happiest?
A: At home with my family, my wife and my beautiful children.
Collision repair programs focus on attention to detail and the importance of a quality repair. With the guidance of Okanagan College's Red Seal certified instructors, students gain practical experience with the latest equipment and increase confidence with an industry work placement included in the entry level training program.
There are several programs available to choose from:
These foundation programs also lead to several apprenticeship programs as well.