Meet Louise Trenholm, Automotive Collision and Refinishing student

Louise Trenholm

'Actually being able to learn hands-on skills builds important muscle memory which only gets better and better with practice.'

Q: Why did you choose a career in Collision Repair?

A: I’ve always had an interest in vehicles ever since I was a child. In high school, I hung out at the local Speedway in Penticton, making my love for vehicles grow even more. I wanted a career that worked on vehicles, so I decided to choose the Entry-Level Automotive Collision Repair Foundation program to help start my career as an Automotive Refinisher. 

Q: How did your training with OC help prepare you for your current role? What is your current position?

A: The training at Okanagan College helped me feel confident in my abilities. OC also helped me get my first job as a Refinish Prep Apprentice within the first three months of my foundation course. The OC instructors are well-respected in the collision repair community and a business contacted my instructor looking for a new technician to work their evening shift. I applied for the job and began working for them right away.

I was balancing work and school at the same time. I’d be working every day after school at the shop, taking what I learned at school and applying the skills right away to the projects I was doing at work. Doing it that way, I better understood the skills and I think it was a benefit to me during the program.

Q: What is something you learned in the Collision Repair program that has helped you in your career today?

A: The program taught me everything that I use on a daily basis. You can start off in the program with absolutely no knowledge of the trade and the instructors really help set you up with the skills you need to make your successful. My favourite topic in the program was learning about undercoats and the importance of them. Without undercoats, the repair wouldn’t last as long as they should. 

Q: What are your career goals?

A: My current career goals is to complete my apprenticeship program to obtain my Red Seal ticket and then after working for a long time, maybe look into managing a shop!

Q: What is your favourite part of your job?

A: Seeing the finished product after all the work is done. Every time I look at a vehicle I’ve painted, it makes me happy seeing the stunning paint job. 

Q: What is the benefit of an apprenticeship or working while you learn?

A:  It’s an easier way to learn a skill or trade. Actually being able to learn hands-on skills builds important muscle memory which only gets better and better with practice. You also learn different ways of getting a job done. 

Published By College Relations on August 5, 2021

Entry Level Automotive Collision and Refinishing Program

This 36-week (1080 hour) program has been designed to take a student with little or no previous experience in the automotive collision repair trades and supply them with the necessary skills to seek employment in this industry as an apprentice. Courses in this program follow the Industry training authority's automotive Collision and Refinishing common core level 1 and will introduce students to the many aspects of the automotive collision repair trades with a focus on developing practical skills.

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Collision Repair Department

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.

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