Occupation: Service consultant, Lexus of Silver Spring
Education: Damascus HS (Automotive Technologies), Pennsylvania College of Technology
Tell us about your current position.
I’m responsible for working directly with customers who are getting their cars serviced. I communicate the needs of the customer to the service department and also communicate any recommendations from that department to the customer. I’ve been in this position since June 2017.
You’ve had a love of cars since you were a kid. What courses did you take in high school and college to help you learn about your passion?
At Damascus High School, I was in the automotive trades pathway from 10th through 12th grade. I learned just about everything there was to know about cars. For college, I really wanted a program that went beyond car repair because I want to get into management eventually. Pennsylvania College of Technology had the right program for me, and I earned a B.S. in Auto Tech Management.
How did the program at Damascus give you an edge?
In college, I tested out of a lot of classes everybody else was taking because of what I learned in high school. So as a freshmen I was taking sophomore-level classes, and that saved me a lot of money. I also had more real-world experiences at Damascus, not just with knowing my way around cars, but doing mock interviews, so I was prepared when I applied for my current job.
My job is very customer focused, and I learned that mentality in high school. Our instructor, Mr. Ortiz, was adamant about students developing a strong work ethic, doing work well and on time, problem-solving, and knowing how to work with the public.
What are some of your best memories of high school?
I was chosen to participate in a lot of competitions, including one at the New York Auto Show, where you race against the clock to diagnose problems that can include everything from engine problems to suspension issues. It was a thrilling experience to compete with students across the U.S. and put what we were learning to the test.
What are your plans for the future?
I love the automotive industry and I’m learning a lot in my current job, which is necessary as I continue to build a career in management. Learning every facet of the industry will help to make me stand out and give me an advantage. I have a number of paths that I can take as I gain more experience, including as a director and general manager at a dealer or working for a manufacturer as a representative. I’ve also been looking at careers in the government sector in fleet management. I think that’s been the beauty of the program at Damascus. There are so many career paths available to me in a field that I’m passionate about because of the strong foundation I received in high school.