Ashley Talbot, 2020 MTTI Automotive Service Technician Is An Express Technician at Patriot Subaru,

Success Stories

*Ashley Talbot

2020 Automotive Service Technician Graduate
Express Technician at Patriot Subaru

I grew up wanting to become an Automotive Technician.

I enjoyed learning everything I could about cars. Often, I assisted friends who worked in the field or who helped me repair my own vehicles. I worked at two different ‘Mom & Pop’ shops, initially as a Service Advisor.  My dream was to become an Automotive Technician, so I worked hard and finally earned my position as a Technician.

My instructors at MTTI believed in me.

Tony and Jameson always took the time to listen and to give me the advice I needed to complete different repairs in the shop. They mentored me to improve test taking skills. Both Jameson and Tony pushed and guided me throughout the program. That helped me build my confidence. Learning hands on skills with them absolutely prepared me for real world work, once I was hired.

Jameson helped me get hired at the shop where he worked.

Because of my training at school, I was able to jump right in and learn about all different makes and models, including classics! I instantly fell in love with working on every car I could get my hands on. It is an incredible feeling to fix a vehicle and later see it being driven by you on the road.

I’ve been working in the Express Service Department at Patriot Subaru. 

As a student in MTTI’s evening program, I was able to be hired as an Automotive Technician even before completing the program. I've been tworking here for about 3 1/2 months. Express Service at Patriot Subaru provides mostly oil changes, tire rotations, Multi-Point Inspections and minor maintenance.

When the Coronavirus outbreak began, the State started making changes.

It was nerve wracking. My work colleagues and I didn’t know whether we were going to be laid off, or have to go on furlough until the epidemic declined. A huge chunk of our Sales Department was laid off, which in turn affects the Service Department. If there is not enough revenue coming in, the company simply can't afford to keep staff employed.  

Unfortunately, everyone everywhere is being affected by COVID19.

Subaru however, always makes sure the employees know what is going on. State of emergencies are very tough on the owners of these companies. Patriot Subaru offered a helping hand to any employee who is falling on hard times due to the virus. There's nothing you can do about it, except to follow the CDC’s and the State’s guidelines for hand-washing and social distancing. While the epidemic continues, it feels good to be able to help people out in some way.

Since the viral outbreak, everything has slowed down.

All of the service work goes first to the flat rate technicians. Express employees are helping the Techs, doing a lot of cleaning. Our customers are concerned about people servicing their vehicles or handling their personal items inside their cars, which is totally understandable. They ask us to tell them what we are doing to keep them safe and how they can keep their own vehicle disinfected. We are vigilant about sanitizing every vehicle after service; we’ve even been gifting customers with small bottles of hand sanitizer. We want our customers to be happy with their service.

I’ve been assisting other techs more often with their maintenance and repair work.

When Express is slow, I move around, asking each Tech if they need help. By helping other Techs, I've learned how to disassemble engines, perform recall services and other routine maintenance procedures. I get the benefit of learning from them, and they can accomplish more work. I sometimes ask the service writers if they need assistance with moving cars, state inspection runs. In place of the shuttle rides we used to run, we now provide loaner vehicles; we answer any questions customers have about the vehicle’s special features.

Whenever I see a customer, I say ‘hi’ to make them feel welcome.

Sometimes service writers bring the customer in the shop to help explain their vehicle’s issues. While maintaining a safe distance, I help describe the problem in simple terms so I don’t overwhelm them.

I have honestly never been happier.

I finally feel like I'm in a rewarding career that I love. I love learning new things every day including tips and tricks from other technicians. MTTI not only provided me with the fundamental knowledge I need to perform in the industry, but also helped set me up in a company and job I love. 

I am extremely thankful that automotive service is essential.

Travel is important. People still have to get to work, go to the store to get food and take care of other people who have been affected by the outbreak. Although my hours have been reduced, I am still able to come into work and get paid. Patriot Subaru is an amazing company—everyone there has your back. Their support is comforting in these times. Everyone who has had to go on furlough is welcome to come back. 

I absolutely encourage people to become an Automotive Technician.

The automotive world is expanding with Hybrids and other innovative changes. The industry has a shortage right now, and needs more trained technicians. Our generation still has the best of both worlds—we’re able to work with classics, muscle, gas, diesel and hybrid vehicles. I wouldn't change a thing about entering into an automotive career. The Coronavirus epidemic doesn't change how much I love what I do. Sometimes Technicians need to be recognized for all that we do. We keep the world rolling! 

I also encourage more women to get into the automotive industry. 

I have done extremely well; I’ve had nothing but support from my co-workers. Sure, there are some challenges and some people don't think women can do the job—I love to prove them wrong. Especially with more and more women getting accepted into these fields, it's important that we show the world ‘We Can Do It.’

Going to MTTI changed my life in a positive way!

I always recommend to people who are looking to start, or to change, their career that they attend MTTI. I have never before been a part of a school that helps you so much to succeed at what you want to do. MTTI cares about their students, and has helped me every step of the way. I am so thankful I got to meet and work with my instructors, Tony and Jameson. I couldn't be more appreciative of everyone who has helped and supported me through this journey.