I chose a career in the trades because I want to work with my hands. When I was in high school I knew I wanted to do something exciting and that meant working with cars. A friend told me about a government-funded auto body course at Fanshawe, so I tried it because I wouldn’t have to spend many years or a lot of money to complete the course. It turned out to be something I loved. I like that I can take something damaged and make it beautiful again. I want to use my skills in painting to help others one day.
I got involved in the skills competitions in 2017 when I was in level two of my apprenticeship. I was blown away when two of my professors at Fanshawe asked me if I might be interested in competing. As much as I was afraid of failing, I couldn’t pass up such a good opportunity.
I would say that my biggest inspiration in my trade is Mike Papoff, a Fanshawe auto body alumni. He was the first person whom I could ask a million questions about refinishing. He’s very patient and he appears to have mastered all of the tricks and techniques!
Continuous learning has been a big part of my apprenticeship. I like to ask questions and learn how different painters do the same operation. It helps me to experiment and mix new techniques into my own procedure. Cars are always changing so technicians need to be adaptable.