APPRENTICE PUTS CAREER IN THE DRIVING SEAT

With her sights set on a career in law, it was when Emma Gunary passed her driving test that her love for all things motoring begun. Keen to understand the mechanics behind cars and turn her passion into a career, Emma decided to enrol on an automotive apprenticeship; a move which wasn’t without its challenges.

Emma, 30, comments: “My change in career path was stark to say the least, and was met with a lot of questions from my friends and family. People either completely understood it or they were totally confused by it all, which is understandable considering the industry at the time very much still had the perception that it was a career path solely for men.

“Passing my driving test was the real catalyst for me, and I, together with my friends, became obsessed by learning how our cars worked. Once I’d started I knew straight away that I wanted to turn this passion into a full-time career. I decided to train as an apprentice. It started with me knocking on the doors of all the local garages and dealerships in my area - it took months - but after multiple rejections, I finally got an interview with Lexus.”

At a time when there was a nationwide shortage of apprentice positions, it was Emma’s determination which saw her land a 3 year vehicle technician apprenticeship with Lexus, Ipswich. Emma fought off tough competition which saw both her technical and academic ability tested, before gaining her place on the course. Over 18 months Emma gained skills in a variety of motoring areas from testing to the repair and maintenance of all types of vehicles, to gain an industry recognised qualification.

Upon successfully completing her apprenticeship Emma secured a job as a vehicle technician at a Citroen dealership in Colchester, where she worked for almost 10 years. Emma’s ambition led her to start looking for the next challenge. In March 2016, after a short spell at Peugeot, Emma was asked to interview at Lancaster Ferrari, part of the Jardine Motors Group, and the rest, as they say, was history.

“Being a woman in male dominated industry has never been an issue for me, as I’ve always believed in working hard and letting the end results speak for themselves. For any woman thinking of switching career into an industry which has a traditional male bias, I’d encourage them to just go for it. There will be challenges along the way, as with any role, but the only person you have to prove yourself to, is you!

“The longer I’ve been in the industry, the more I have realised that while many might try to compare me to my male counterparts, I don’t, because the truth is there is no way to compare. People can get caught up in this and lose sight of what’s really important – the work and your personal performance.”

At present, Emma’s day-to-day role sees her heavily involved is all aspects of vehicle servicing and diagnostics, and she is continuing to undertake training to further her career.

“Working on Maseratis and Ferraris is any vehicle technician’s dream, so to be surrounded by them all day everyday really is unbelievable. Since joining Lancaster Ferrari, I’ve not only been able to tap into the expertise of technicians who have really honed their skills to become some of the best in the industry, but I’ve also noticed a change in mindset for myself. No longer is it all about how far I’ve come to get where I am today, instead it’s about how far I can go!”

To find further information about the wide range of career opportunities available at Jardine Motors Group, visit: www.jardinemotors.co.uk/careers

**June 2017: Emma has now moved within JMG to become a valued member of one of our Aftersales teams!