RBC Women in Trades Blog

Bursary Drives Home Success For Automotive Technician Student

  Posted by Meghan on: October 19, 2017

Marlene is confident in her skills as an Automotive Technician and loves nothing more than the challenge of digging around a broken vehicle with one goal in mind… to find the problem and fix it. She’s self-assured and happiest when covered in oil and grease and its part of the reason you’d never know that like many others along the way, she struggled to get to where she is today.

Starting the Automotive Technician program, Holy was plagued by stress, both financial and mental. Living off canned foods and clocking long hours studying, she wanted to excel while in school but was starting to feel she might not make it through the program. It was at that point her instructor John Wrigley let her know she had won a bursary through RBC, which would assist her financially throughout the rest of her study period.

“When my instructor John Wrigley said I was going to receive the WITT RBC award, I was speechless. I hadn’t known that I was nominated, and it made me feel so incredibly lucky. I was honoured that I was recognized. That recognition carried me through so many of my own self-doubts of thinking I wasn’t good enough.” Holy said.

Holy successfully completed the course however she struggled  to find her first auto tech job and faced doubts about going back for her second year. It was a chance encounter of running into the Trades and Technology Department Apprenticeship coordinator, Julie Dekowny, while in the park one day, that helped her to remember the support she had at TRU. After having a chat together, she realized going back to school was the right choice. Holy mused, “I remembered that people believed in me and my teacher had nominated me for a bursary. I remembered  the reasons that  I was successful and applied for my second year.”

Since that time, there has been no stopping Holy who has taken to life as an automotive technician as a fish takes to water.  She has had the opportunity to work in various shops throughout the lower mainland. Equipped with knowledge and drive, Holy looks fondly on her days in school and is ready to pay it forward to future and current students who may be struggling in their fields.

“In my three years of going to TRU, I connected with the other female students more than I had with anyone else. I had felt alone in my drive and obstacles. I was touched by each and every one of these women who shared their stories. I am still lit up about the RBC WITT events,” Holy enthused. She has stated she would both love to work with both current and upcoming women in trades about mentoring and her experiences as an automotive technician.

Holy’s drive and ambition in her field are admirable and her desire to pay it forward made her an RBC WITT bursary winner and a great tradesperson!