By Myles Maycher
I might seem young for a Midas franchisee, but ever since I was a teenager, I always knew I wanted to work within the automotive industry. While many other people struggle to figure out what they want to do for their career, my own drive from an early age is how I was able to get to where I am today.
My early drive
I was born and raised in Winnipeg. I have one sister who’s younger than me. Growing up, we spent a lot of time at our cabin on the Ontario border, where I enjoyed dirt biking, boating and playing with remote control cars.
I always knew I loved being around cars. My first job, when I was 15, was at a Petro-Canada automotive service shop that had operated in a residential area in Winnipeg since the 1950s. I enjoyed everything about the experience and helped get jobs for all of my best friends there, too.
My dad’s a dentist and wanted me to become one, too, so I focused on science classes during my high school years. After graduating, though, I really wanted to take an automotive service technician (AST) course at the British Columbia Institute of Technology’s (BCIT’s) campus in Burnaby, B.C., so I moved out to the west coast. My family would end up following me there.
The AST program included science and physics classes, but was also like an apprenticeship, where you work as you go through. It was designed to answer the need for skilled technicians who can diagnose and repair the sophisticated systems in today’s motor vehicles. It is also intended for people with an interest in the automotive field who aspire to management positions. The industry continues to grow and needs administrative personnel who have both technical skills and business training to fill management positions.
My AST studies included three technical training terms and two co-op work terms in actual automotive repair facilities. It all counted toward a four-year degree.
My first apprenticeship term was back in Winnipeg during the summer, at Rudy’s Auto Service, an independent shop. My second was at Axle Alley Tire and Auto in Vancouver. While these businesses saw similar clientele, the people who ran them had pretty different approaches, so I was able to learn a lot that I would later bring to running my Midas franchise.
Upon successful completion of the program, students receive an AST diploma and qualify for credit for all four levels of technical training requirements for British Columbia’s provincial AST apprenticeship program and 2,000 hours of service time. There is also an articulation agreement in place that provides advanced placements for graduates in a bachelor of science (B.Sc.) program in automotive engineering technology at Ferris State University in Big Rapids, Mich.
So, my plan for after BCIT was to continue studying in the very heart of the North American industry near Detroit, Mich. Unfortunately, I graduated from BCIT right when the Great Recession was hitting the automotive industry hard and I didn’t see much opportunity in Detroit anymore.
I was able to continue working locally as a technician for another year and took my education in a different direction with a two-year business administration course at Douglas College in New Westminster, B.C., which prepared me to look at all types of businesses I might start up.
That’s also where I met my girlfriend, Roxanne, who is now my wife. We got married in the middle of this past January in Whistler, B.C. It was a very snowy wedding!