My First ASRW Event: A Newcomer's Perspective
Many of us remember that very first trip to an amusement park: the sights, sounds and smells - everything was new and exciting. My mind raced to take it all in and I just knew I was in the right place for something awesome. That feeling almost overwhelmed me as a kid and, to this day, still makes me smile.
Taking a trip to the ASA's Congress of Automotive Repair and Service (CARS) took me right back to the amusement park! The wealth of knowledge and experience to be gained there was mind blowing. The automotive industry is far more than just a job repairing vehicles or serving customers. This industry offers great career paths with limitless possibilities if you are willing to assume the challenges. Attending the conference was like someone handing me a golden key to unlock a whole new set of doors.
To start with, you are surrounded by some of the brightest and most motivated people in the industry. You have a unique opportunity to network and meet shop owners from all corners of the country and discuss strategies, areas of opportunity and find solutions to everyday struggles. Starting to buy into all of this? If not, I'll keep going!
Once you get through the meet-and-greets, you can find yourself in one of many training classes taught by the industry's best instructors. I found myself just swimming around in all the knowledge like a kid who just can't get enough of the diving board at the local pool (I was that kid).
One thing that really surprised me was the amount of open discussion that took place in the classes. For the first time in my career, I felt like I really had a chance to voice my opinions and be heard. The CARS show gave me the confidence to reach for higher places and become much more engaged in the industry where I hang my hat.
For a long time, I felt like the ASA elected officials were like the guy from the Wizard of Oz (you know, just a large voice behind a curtain) but that was not the case. The conference brought the ASA leadership down to my level and proved to me that they were everyday people just like me. I was able to communicate with them one-on-one, and I was able to tap into the synergy this group produces.
Just like the trip to the amusement park, while I was at the event I just knew that I was in some place awesome!
If you are reading this while you're at CARS or NACE, I encourage you to grasp every opportunity that the shows offer. If you have never been to an ASRW event or if it has been a while, I encourage you to make plans to attend next year's show in New Orleans. Our members are what makes ASA strong, and without constant involvement, we cannot take it to the next level. See you in New Orleans!
And thanks for letting me share my thoughts!
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