Omar Martinez, Auto Technician.
While working as a car washer, Omar began studying to become an auto technician. After starting his career as a technician, Omar knew he wanted to specialize in a particular brand. Find out how MINI helped him exceed his expectations, and why he’s looking forward to a long and rewarding career.
Have you worked in the automotive industry before?
I started my career in the automotive industry in 2005 washing cars. At the time I was attending trade school to become a certified technician. As the years went by I struggled to find satisfaction with big name automotive brands. When I sought guidance from my former trade school, their advice was not to go bigger, but to go MINI. When I completed S.T.E.P. training in 2008, I knew I had found the brand for me.
What drives you to be a technician at MINI?
Since becoming a technician for MINI I’ve acquired skills beyond what is considered typical for most mechanics. From learning to install decals, to replacing windshields, to retrofitting the various array of modifications MINI offers owners, I have fewer reservations declaring myself a bumper-to-bumper specialist.
What makes MINI different from the rest?
Of the few brands I’ve worked with, MINI has provided the most resources and uniquely rewarding challenges than any other. They have promoted the work of those who excel at their craft and recognize their efforts on a regular basis. Before MINI, I had never heard of a company honoring the work of their leading technicians on a regular basis. I was very humbled to be a part of this year’s awards ceremony which took place in Buenos Aires/Patagonia, Argentina.
How would you describe the MINI dealer employee culture?
If you have been in the car industry, you will find that MINI dealer culture is more relaxed than normal. Quirkiness is promoted at all levels within our daily operations, which makes for a more enjoyable work environment. It was what made me become a MINI motorist.
Why should a person want to be a technician? What does it take to excel in that role?
I fully endorse anyone wanting to learn a trade. And what better trade to learn than that of an automotive technician. You become versed in the areas of HVAC repair, plumbing, electricity, upholstery, fabrication, and much more. I've learned the principles of latent heat, hydraulic pressure, Ohm’s law, and numerous other scientific studies.
Prior to trade school I had zero automotive repair knowledge. I feel what has helped me most are my attention to detail, my ability to problem-solve, and my sense of humor. The materials that MINI has made available help ensure successful repairs every time.
What types of training are offered to MINI dealer staff?
The training that has been made available to me since completing S.T.E.P. has been abundant. There is a slew of online curriculum and instructor-led courses that help me stay up-to-date on the latest MINI has to offer. There are also regular round table videos and webinar documents to aide in keeping technicians in the loop with trending issues. Combined with the best diagnostic equipment in the industry, our customers are provided a premium service experience over any other facility.
What other advice or selling points would you share with someone considering a technician career?
I have worked many different types of jobs before becoming a technician. None of the companies I worked with made the effort to recognize outstanding performance the way MINI does. I have earned multiple trophies for my performance within the brand. I have traveled internationally as a reward for my efforts. I can’t say that for the other organizations I’ve worked for. The training I received at the S.T.E.P. campus has proven invaluable. When entering the workforce I found that employers were competing for me, which is something I never thought possible.