2017 International Scholarship award winner Ellearn Savvidis embarked on a weeklong scholarship to the United States at the end of July, which included cultural immersion into another country, observation at the number one Mercedes-Benz dealership in the United States, along with memories that will last a lifetime!
Ellearn is employed through Group Training Organisation (GTO) WPC Group, and hosted by Mercedes-Benz Melbourne Airport to undertake a Certificate III in Light Vehicle Mechanical Technology. Ellearn’s qualification training is delivered by Kangan Institute of TAFE. Once qualified, Ellearn will join the cohort of just over 600 female mechanics across Australia, far outweighed by close to 70,000 male counterparts.
Ellearn was able to experience (for her very first time) five days in the United States where she visited cities such as Anaheim and Newport Beach in Los Angeles, California.
As well as spending some time site seeing at Disney Land, Ellearn spent time observing at Fletcher Jones Mercedes-Benz in Newport Beach California, where she was exposed to the difference of operations in comparison to her workplace at Mercedes-Benz Melbourne Airport in Australia. “I learnt about the structure of how they work differently to us in Australia and the processes they have” said Ellearn. “They don’t use paper in the dealership, everything is online! They have a lot of things for customers to do while they wait for their car services like a shoe shine service, café and even a kid’s play area.”
Ellearn feels that the experience and the new information has given her confidence to try new things and further her knowledge. “It has also made me realise the amount of opportunities out there for me… I have also gained travel experience, which I may have never done without this International Scholarship opportunity” she said.
The trip experience has truly inspired Ellearn. She says “Meeting the team at Fletcher Jones Mercedes-Benz, and the knowledge they shared with me has been the most valuable outcome of this experience. I wish I had more time to spend with the team at Fletcher Jones!” she says,
“It has made me want to excel in my current position and I would like to expand my knowledge greatly with Mercedes-Benz.”
General Manager of Mercedes-Benz Melbourne Airport, Susan Butler, is extremely proud of the entire team and says “At Mercedes-Benz Melbourne Airport we pride ourselves on being an Equal Opportunity Employer and support staff from all backgrounds. The car industry offers an incredible career path for both men and women. It’s still an area largely overlooked by females when considering their career options…this needs to change.”
Andrew Sezonov, WPC Group General Manager says “VET (Vocational Education & Training) plays a crucial role in training the workforce with the skills required to meet future industry and technological demands. Mercedes-Benz are a perfect example of how a VET qualification can lead to a rewarding career.”
The scholarship was made possible with funding from WPC Group and was facilitated by Skilling Australia Foundation, “I would like to thank the funders for this amazing opportunity they have given me to be able to experience this one in a lifetime trip. I really appreciate it” said Ellearn.