That’s the predominant message coming out of the Automotive Business School of Canada, which recently changed its name from the Canadian Automotive Institute.
Despite a lingering public perception that jobs in the automotive industry are diminishing, enthusiastic students in Canada’s largest automotive program beg to differ.
“We would like to dispel the myth that automotive jobs are in jeopardy,” says Jennifer Sheremeto, marketing specialist for the school based at Georgian College in Barrie, Ont. “In fact, our graduate placement rate has been over 90 per cent for the past 27 years.”
She says the automotive business program is well-supported by the Canadian automotive industry, which provides co-op jobs, grad jobs, scholarships and vision through industry partners.
Current students and alumni were involved with the rebranding process.
“The rebrand is about better representing students,” says Nicole Simpson, a second-year automotive marketing student. “This new brand illustrates our passion, dedication and drive. We are represented as professional individuals working toward taking over the industry, and that is what we intend to do. Our school is a group of driven individuals who are going to become the next generation of the automotive industry. There is nothing that we aren’t capable of.”
Georgian partnered with advertising agency Young and Rubicam to create and launch the new brand. The entire process took place within a year. The name change was conceived as a way of ensuring prospective students know it is a business school, rather than a technical school.
The school has produced more than 2,700 graduates who experienced co-ops in the field.
“Since the inception, we always had to explain that we are not a technical school, but a business school for the automotive industry,” says Marie-Noëlle Bonicalzi, the dean of the school. “Now our name says what we are all about. We are very pleased with our new motto: Automotive Business School of Canada – For the driven.”
She says conducting business in the automotive industry has become more sophisticated, which increases demand for multi-skilled personnel.
Simpson says the school has given her a chance to be an integral part of the automotive industry, which is always offering new jobs.
“It is an industry that will always exist and there are countless opportunities available,” she says.
Graduates can vie for a wide range of jobs – from being a salesperson or service advisor to managing a dealership, to working for an automotive manufacturer, parts supplier, or aftermarket business. Career opportunities also include operating auto shows, remarketing vehicles or financing for potential customers.
“If it has anything to do with automotive business, it could be your potential career,” says Simpson.