DEDICATED TO PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT
For Hemi Peek, progression is always important. A Fleet Consultant at Avon City Ford, Christchurch, Hemi originally got his start in the automotive industry as a tyre fitter. While working at a used car dealership, Hemi often found himself engaging with people who were looking to purchase a car.
“I was never afraid to have a conversation with someone! I’d end up chatting to customers and they would ask if they could buy cars off me, then I would just have to direct them to the salespeople,” he says. Hemi soon realised that a career in sales could be better suited for him, decided to make the change, and hasn’t looked back since.
Hemi recently achieved his first formal qualification, the New Zealand Diploma in Business (Leadership and Management) through MITO.
“I left school at 15, with no qualifications,” Hemi says. “For a while I just kind of fed off that ability to know someone who knows someone, but once I got to this level of the industry, I realised that it’s important to have something to back your skills up.”
As a manager himself, Hemi understands the importance of having a qualification behind you. “When hiring, you’ll hear a lot of good things about the abilities people believe they hold. When they have something in paper form, as a record of those skills and abilities, no words are needed.”
As it had been quite some time since Hemi had left school, he admits it was quite a shock to go back to studying and completing assignments. “I got sore hands a few times because I hadn’t written that much in so long!” he laughs. Despite the challenges that can come with diving back into study, Hemi is stoked with the skills he developed during the training programme.
His main takeaway from the diploma was the importance of understanding all elements of a business, even if you are not directly involved. “It definitely opened my eyes to how a dealership in its entirety operates. I only work in a portion of it, but I now have a better understanding as to how every element of the business can affect the day-to-day operations in my department.”
“Since completing the diploma, I’ve been able to play a big part in reducing our old stock - which in a dealership world is ‘dead money’ because it’s just lying around. Also being able to analyse what will bring us better returns on our investment and time efficiencies in processing has been massive,” says Hemi.
But the diploma has not just benefited him in a business sense. The personal development and people skills gained in the programme have been invaluable. “The diploma taught me that mindfulness is very important when dealing with lots of different people and personalities every day,” he says. “It’s really given me the tools to be able to effectively communicate with my team, other parts of the business, and our clients - from a communication aspect, it’s really been incredible.”
Always focused on progression, Hemi hopes to work his way up to a sales manager role, and then eventually dealer principal. “I’ve already told my dealer principal his days are numbered!” he jokes. No matter what position he is in, Hemi is focused on developing and bettering himself as an employee, because, as he says, “unless you’re going somewhere, you’re going nowhere.”