From driving tractors to scholarship success

Charlotte didn’t always know she wanted to work in the automotive industry, but when she got her first job driving tractors in Blenheim, she knew she was on the right path. “I didn’t know what I wanted to do after high school. I began working in the vineyards driving tractors and this gave me an interest in the industry.” She moved to Christchurch a few years ago and with the help of her sister got a chance to continue in the industry. “When we moved to Christchurch there weren’t many vineyards around, but I was still interested in heavy machinery. My sister worked at AB Equipment, and they had a job for a parts apprentice. I applied and got the role.” Charlotte then went on to complete MITO’s New Zealand Certificate in Parts and Accessories.

Charlotte now works at CablePrice as a Service Advisor and is currently completing MITO’s New Zealand Certificate in Business (First Line Management) (Level 4). Her transition from working in parts to becoming a Service Advisor was down to her goals of wanting to pursue a management role. “I thought moving into a Service Advisor role from my parts role would be more of a stepping stone into the management side than going from a parts person to a parts manager. As a Service Advisor I still get to delegate work to people without being their manager.”

MITO Business Skills scholarship recipient Charlotte Wadsworth

Charlotte was awarded a MITO scholarship earlier this year that allowed her to complete MITO’s Business Skills programme. She is also the second person in her family to be awarded this scholarship with her sister also receiving it a few years ago. Charlotte’s main reason for applying was to level up in her career, “I just thought it would be good to develop my management skills before I step into a role like that”.

When Charlotte found out she was successful in securing the scholarship she was really excited, “I felt really good. I wasn’t expecting it. It was nice to be acknowledged”. As for her workplace managers, they too were thrilled, “They were really stoked for me. They have been really supportive throughout this whole process. I mentioned to them that I was going to apply for the scholarship, and they were all on board since day one.”

Charlotte has nearly finished the programme with only a couple of weeks left, “I am enjoying the course, it is a challenge, but I am getting there. I just have to finish the last module and then I am good to go.” Charlotte mentions that completing this programme really helped her understand the role of a manager. “Some of the challenges were learning about areas I have never thought about that managers have to deal with on a day to day basis.” Charlotte has enjoyed the programme so much that she has recommended it to others. “I already have a couple of people at my workplace who want to do it. It has really good learnings and is a good stepping stone into a management role. It gives you a broader idea of what is required in a role like that.”

As for Charlotte’s next step, she has a few different options. “I know I want to move up the ladder. I am in the position now where I can potentially choose which direction I want to go in. I just haven’t quite figured out what way to go yet.” One thing she does know is that she will stay in the automotive industry, “I enjoy working in this industry, it’s been great.”

Gaining a MITO scholarship has really helped Charlotte step into the next stage of her career and recommends it to all. “Just get it done and see where it goes. I know of people who have thought of applying but just never got around to it, so just apply. I never thought I would get it, but I did and now I’ve almost completed it!”

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