PASSION FOR PEOPLE LEADS TO SCHOLARSHIP SUCCESS

When asked if she’s an automotive expert, Taylor Bouzaid can’t help but laugh. “Absolutely not!” she says. “I won’t be able to fix your car, but I can definitely book you in!”

23-year-old Taylor is an Office Administrator at Collision City Mosgiel, and is currently completing the New Zealand Certificate in Business (First Line Management) (Level 4) through MITO. The role is perfect for Taylor, a self-confessed ‘people person’.

“Without a doubt my favourite part of my job is the customers,” she says. “In this line of work, a lot of people who come in can be quite flustered and upset after having an accident. I really enjoy being on reception to greet them, have a chat, and calm them down.”

While it’s obvious that Taylor is a natural in her role, she wasn’t always sure of what she wanted to do with her life. “In high school I had absolutely no clue where I wanted to go,” she says. “I left halfway through Year 13 and worked in retail for a bit, but I felt like there weren’t many opportunities to progress there. There’s heaps to learn in administration, and great transferable skills, so I decided to give it a go!”

“It’s funny, when I was younger I was always adamant that I didn’t want to work in an office,” says Taylor. “You think it’s going to be eight hours of sitting at a desk, logging things into a computer every day. But it’s just not like that at all.” In fact, the reality of working in an office was a pleasant surprise to Taylor once she started. “There’s heaps of variety, and so much that goes into it,” she says. “You can be sitting at a computer, but you can also be checking on cars, running people home, chatting to customers – the list goes on!”

The decision to get qualified was an easy one for Taylor. “I wanted to give myself something to work towards,” she says. “I think in a role like this it’s really important to be able to know how to handle a variety of different situations in the workplace, and the training programme is really helping me to develop those skills.”

As she had been out of school for a few years, Taylor was initially nervous about jumping back in to study. However learning on-the-job, she says, makes the whole process a lot easier. “I enjoy the fact that I can learn while I do something, and put new skills into practice straight away.”

As a 2019 MITO Business Skills scholarship recipient, Taylor’s training programme fees are completely covered. “I couldn’t believe it when I found out I’d been successful,” says Taylor. “I was so shocked, I’ve never been picked for anything like that! I have a brother who is good at everything, so I was so excited that for once it was me winning something!” she laughs.

Collision City Mosgiel owner Cherie Bouzaid was overjoyed when she heard of Taylor’s success. “We were absolutely thrilled for her,” she says. “This is a great chance for her to work towards bettering herself. The more she learns, the more it’s going to benefit our business as well, so it really is a win-win situation.”

“Learning never stops – I think no matter what age you are, or how experienced you may be, you have to be open to training and upskilling. Everything is constantly changing, from computer systems to processes,” says Cherie. “Learning shouldn’t be something that just happens every now and again, it should always be ongoing.”

Now part-way through her training programme, and with a MITO scholarship under her belt, Taylor is excited about her future with Collision City. “I’d love to be able to run the office myself one day,” she says. “It’d be a great chance for me to step up and learn more, and great for my manager to be able to hand the reins over and take some well-deserved holidays!”

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