Scholarship Leads to Success
Rowan Cumiskey, is a rising talent in the automotive refinishing industry having already amassed an impressive list of achievements and accolades. Yet, with a commendable desire to continue to make the most of the opportunities that come his way, the 23 year old MITO learner’s career shows no signs of slowing down.
Receiving the MITO Business Skills scholarship was the perfect chance for me to start to gain the skills and knowledge necessary to become a leader.
After receiving a State Insurance Scholarship, which paid for his three-year automotive refinishing apprenticeship, he was named the 2012 State Insurance Apprentice of the Year, and went on to be awarded the 2013 CRA Apprentice of the Year, Golden Gun. He placed first at the 2014 Regional WorldSkills competition and received a silver medal at both the 2014 WorldSkills National and 2015 WorldSkills Oceania competitions. More recently, he received a 2016 MITO Business Skills Scholarship and is now half way to completing his National Certificate in Business (First Line Management) (Level 4) — a professional development programme for those aspiring to management excellence.
“When I first started my apprenticeship, I didn’t just see it as a job, but also as a chance to develop myself, my career, and the fundamental skills required to complete tasks in everyday life,” says Rowan. “I have worked hard throughout my career, and promised myself whatever opportunities arose, I would take them on board.”
It’s an admirable work ethic that has seen Rowan recently promoted to a co-foreman position at Fleet Street Panelbeaters in Auckland. Charged with training and mentoring new apprentices, he is implementing what he is learning in the First Line Management programme in order to become an effective leader.
“Receiving the MITO Business Skills scholarship was the perfect chance for me to start to gain the skills and knowledge necessary to become a leader who can run a business effectively, and through my own experiences, pass on what I have learnt to other apprentices,” says Rowan. “With the opportunities I have enjoyed in my own apprenticeship and career, I really want to promote the avenues of success available to young, keen learners and encourage them to work hard and maximise their potential.”
Rowan knows there’s no short cuts in his industry and the work you do will inevitably speak louder than words. With aspirations of one day owning his own workshop, he’s currently content to take it one step at a time and learn as much as he can from the training programme. “I’m not yet ready to transition from employee to business owner,” he says, “but a few years down the track – who knows! For the moment, however, I’m just intent on completing my qualification and learning as much as I can from the training programme.”
Rowan says his training so far has directly contributed to who he is today, assisting in his confidence, both within and outside of the workplace. “I believe that attitude is key,” he says. “If you apply the right attitude you can achieve anything you want.”
It’s undoubtedly an outlook that has served Rowan well in a remarkably inspiring career to date.