On the Rise: Christine Kay
Manager | San Francisco Car Care | Age: 26
What was your first job in the industry?
My first job in the industry was being a service advisor in our third shop in Berkeley, Calif.
What attracted you to the industry?
When I was 17, I got into the automotive industry because of my sister. I never worked in it professionally until 2019. My boss took a chance on me and hired me! I was always into aftermarket parts — I even maxed out my coilovers on my Acura TSX. But I always liked the exterior. It wasn’t until I started being a service advisor that I started focusing more on the actual mechanics of cars. There's always something new to learn everyday and you meet awesome new people.
What is the biggest challenge you have faced in your career?
The biggest challenges I've faced are skepticism and criticism from men. Many people doubt my knowledge because I am a female. This just made me want to work harder and make sure that I know everything in this industry.
Who has had the biggest influence on your career?
My biggest influence in my career is my family. They continue to motivate me everyday to work harder. I currently manage two shops right now and have moved up the ladder. I have been with the same independent shop for two years and I am currently doing human resources, accounting, marketing, payroll and I’m a service advisor manager. I love to take on lots of new tasks!
What is your biggest accomplishment in the industry?
My biggest accomplishment in the industry is being able to successfully work with vendors, employees and customers. I take pride in knowing that I helped someone get home safely and trust me with their vehicle.
Tell us about your current job and responsibilities. How do you spend your work day?
My current job now as human resources manager in the automotive industry is finding potential candidates to join our team. We often take chances on people with no experience who are trying to get into this world. I'm told that some of these people always get passed up because they might not have the ideal automotive history but with passion and dedication, we want to see everyone succeed!
What’s one thing you wish someone would have told you before you took your current job?
That many people will doubt you because you are not a man.
Tell us about your family.
My family consists of myself and my adorable French bulldog puppy named Cash.
What did you learn about yourself in the course of the COVID-19 pandemic?
That the world is constantly changing and evolving but one thing that will always be essential is the automotive industry!
Name a talent you wish you had.
The ability to be funny. My dog does not laugh at my jokes.
How do you recover from a bad or stressful day?
I call it my "me time". I meditate, do breathing exercises and think of all the positives. Tomorrow is always a new day!
If you won an Olympic gold medal, how would you have earned it? (You can make up a sport.)
Being the best dog mom. (Sorry, not sorry.)
What’s the biggest issue facing the industry today?
Tire shortages and rising prices that upset customers.
What advice would you give to tire dealers who are desperate to find good employees?
Don't get so desperate that you neglect your former employees and don't hire just ANYONE.
What do you expect to be doing 20 years from now?
Working on a larger scale in the automotive industry.