Program: Appliance Servicing
Grad year: 2011
Employer: Shoreline Appliance Services
What do you do for a living now? I work for Shoreline Appliance Service, where I work with Sub-Zero, Wolf and Asko appliances. Shoreline Appliances is a factory certified repair company that services and maintains high-end residential appliances.
What is the best part of your job? I guess the solving of the problem and completion of the repair. I like that I get to troubleshoot and problem-solve every day. Although we run into repeat problems constantly, we also have unique cases where I have to utilize problem-solving skills to resolve issues. Sometimes it solves itself very quickly and sometimes you have to run through a number of steps. On something simple it is clear right away, and sometimes you get a curveball and you have to run through absolutely every approach.
How do you find it, when you run across a serious problem? It can certainly be frustrating when the solution is not really apparent, but it is so much more rewarding when you solve these challenging problems.
Have you always been attracted to challenging situations? No, not really. I guess, I have always kind of enjoyed puzzles, but I didn’t really appreciate the possibility of how it could help others until I went through the program. It allowed me to appreciate the satisfaction of solving a real issue and making other people’s lives better as a result.
Did you ever envision doing this before you were at KPU? No. I really didn’t think it was a real career path.
Did you ever think that problem solving would be the part that gave you the most satisfaction? Maybe, a little bit. I like fixing things and putting things in order. Having all your knowledge be there at the right time is exhilarating. It’s best when it’s a problem you’ve never seen before, but the answer comes to you the right way. That’s truly a satisfying feeling.
Did you have an ‘aha’ moment when you knew what you wanted to do for your education/career path? What was it? Kind of, not really. I was working a dead-end job in a warehouse as a general labourer. I got fed-up realizing that I was not going to make any money. I knew how much I was going to make and how many raises I was going to get and it was kind of menial work that didn’t lead anywhere. My parents have always pushed post-secondary education, so they suggested I go to an information session at the KPU Tech campus. I went to the open house. I spoke with the instructor in each course. Appliance Servicing was the last one I checked out and it was the one that I felt was the most interesting
What do you love most about your career? The absolute variety of the job. It requires understanding and applying a variety of skills and abilities. I have to deal with wire, water and motors. I have to work with the electrical, hydro and cooling systems. I have to constantly learn about newer innovations and find solutions. And just the variety of issues and systems I have to deal with on a day-to-day basis keeps things interesting. For example, today I am working on an oven, rebuilding a fridge and then I have to look at a part I’ve never seen before.
What have been some of the highlights of your job? When I realize all that I’ve learned and how I have grown. When I first started the job, I was phoning my boss and my peers all the time. After two years, others are calling me for advice and assistance and I am not calling anyone (that often).
What was your most memorable moment as a student? I liked the social events. We did three or four potlucks as a class. I liked the group I was studying with and that learning environment where we were going through the program together. It was a great and supportive learning environment. A few of us stay in touch still.
What is your lasting impression of KPU? It’s nice that I’m still able to call my instructor. They still make themselves available if I have a question or need some advice. Tom Westgate and Dave Fengstad are always there to pick up the phone and help you out.
Any tips or words of wisdom for future students going into the same program? What could I have done better? You are not going to excel if you don’t want to be there and appreciate the learning opportunities. If you are going straight out of high school, and picking something out at random, you’re not really going to commit to doing anything. I was lucky, in that I worked at a job that I didn’t love and knew the kind of work I didn’t want to do anymore.