Michael had what he thought was a lifelong career at John Deere as an automotive technician before fate stepped in.
“I worked in the back with no one around, I was comfortable in my job and planned to retire there.” says Michael. “But then the company left the country, so me along with 200 other people were out of a job.”
Little did he know, the abrupt change was what it took for Michael to really re-evaluate his life.
“I found out about MaKami originally from my girlfriend who took the massage therapy program. So, after I was let go, I was walking through Bonnie Doon mall you know, just trying to figure out what I was going to do, and I saw a poster for the school’s Business Administrative Assistant program.”
Michael had done service advising in the past in the automotive industry and he had enjoyed it. “I thought maybe I need to look further into that again, so that’s what drew me in to the business admin course. The course is about people. Sure, it’s about computer skills but it’s also about people, and that’s what’s needed everywhere, not just in a business admin setting, and that seemed like a valuable asset to have.”
So, Michael decided to come in and learn about MaKami’s Business Administration program. In March 2022, he decided to enroll in the 10-month, online course.
“I definitely had struggles in the beginning,” Michael admits. “As a technician we don’t use computers often. I’m used to using certain programs, but to learn programs like Microsoft Office was new for me and online programs are challenging. But I got a lot of support whenever I asked for help, and MaKami was very accommodating to help me learn Microsoft Office. Now I’m feeling a lot more comfortable with it, and it’s just about getting more practice.”
After that hurdle was crossed, Michael found the rest of the course much easier to manage. “Once we got into management skills, office skills and people skills it was fantastic. I have absolutely enjoyed the course – it’s been phenomenal with really good teaching. Our online teacher was available to help us at any time, and we could also come in for tutoring every week if we needed to, and that helped a lot.”
Michael says he enjoyed the online format and the flexibility it offered.
“I liked how it’s open, so you can do the course when it’s more convenient for you. I’m able to do it in the afternoon or evening when I’m at my best. I’m not tired having to show up to a class at a certain time.”
Michael says he has learned a lot of great new skills during this time at MaKami.
“Along with the computer skills which is necessary because everything uses computers nowadays, the course is really at its core about people, and that’s exactly what I wanted to learn. I wanted to learn the front-line skills of a customer salesperson, where you’re dealing with people’s expectations and fulfilling those expectations that they’re looking for and conflict resolution. It’s more than just an administration role you’re learning, it’s life skills really.”
Michael is excited to use the skills he’s learned in his new career.
“I’m trying to get back into the automotive field; that’s where I really feel comfortable so I’m trying to work into that, whether I work in a service advisor position or maybe the business side, something like that is where I’d like to be.”
While it was circumstances that drove Michael to go back to school, for him it has been a change in the right direction.
“My motivation was to expand on me,” he says. “Sometimes you get into a rut and that happened to me. When I worked at John Deere my plan was to retire there in an easy job in the back testing transmissions. Now I want to be in the forefront dealing with customers and to just become a better person, and that’s what really drives me to be better.”
Michael says for anyone thinking about making a change and maybe going back to school, they should take stock of where they are and where they want to be.
“Take a look at what your skills are and how you can expand on them, that’s the real key for being able to move from job to job. If you want to move to the next level an online course like this one is a great stepping stone to be able to move forward. That’s what I really wanted to be able to do. To take a full-on university course is difficult to do full time, but taking a course like this can allow you to move forward while you work.”
Michael urges others thinking about going back to school to give MaKami a try. “I would advise you to come in and talk to the people here, they have more courses than you think. When I saw the posters up that showed more courses I was impressed. If you want to be an instructor, if you want to be a business administrator, massage therapist, security – there’s more things here. Just come in and talk to an advisor. They helped me pick the right course for me and that’s how I ended up in the BA course.”