October 10 2016
Mercury Marine has long partnered with the Marine Mechanics Institute in Orlando, to train high professional marine mechanics.
One of those mechanics is Kaitlyn Schneider, who has been thriving for the past two years at Lakeside Marina in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. While many of her friends took dance and gymnastics classes, Kaitlyn Schneider was working on cars and boats, in the garage, with her father !
Joe Honsa, president of Lakeside Marina says to Yachting Art Magazine, he’s been in the marine business for more than 30 years and Kaitlyn Schneider is the first female to apply for the true technician position at his company !
“At times it’s intimidating in an all-male environment working as their equal,” said Honsa. “I would put her up against any of my technicians on the jobs that she knows. When I got into high school, I decided to take small engines classes because I loved boats,” said Schneider. “While girls were taking economics and art, I was taking motor classes. I like engines and cars; not normal things for a girl.”
After her graduation from Marine Mechanics Institute (MMI), Kaitlyn Schneider moved back home to Wisconsin, and went looking for her first job. Her resume was turned down at various marinas in the area, but Lakeside took a chance on the rookie mechanic and after two-years, both Schneider and the dealer are thriving.
“She showed up one day and inquired if we were looking for a tech,” remembers Honsa of his first meeting with Kaitlyn. “My first inclination was who do you know?”
“I went in and asked them if they were hiring and the service manager gave me the, why do you know someone comment,” said Schneider. “I said, no, I know me. I still feel like I need to prove myself because I’ve only been here two years. I want to show that I’m still capable of doing this and won’t back down because it gets tiring or boring. It’s what I like to do and I’ll keep doing it.”