SEMA career day

By Erin McLaughlin

Las Vegas, Nevada -- October 31, 2017 -- The 2017 SEMA Show seems to be an endless pool of opportunity for everyone from manufacturers, shop owners to journalists. Among those presented with opportunities are young students looking to get a head start in their automotive career at the second annual SEMA Career Day.

The first Career Day at last year’s SEMA Show was immensely popular, drawing over 40 companies and more than 450 students. The numbers were similar this year, with the event packed to the brim with hundreds of eager students and numerous exhibitors including Service King, BASF, ALLDATA and PPG.

"Student Career Day is unique in that we focus solely on the automotive industry, and bring students who are passionate about the automotive aftermarket," said SEMA Senior Director of Education Zane Clark. "Many times, career fairs are limited to local opportunities and represent a number of industries. At the SEMA Student Career Day, all participating companies are specific to the automotive aftermarket and represent a national footprint. Further, it is held against the backdrop of the SEMA Show, where students get the opportunity to learn more about our industry and experience it first-hand."

Attending students had much to say about the event, which was for many one of their first times being exposed to the industry. Rueben Silva, a high school student of Lucerne Valley High School, said: “This is important for what I want to do. It opens up a lot of opportunities.” He later pointed out, “There’s a lot more to this [industry] than cars. I thought it was all one dimensional, simple work.”

Silva’s teacher, Roy Landgrave, said he brought them to the event to expose them to the different areas of the industry. “Bringing them here gives them ideas,” he said.

Tarryn Hyer, a student, added: “I’ve been impressed with the passion. It’s common throughout.” Benji Arellanoto, a student interested in accounting was hoping to get something unexpected out of the career day. “I want to see how shops run their business, and see how I can apply accounting to improve them.”

For more information on the next SEMA Career Day, email Zane Clark at zanec@sema.org.