#WrenchingWomenWednesday with Katie French, featuring Sheila Sarkozi (Stevens)

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Each week for Wrenching Women Wednesday, we focus our efforts on shining a light on Women in Automotive and their journey’s in automotive. This week, we would like to introduce Sheila Sarkozi (Stevens), Partner Marketing Manager at RepairPal. Sheila earned a Bachelor of Business Management degree from Cleary University in 2013, beginning her career in the automotive aftermarket in 2014. In 2017, she earned her Certified Commercial Tire Service Instructor (CTS) Certification from the Tire Industry Association, and is currently working to earn an ASE C1 Certification.

This is Sheila’s story

I’m a Michigan native, having grown up in both the Metro Detroit and Flint areas in Howell, Michigan where I reside today. I come from an automotive family and during my youth, I did not have to worry about learning about vehicles because my favorite Uncle Don would always take care of me. After graduating high school, I attended college with the intention of going into the medical industry, a safe career-path that my parents encouraged me to get into. Because I am stubborn, I decided to take on my first job post-college at a Tire Pressure Monitoring Sensor (TPMS) Tool manufacturer, where I found my place in this industry.

My career path began with a bit of a rude awakening, not knowing or understanding anything about TPMS or tires. I felt frustrated and defeated at first. But, my stubbornness paid off, as I realized very quickly that if I didn’t understand the relationship with TPMS sensors, tires, and vehicle diagnostics, then I probably wouldn’t be able to perform my job in marketing. I took a leap of faith and started learning from my co-workers, who graciously and patiently showed me the ropes. Eventually, my confidence built up to start training at events and creating cell phone and professional videos on social media, as well as writing technical articles for magazines and our company blog.

In 2017, my education in tires and TPMS took a turn when I was given the opportunity to earn my Commercial Tire Service Instructor Training Certificate with the Tire Industry Association in 2017. I was intimidated when I walked in, knowing that I would be one of the only females in the class, but our instructor didn’t treat me any differently than the men, teaching me how to safely repair a tire puncture, demount, mount and inflate a tire, raise a vehicle on a lift, tire and wheel assembly, and much more. Eventually, the passion I had for this industry led me to sales and training, where I was able to train shop owners and technicians how to properly diagnose, repair, and perform TPMS relearn procedures on vehicles.

Recently, I went back to my marketing roots, taking a Partner Marketing position at RepairPal, where I work with our partners on creating content and collaborating together for consumers and shops. RepairPal has encouraged me to do what I love, which is continuing my education in automotive. Recently, I purchased the guide to earn my ASE C1 Certification, where I am working to expand my knowledge regarding vehicle systems knowledge and shop operations. I hope to earn this certification before the end of the year.

I have been given a slew of amazing opportunities in my career, and I hope one day my experiences will help others. I believe the only way to gain amazing experiences and grow is to stay curious, and ask questions. I am forever grateful to those who have helped me thus far, and I hope one day I can give back what was so freely given to me.

– Sheila Sarkozi (Stevens)

About Katie French

Katie French is an Automotive Repair Expert at RepairPal. Her love for the automotive industry began at a young age learning how to fix bicycles and driving around the neighborhood in a pink Power Wheels Jeep. To pursue a career in the field, Katie attended NEIT for Advanced Automotive Technology out in East Greenwich, RI. Since graduating from the automotive program, Katie has worn many hats in the auto industry over the years, and has treated every day as a school day. She currently is working toward a Bachelor’s Degree in Applied Management with a concentration in Fleet Management from Ranken Technical College in St. Louis, MO. In her free time, Katie enjoys empowering women in skilled trades, Jeep builds, and spending time with her family.

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