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 Jules Crane, Lead Technician at Big Joe’s Tire and Auto in Texas. Jules is an ASE Advanced Level Master Technician as well as Master Certified in Nissan, Ford, Mazda, and BMW.
This is Jules’ story
“I didn’t plan on doing this at all- I was this mousy, geeky, book nerd who lost a MarioKart bet and had to turn my best friend’s Saturn SL1 into a race car. -Facepalm- (And I learned how much fun, and annoying, it could be!)
That experience was something that I actually enjoyed, and while doing it, I realized I was really good at it. I started pursuing it from there. Cars are one of the biggest puzzles in the world and I’ve always enjoyed puzzles.
I took shop in high school because it was the only elective available. I was able to get the fundamentals there and it helped me jump start into a career.
After high school, I went to college to become an electrical engineer because of my uncle, but it turned out not to be a good fit for me; however, having an electrical engineering background gave me a head start on electrical, diagnostics, and computer systems on cars. The training that I had picked up from the electrical engineering side played very well into the direction that the automotive industry was going. It put things into perspective for electrical, computerized AC/DC theory- that kind of thing. So my speciality turned out to be electrical systems.
As time went on, I jumped at every opportunity to take courses and seminars to learn anything that I could. I wanted to work in many departments and learn various skills. I just kept going up from there.
Being a female in the automotive industry, it can be difficult. Going to job interviews, I learned that I had to answer questions to demonstrate my knowledge so that the interviewer can look past my appearance. Some interviewers take a look at me and question if I know what I’m doing, but I take their questions and show them that I know exactly what I’m talking about. When starting at a new shop, it may take about a month or two for me to sort of establish myself with the rest of the staff, especially coming in as a Master Technician and as a diagnostic tech. Unfortunately, that’s the way it is. I expect to work twice as hard to show that I am just as good as the men.
Some advice I can give for a new technician in the business is: There will always be push-back from others in the beginning, unfortunately, that’s the way it is- but just keep pushing- keep going. Just let it roll off of your shoulders. Focus on what you’re doing. It’s a rite of passage, so don’t get discouraged.”-Jules Crane
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.