Professions don’t get much more dominantly “male” than marine mechanic. That’s what makes Mercury Marine’s new video about Kaitlyn Schneider, who was trained at the Marine Mechanics Institute in Orlando, Fla., and has been working as a mechanic for the past two years at Lakeside Marina in Osh Kosh, Wis., so compelling
Schneider said she was drawn to the garage where she worked on cars and boats with her dad, according to a press release from Mercury Marine.
To watch the video story of Kaitlyn Schneider (above) click on the image.
“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.”
Joe Honsa, president of Lakeside Marina said he’s been in the marine business for more than 30 years and that Schneider is the first female to apply for the true technician position at his store.
“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.”
After graduating from MMI, Schneider moved back home to Wisconsin and looked for her first job. She was turned down several marinas before Honsa hired her.
“She showed up one day and inquired if we were looking for a tech,” said Honsa. “My first inclination was, ‘Who do you know?”
Schneider has a similar recollection of the interview process.
“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,” she said. “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.”