From Passion to Profession

 
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It is every boy’s desire to get up close with their dream car. Lamborghini is one of the renowned names that leaps to a car lover’s mind – the super car brand that was founded with the objective of producing a refined grand touring car. One of the lucky youngsters to get his wish is Chew Yuan Jun, who has now been working with Lamborghini Kuala Lumpur as an automotive technician since he graduated from The Otomotif College (TOC) three years ago.

“Some might think my job is all about glamour. But it isn’t. Lamborghini cars are more delicate than common cars. For example, Lamborghini engines suck in a lot of air! If this air flow is impeded with a clogged filter, the car’s performance suffers greatly. Fortunately Lamborghini has designed their cars so that replacing an air filter is simple,” smiled Chew.

Chew went on to elaborate on complications that surfaces when it comes to detecting engine faults – is like there are two engines in some Lamborghini cars!

“You see the front engine lights have a Left and Right lamp. This means that if there is a localized fault with the engine, you must then determine which bank of cylinders it resides on. You can also localize the fault by switching components from one side to the next,” he explained.

“I must admit that the real working world is very different from college life. However, looking back, I do appreciate the On-the-job training (OJT) and internship that was weaved through my 2.5 year diploma course as it allowed me to put the skills and knowledge I had acquired into practice at various automotive companies. I also got exposed to different technologies and car models which has helped me greatly in my current job,” shared Chew.

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With more than 800 automotive and motorsport partners all over the country, TOC is able to provide valuable practical experiences for their students. These partnerships allow TOC students to experience the work culture and brand philosophy of the individual automotive company and are thus, able to adapt quickly to the actual working environment because they are already familiar with the latest automotive models available in the market.

“TOC gave me a strong foundation in the underlying principles of automotive technology so I am able to transition easily into any car model, including a Lamborghini,” professed Chew. “My first OJT was at a tyre shop which was an eye opener into the automotive world. Next I was sent to Cycle & Carriage and worked with the engine and gearbox division. I learnt a lot there from the skilled technicians with hands-on experience I received. It was more challenging as I had to learn how to solve problems quickly. It was all about translating thinking into action at the same time. I was most happy with my final six-month internship with Millennium Motorsport which involved modifying racing cars. I love sports cars! We were so passionate that we were working even until 3am in the morning!” he exclaimed.

Of course a sound training on the mechanical and electronic aspects of modern vehicle systems are essential for technicians to carry out maintenance and repair work effectively on today’s vehicles. TOC’s full-time Diploma of Automotive Technology is 70% practical and its curriculum is designed to develop highly trained professional automotive service technicians to keep pace with rapidly changing technology. Students are trained on vehicle maintenance, diagnosis and repair with a combined wealth of professional expertise, developed and customized to meet the latest technological challenges. With basic automotive knowledge covered in their first year, students are later exposed to advance diagnosis such as Multiplex or CAN BUS system which most modern cars nowadays are equipped with.

Of course this is easier said than done. After all, the cars of the 21st century are amongst the most sophisticated machines with so many computers that sense and control various systems, such as engine parameters, anti-lock braking systems, automatic transmissions, safety systems, entertainment system, and more. The continuous global increase in car production has resulted in a demand for highly skilled and competent automotive technicians to service these complicated vehicles.

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Just a few months back, Chew was joined by a fellow TOC graduate, Liau Jian Chin who having completed his diploma, came in to join the team as a Parts Specialist.

For those who don’t know, parts specialists are the professionals who are contacted whenever a car part needs to be replaced at a dealership, repair shop or truck fleet. They are a group of people specifically trained to learn technical knowledge which also consists of computers, mathematics and science. These experts will be able to bring the appropriate car parts to a particular situation. Liau, is now in charge of helping customers figure out which car parts they need for the problems they wish to solve. Customers normally order a great deal of parts to repair and maintain their cars. And parts specialists are responsible for organizing this process.

“In order to locate the necessary parts for my customers, I access some sophisticated computer databases for auto parts,” explains Liau. “I then apply my mathematical skills to understand measurements and dimensions of a particular car to know which parts will be the most suitable for it. When that particular part is identified, I will then provide cost estimates to my customers,” he went on. Besides that, Liau also conducts follow-ups to make sure the parts work properly.

“The common misconception is that parts specialists are involved in the actual technical parts of repair. Well, to be honest, we don’t work on the technical aspects of the car, but rather, spend time communicating with customers and researching auto parts on computers,” Liau clarified.

Liau has to be constantly at par with the latest developments in the automotive field, particularly any news relating to Lamborghini. But he is accustomed to this routine. After all, the underlying philosophy of TOC has always been based on the understanding that automotive technicians must carry out their service and maintenance responsibilities with precision and certainty. TOC places great emphasis on quality training, as they believe it is the key to landing a promising job and thus, paving the way for a rewarding and fruitful career in the automotive industry.

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Established in 2005, TOC endeavors to advance excellence in automotive education. All of TOC’s Diploma courses are approved by the Malaysian Ministry of Higher Education and accredited by the Malaysian Qualifications Agency assuring car lovers the highest quality of a TOC education. TOC constantly upgrades their training facilities with additional training aids and simulators, besides buying new vehicles for in-college practical training. The college’s commitment to providing the best automotive education is reflected in the millions of Ringgit spent on the sophisticated software, high end branded equipment and state-of-the-art facilities such as their very own Autotronics laboratory, Chassis Dynamometer, Electude (an online automotive diagnostic program), engine simulators, diagnostic tools and so on.

In addition to their main campus in Petaling Jaya, TOC also has offices in Penang and Sabah to provide detailed information about automotive courses, careers, and their unique lifetime job placement. For the newly opened Penang office at Kristal Suites, Bayan Lepas, call 04-640 2867. Alternatively, Sabahans can visit the office at Kompleks Asia City or call 088-488 950.

“In my search for the right institution to further my studies, I went to quite a number of places to survey. I still recall my visit to one of the automotive institutions. They only had half cut cars for their students to work on and their class rooms were in the open air, right next to the half-cut cars. Which was why, I was so impressed when I finally visited TOC. The college has such nice cars for their students to work on; there is even a Toyota Altezza! Therefore, it is important for students to visit the campus to see for themselves the claims the college makes before they make their final decisions,” Liau concluded. The Toyota Altezza is no longer at TOC now however there are more than 20 international and local car models including the Nissan Skyline R34 & Subaru STI Vr 8 for students’ practical training.

To ensure that students make well-informed decisions, TOC organises the OTTO Camp (Open Day) to show students and parents some of the sophisticated equipment and see first-hand how they work. Prospective students and parents will be able to catch a glimpse into the exciting automotive world at the upcoming OTTO Camp at our Petaling Jaya campus on March 19, 2011 from 10.00am-4.00pm. Due to high demand students must call 03-7955 2811 to register for the limited seats.