TOC Otto Camp March 31, 2012
Despite the gloomy weather on a Saturday morning, the mood at The Otomotif College (TOC) during its Otto Camp open day was anything but gloomy. From the moment doors open at 10am untill closing time at 4pm, TOC was buzzing with excitement all around the campus.
Guests were invited to free refreshments at the cafeteria before being invited into a presentation room to be given a briefing about the courses and facilities offered at TOC. Even at the early hour, the presentation room was nearly filled to its capacity of 80 people during the first session alone. After the presentation, the visitors were divided into smaller groups and taken on a tour around the facilities by TOC students. The visitors were encouraged to question their guides to find out more about TOC from a student’s perspective, where it matters most.
Visitors were taken around the extensive motor pool, equipment simulators and motorsport facilities, each attended by a TOC lecturer. At each juncture, the visitors were invited to try their hand at some basic car diagnostic and repairs under the watchful guidance of the lecturers. The lecturers also took the opportunity to dispense some helpful tips and answer any questions about car care.
One of the trainers, Mr. Harun gave a short but detailed explanation on diagnosing a car’s air-conditioner’s troubles, and that motorists should check for leakage first before refilling coolant supplies should the air-conditioning have trouble maintaining its coolness. Mr. Harun also explained that diploma level students at TOC are more focused towards troubleshooting skills as the automotive industry is greatly in need of talented diagnosticians. It is not uncommon for a motorist to spend plenty of time and money on unnecessary servicing before the actual problem is found and rooted out, and accurate diagnosis will prevent this problem.
Other lecturers elsewhere were conducting similar demonstrations with different aspects of a car, such as headlamp alignment, fuel injection system, wheel balancing and rotation among others. Lecturers also used the opportunity to demonstrate the kinds of troubles that students are expected to run into by simulating for example, the results of improper wiring of a car’s electrical control systems. Visitors were also shown TOC’s dynamometer, a device that is used to measure a sports car’s performance so it can be pushed to its maximum capability at the racetrack where thresholds are higher.
During the interactive demonstrations, safety was the paramount concern impressed upon by the instructors to visitors due to the potentially dangerous nature of automobiles. For example, the ignition system of a car produces 15,000 volts in order to spark and ignite petroleum. This is a huge leap from the already dangerous and potentially fatal 240 volts found in standard Malaysian power sockets nationwide. In addition, the moving parts in car engines used in live demonstrations can potentially injure or maim limbs caught in them. Therefore, a healthy respect for safety is inculcated into TOC students.
After the tour, visitors were guided to the resource centre where TOC’s helpful counselors were standing by to handle any enquiry, while processing applications and admissions. Normally the quietest area in the campus, the resource centre was abuzz with activity as a constant stream of visitors filed in to have their doubts cleared. In spite of the nonstop action, the TOC counselors gamely handled each enquiry no matter how big or small with aplomb.
Although commonly seen as a boy’s field of study, TOC sees its share of roses among the thorns too. One of the visitors is Choo Soo May from Penang. An automotive enthusiast, she woke at 5.30am to catch a bus to attend the Otto Camp and to take her first step towards fulfilling her ambition. Choo is but one of the dozens of school leavers from Penang and Johor who took the free bus service provided by TOC for outstation visitors to attend the Otto Camp experience.
After lunch, visitors were ushered to a career talk by special guest speaker Mr. Devindran Ramanathan, principal consultant of ACS AsiaPac Sdn. Bhd. An industry veteran with over two decades experience, Mr. Devindran explained about the stages involved in car manufacturing and gave some statistics about the auto industry in Malaysia to highlight its significance to the country’s development. He also highlighted the perks of being in the industry, required traits of personnel, and answered a series of questions from the visitors that vary from graduates’ salary range to predictions about the near future.
As the hours passed by quickly and the TOC March 31 2012 Otto Camp drew to a close, staff remarked that this was easily the best open day ever. The statistics too matched this observation, with over 150 school leavers among the 300-odd visitors. Staff, students and visitors alike left TOC’s March Otto Camp tired but excited at the prospect of things to come.