Chong Wen An
Can you give us some information about your background, where do you come from and why did you choose to study at TOC?
My background is quite simple. I come from a family of four, I am the youngest, I have a sister and my parents. I was born in Malaysia and come from Cheras. I chose TOC because I’m interested in the automotive field, so I would like to gain more experience from this college and then be able to work in the automotive industry. I am studying for a diploma in Automotive Technology.
Was there a particular reason for you to choose TOC instead of some of the other colleges?
The other college I looked at was Despark College. When I compared the two together, in my opinion TOC was better, especially for the uniform and the tidiness.
You have done the Caterham motorsport experience, can you explain when you did it and also why did you volunteer?
I first did it in 2015, the first year I was at TOC. I volunteered when I found out that Caterham was going to race at Sepang and as I had never been to Sepang before, I volunteered to get involved.
How did you find the experience?
The experience was great fun. You can really feel the tension before the race, you can cheer for your driver and could get along with all your new friends. In addition, you could also see the other categories race, like the Audi R8 LMS Cup, that was quite interesting.
What important lessons did you learn from being in a competitive motorsport environment?
I learnt that teamwork is the most important. A race team has to have teamwork to deliver a higher quality race, you have to prepare everything, but it is quite fun, even after a very long day.
What did you really enjoy about it?
The best bit of the whole weekend was race day on Sunday. The build up before the race when the pressure is growing. After the race is done you can relax a little bit. If the driver you are assigned to wins the race, you get involved with his happiness and joy.
How do think that the experience you have gained at the track will benefit you in the future?
I have learnt about motorsport and how the process is, how to prepare for the race and what needs to be done after the race. I was very happy joining Caterham.
To turn it around the other way, how did the knowledge you have gained at TOC help you at the race track?
I learnt theory at college and some of the practical, but when I got to experience the real world of motorsport, I learnt a lot. Real hands on practical experience.
What are your career aspirations? If you were looking into the future, say in 10 to 20 years time, where would you like to be doing?
I guess I would like to be a workshop manager or a service centre manager. To be able to lead people through teamwork, have lots of experience, and of course have fun!
Finally, you are coming to the end of your education with TOC, what are the next steps on your career path?
I am still choosing whether to work at the workshop or a service centre, because they are both a little different. If you work at a service centre you work on a specific car brand, but when I work at a workshop you need to know every car and brand, such as identifying what the problem is and troubleshooting on different types of car.
I am still choosing between one or the other, but maybe my preference is probably to work for a general workshop, to do everything and to learn all there is to know about the various automotive cars and brands.
Thank you very much Wen An and good luck with your career.