Okanagan College student Jessica de Groot in the collision repair shop. Photo: Okanagan College

Okanagan College student trades digital skills for apprenticeship

Jessica de Groot graduates from Okanagan College collision repair program

The graduation from Okanagan College will start a second career path for one of the almost 90 students graduating from trades programs this year.

For collision repair and refinishing prep technician student Jessica de Groot, the completion will blend in her passion for creative pursuits with technical capability.

“There has been so much to learn and process,” says de Groot. “I’m excited to complete this program and honour that completion, as well as move forward into the workforce.”

After six years working in media and graphic design for a craft beer brewery, de Groot wanted to take her artistic abilities from the computer to the repair shop.

“I felt I had made it as far as I could in my position, and wanted something more for myself,” said de Groot. “I started to research the trades and quickly found that auto refinishing really appealed to my artistic sense.”

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After the nine-month program, de Groot plans to work towards completing her ticket as a prep and paint apprentice.

“I really enjoyed the painting part of the program,” she said. “The process of taking a car from the completed body repair to looking back to new is very satisfying for me.”

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