“Why be normal, when you can be different?”
These are the words of a mechanic that left a lasting impression on his daughter. An epiphany so strong, the revelation has not only shaped the work ethic of Alyssa Culver, but has become her life’s mantra.
An apprentice technician at Service King’s Spring, Texas location, the 21-year-old typically begins each day eagerly waiting in a break room, anticipating the clock to strike 8:00 a.m.
The ambition of the UTI grad is evident to all around. So it’s no surprise her roots in the repair industry run deep.
The self-proclaimed “Daddy’s Girl” grew up in a shop at her parent’s locally owned business, C4 Kustoms. Naming her father to be the “most automotive savvy person” she has ever met, some of Alyssa’s earliest memories were spent at the edge of a greasy wheel.
The introspective apprentice recalls visions of her father, hard at work, restoring the prized muscle car of a family friend. As he encouraged his eager young daughter to help, it was then that she first discovered her innate passion for the industry. Not long after, the family decided to make a purchase of its own. The wide-eyed, six-year-old Alyssa adored her family’s new primer gray Mustang. And without a doubt, she would make certain it maintain only the highest standard of care.
“If anyone got a fingerprint on it,” she said with a laugh, “I would be the first to wipe it off."
A valuable characteristic in the repair industry, her perfectionistic ways are something Alyssa believes to be inherited from her mother. However, her love of the automotive world developed over time, as Alyssa doesn’t remember a weekend “not going to a car show,” or helping her parents polish parts growing up.
She soon began to realize repairing vehicles didn’t have to just be a hobby. It could be her future.
Making the commitment to pursue an education in the industry was one of the best decisions Alyssa has ever made, she says. And when it came time to graduate her program at UTI, she had no doubt Service King would be her next move. In fact, joining a Service King recruiting table at her university’s career fair is what sealed the deal.
“Most of the guys didn’t want to talk to me,” she said. “They didn’t think I could do what they can.”
But something was different at Service King.
“They were like, ‘Heck yeah, a girl!’” she joked.
The motivated and wise beyond her years repair enthusiast, dedicates the success she has experienced in her career to the support of her family. Moreover, she cherishes the moment her parents lovingly reminded her, “You know you can do this.”
A spark of rivalry with her younger brother, also educated in collision repair, hasn’t hurt either. The competitive natured yet playful relationship the two have developed keeps Alyssa motivated and at the top of her game. All in all, she admits their individual skills and knowledge feed off of each other and the pair work excellent as a team.
To no surprise, family is what Alyssa believes to be “the most important thing in life.” Raised in church and greatly inspired by the values of her father, Alyssa has always held his priorities in high regard- “God first, others second, yourself last,” he says. Placing great significance on the helping of others, she feels the ability to have a ‘work family’ can be one of an organization’s greatest assets.
This deep sense of community is something her Service King experience has not failed to provide. She even expressed that everyone around her has only strengthened her morale, embracing her in this developing role.
She went on to commend the guidance she received from her Apprentice Supervisor, Al Scott. Grateful for his mentoring, Alyssa said it is well understood and appreciated that Scott wants his apprentices to succeed and will do just about anything to make sure this is the case.
“I admire the fact that he’s always so willing to help and he genuinely cares about us as people, not just workers,” she said.
In turn, her contagious positivity and can-do spirit have not gone unnoticed.
“Alyssa is dedicated and conscientious,” Scott said. “She is a team player and when instructed, you don’t have to tell her twice.”
But this isn’t to say Alyssa hasn’t experienced a few obstacles in the male-dominated industry along the way. In fact, she recognizes the opportunity and encouragement she has received from Service King is unfortunately not the experience she and others have always encountered.
“I definitely feel like I have had to prove myself because I am a girl,” she said in light of the industry. “Even though it’s challenging, I’m really good at what I do.”
Her advice to other aspiring young women?
“It’s going to be a lot of hard work,” she said. “But just keep truckin’ and it will all be worth it in the end.”