Name: Josephine Arrington
City, State: Blackwood NJ
Years in the Industry: 16
How did you first get involved in the industry?
I grew up in a household that didn’t have the money to pay for expensive repairs. My “Pop Pop” (Grandfather) learned to do most of the repairs himself, including on cars, and I would always help. I was mechanical at an early age and over time, I became quite skilled at fixing things. I joined the military and went in for nursing , nursing was full so I became a 63G fuel and electrical repair specialist, when I got out I followed up at Pennco Tech and received my diploma as an Automotive technician, MCI came to our school with a coach as they were hiring at the time and I applied, I was actually hired right before I graduated so my last class day was 5/5/2007 and I started at MCI 5/15/2007, best choice I ever made!
Who has inspired your career?
Pat Ziska, when I started as a mechanic at MCI at the shop level, you really didn’t see too many ladies in this field, but we would always get the Bus World and other magazines in the break room and I always would see this woman with MCI standing tall and gorgeous with all the men and I would always ask who is this and how did she get there, my manager at the time, Walter Novak, then explained who she was, her importance, and the fact that she started with the company many years ago doing shorthand and admin to being one of the leading women in the industry, from that moment my fire was lit. I actually got to FINALLY meet her in person at the WIB event in Detroit!
What has been the greatest challenge/opportunity in your career?
Challenge: When I meet a new customer who is not accustomed to working with a woman in this industry, let alone at the shop level, I have to put on my “Technical Hat” and prove to them that my knowledge is as good as any person in the same position. At first glance and or phone conversation they never can guess I am the Service Manager.
Opportunity: My greatest opportunity, getting hired at MCI. MCI took a chance on a young 26-year-old girl with a wrench back in 2007 when a lot of places turned me down. MCI trained me, provided opportunities I did not think were possible, and promoted me to the position I’m in today.
What advice would you give to others about working in this industry?
Learn as much as you can and as often as you can as the industry is everchanging, network as much as possible because everyone in the industry needs each other at some time or another.
Why is it important for you to belong to Women in Buses Council?
It is important for many reasons, it is a platform where women in this industry can be acknowledged and be represented, to be able to meet and network with other women in the industry to brainstorm or even vent. I love that WIB is also about community and service, and making others aware that we are a force in this industry and we have so much more to do. Not to mention ALL the ladies in this group are a mix of strong women with a purpose and a plan who also know how to have fun!