Jessica Ulrich is a Service Writer at HomeTowne Auto Repair & Tire. She has been working in the automotive industry for about 2 and a half years.
What brought you to the automotive industry?
Well, I used to help out with my dad, just basically watched for a long time. But then I kind of strayed off the path into [Emergency Medical Services] EMS world, and then when I strayed from that path … my first automotive job was working for a fire truck repair shop. So, then I liked getting into that process and then traversed over to just regular, everyday vehicles that have seemed a little bit less complicated than a fire truck and an ambulance.
What do you like about being a Service Writer?
I like being able to interact with different people every day. I like that we have a lot of regular customers, which is great because then you start to get to know them, they get to know you a lot more. But meeting a bunch of new people is fun — to understand their wants and their needs, and just kind of form a relationship with new people that we see.
How is HomeTowne Auto Repair & Tire different from other businesses you’ve worked for?
Here, it’s a lot more home-friendly — everybody cares about each other here. At the other places, it’s more ‘You’re on your own. Good luck.’
What challenges have you faced as a woman in the automotive industry?
Certain people don’t think you understand what’s going on with their vehicles, at all. You get underestimated quite often … Mainly, it’s just getting underestimated and being looked past to say ‘Let me talk to the man that knows this,’ instead of actually letting me tell you what’s wrong with the vehicle and cutting me off. You might be surprised, I might know a thing or two.
What do you recommend to women who are considering a career in the automotive industry?
If you know you’re stuff, and you understand cars, and it’s a passion for you, you need to go do it. I, honestly, can’t really see myself breaking away from this now. I like it enough. But if you know your stuff … just keep progressing and understand what you need to do next.
HomeTowne Auto Repair & Tire is an authorized Michelin and BFGoodrich tire dealer located in Woodbridge, Virginia. Automotive repair services are performed on all makes and models, including oil changes, brakes, alignments, inspections, and computer engine diagnostics.