Newfoundlander Lands Dream Job with Yamaha Motor Canada
I first met Ben Chaulk when Ben was in his first year of the 3-year Business Management Marketing program at College of the North Atlantic (CNA). I’ve been an instructor with CNA since 2012 and I had the pleasure of instructing Ben in his 2nd and 3rd years of his program. I recall our first meeting, I was asked to invigilate an exam for Ben’s first year class and once all the students were settled, I noticed a young man in the back of the room, smiling and proudly sporting his Yamaha/Klim branded jacket. Being in the business I’m in, I noticed the jacket immediately and I knew I had a diehard Yamaha fan here. Over the next two years, I got to see Ben mature as a students and produce some incredible work. This past September, Ben’s younger sister, Cassie, who happens to be doing the same program, informed me that Ben landed his dream job. On hearing the words “dream job” I knew immediately he landed a job with Yamaha Motor Canada. I think I was smiling for about a week after hearing that. Most students don’t really know, but their instructors really love hearing when their plans come together like this. I immediately wanted to share this news with the world. To celebrate with Ben but more importantly, for other students to see that you can land that dream job. You just need to have a plan. I reached out to Ben with a few questions to share his story with all.
Sledworthy: In a nutshell, tell us about the past ten years and how you presently find yourself working with Yamaha Motor Canada?
When I was 14 I had a paper route and managed to convince my parents to go halves on a new Yamaha Wolverine 450 SE ATV with me. This is where my passion for Yamaha started. About the same time my brother James finished high school and got a job working with Atlantic Recreation, our local Yamaha dealer. One day when I was 16, I called my brother at Atlantic Recreation to see how his day was going. He told me they were extremely busy and had some guys off sick, so I offered to come help. My dad dropped me off around 3:00pm. I got to work checking off freight and cleaning up the back parts area. At 5:00 when the day ended they offered me a part-time job in the Parts Department. I was thrilled beyond words. Within 3 months of working there I made it my goal to one day get to Yamaha Motor Canada’s head office. After high school I studied business at the College of the North Atlantic with a focus in Marketing. During the three-year program I was lucky enough to continue working for Atlantic Recreation part-time and full-time during summer months, soaking up as much Yamaha knowledge as I could. Upon completion of the Business Management – Marketing program, Atlantic Recreation offered me a full-time job, which I was thrilled to accept. At this point my plan was to continue working with Atlantic Recreation until a job matching my skills opened at Yamaha Motor Canada, then I would apply and see where it went. I checked Yamaha Motor Canada’s careers page weekly and sure enough my dream job came up. With a Marketing diploma in hand and six years of dealership experience, I applied for the position of Parts & Accessories Marketing Coordinator. Not long after, I received an interview. I made it to the second round of interviews and shortly after was given an offer of employment. It was kind of surreal – this was something I had been working towards for six years and now it was a reality. I was lucky enough to have my brother come along with me for the drive from Newfoundland to Toronto, and to help me find an apartment. The whole experience has been incredible right from the time I applied to this very moment. It hasn’t been without its challenges but everything I’ve learned – the knowledge and life experience I’ve gained in such a short period of time– has been extremely valuable. I certainly miss my family, friends and former coworkers back in Newfoundland, but I’ve gained another family here at Yamaha Motor Canada and look forward to many years of working with them.
The biggest challenge I face every day would have to be the amount of new information I am presented with. Every day I am learning many new things – marketing trends, strategies, new product information, right down to the processes for completing different tasks. It can be difficult to retain so much new information, but I wouldn’t change it for the world. I love a challenge and all this new information forces me to be on my toes and paying close attention. I have been working for Yamaha Motor Canada for just over three months now so as you can imagine, there are still many, many things for me to learn yet. I know this company will provide me with a career full of continuous learning.
Sledworthy: What advice do you have for someone that desires to head in the same direction?
As for advice for anyone who would like to head in the same direction – I would recommend starting at the dealership level. Whether you want to work for Yamaha or another OEM, dealerships are a great place to start building your knowledge of the product and the brand. Additionally, set your goals, stay focused and reassess your goals every couple of months. From the time I was 16 and even currently at 23, every couple of months I assess what I am doing to achieve my career goals, and what I could be doing better. I knew dealership experience would be an asset, so I made it my goal to involve myself in more than just the parts department. I sought opportunities to learn more about the sales department and service department. I took every opportunity I could to be involved in the planning and creation of promotions. This helped me gain hands-on experience that I am now able to use for Yamaha Motor Canada. Once you have a main goal in place, it is easy to set sub-goals that will help you reach your main goal. The education I received from College of the North Atlantic has been very valuable as well. If you can get a formal education in the field of study that will help you land your dream job you should put your best foot forward and get that education. It took a lot of hard work and dedication to get where I am, but it was made easier by all the support I received from family, friends, coworkers and instructors.