Scholarship Recipient Boosts Business

Running the office for three businesses is all in a day’s work for Yvonne Clark. But despite her busy schedule, she’s excited to also be studying towards a National Certificate in Business (First Line Management) (Level 4) thanks to a 2016 MITO Business Skills scholarship.

 I can see the benefits that this qualification will give me, and while I may be older than others completing the qualification, it’s never too late to learn!

As office manager for Dobson’s Auto Centre, Dyno Tuning and Kiwi Floats & Trailers in Waitara, northern Taranaki, Yvonne grabbed the opportunity to apply for the scholarship as she wanted to further her business skills and knowledge. “I was so happy when I was awarded the scholarship - It was the first thing I’ve ever received that didn’t cost me anything!” she laughs.

With her dedication to her work evident, Yvonne is completing the qualification to not only progress her own potential, but to also benefit the business. “I needed a greater overall understanding of the management side of things and how to deal with issues as they arise,” says Yvonne. “The business owner, Ross, spends one week a month at Hampton Downs with the Dyno Tuning part of the business. Instead of leaving a long list of things for him to attend to when he gets back – I wanted to be able to do them for him. I may not own the business but the training programme is giving me the ability and self-confidence to make those ownership decisions.” 

Yvonne Clark

Yvonne Clark and Ross Honour

Yvonne says the training programme content is incredibly valuable and notes that, while it can be challenging to find a spare moment to complete her study, the fact that she can get qualified while still earning is a massive benefit. “I have eight grandchildren who can keep me pretty busy outside of work,” Yvonne laughs. “But dedicating the time to my study is so worthwhile. I can see the benefits that this qualification will give me, and while I may be older than others completing the qualification, it’s never too late to learn!” 

Yvonne clearly loves her job, relishing the chance to interact with customers every day and knowing that she’s working alongside a great team of people. And she should know - as she was a customer herself for 10 years. “I came to get a warrant one day and saw the owner Ross in the office trying to manage all the paperwork. I told him if he needed someone to help out - even if just to do some filing or answer the phones - to give me a ring. A couple of days later I got a message asking me to come in and have a chat. I started the following week!”

Business owner Ross Honour is full of praise for Yvonne and describes her as a key asset of the business. “We’d be lost without her and were all extremely proud when she received this scholarship. It’s fantastic for her and a big boost for us too. Her training has brought our business to a whole new level as she’s continuously coming up with smart ideas on how to improve things. Plus, it’s made her more confident to own and implement those ideas.”

Ross knows the importance of having qualified and well-trained staff and has had numerous MITO apprentices over the past 17 years. “I really believe industry training on a whole is vitally important and it has certainly been a contributing factor to the success of our business. And having a quality, industry-minded office manager like Yvonne is just as important to that success as the technicians you have on the workshop floor.”

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