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Informational Interview- Cameron Robins

2017 April 14
by robincam

My entire life I have been a “car guy”. I have always loved cars and learning about them. Because of this passion, I plan to go into the automotive field. In high school, I took business classes and learned about management. My goal is to work in a dealership, work my way into management, and eventually become a car dealer. For this assignment, I requested an interview with the dealer. He has worked in various departments and management positions in dealerships. His experience seemed perfect for helping me understand what is important for entering and advancing in this field.
When I started the interview with Mr. Gary Minneman, I had ideas about his answers. I thought he would explain the business skills needed such as accounting, management, and data analyzation. I was shocked when Minneman told me that any well-functioning dealership, or business, has employees who take on most of these tasks. He said that he hires people with specific skills and degrees to do these jobs. Minneman said he is actually in the business of people skills and decision-making. Every day he has to deal with his employees and make sure they are happy. He also relies on remembering that happy employees lead to more sales and better business. Although he does not do accounting and things like that he still has to make decisions about day-to-day operations. Each department will propose new ideas to him. He said it is important to make every employee feel important in his or her job and he recognizes that they see things in their daily work that he cannot know. Because of this, he says he has to stay sharp and make sure he analyzes every suggestion seriously.
Although he is now older and partially retired, he told me about his typical workdays before retirement. He would start his morning with meetings. These meetings were with the head of each department such as service, sales, and management. These meetings were usually just an update of daily operations. He would make sure everything was running smoothly and everyone knew the expectations for their department that month. He always gave each department goals. After the meetings, he would do that day’s task. This could entail anything from reviewing financial information to calling the manufacturer to get more cars. After that, he would talk to employees. As mentioned in the skills section, he believes that his job is more about people skills. He wanted to make sure all his employees were happy and felt at home. To finish off the day he would review the day’s sales and service records. He always liked to know exactly how many cars were sold that day and how many cars were serviced. Minneman believes that if you do not know everything that is going on at your business you stand at the possibility of losing your business.
Lastly, I asked him what advice he would give to someone trying to get into his field. He blatantly told me to take any job at a dealership. He said that the car industry is constantly changing. Employees in this field change jobs often. Because of this, there are tremendous opportunities for advancement within a company. An entry-level job can quickly lead to an opportunity for advancement. He also told me that I should try to work in a variety of departments in a dealership so that I understand service, parts, and sales. If I hope to own my own dealership someday, I need to start investing now. I learned that getting a franchise from a major car company can be difficult and competitive. He said having a lot of capital helps a franchise to take you seriously.
Overall, the interview was very informative and surprising for me. His job is very different from what I expected. However, I was even more interested and excited about joining this field after my interview. The care industry is fascinating. Learning about the daily operations and skills required, I believe this would be a great career choice for me. I am very thankful for this opportunity to interview Mr. Gary Minneman and learn more about the car industry.

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