Kaitlyn Schneider is the first woman to take a job as a technician at the Lakeside Marina in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. She won the job after attending the Mercury-sponsored Marine Mechanics Institute in Orlando, Florida. Here’s what she has to say about her career choice.
When did you attend Marine Mechanics Institute?
I went there from August 2013 to August 2014, one year. I started at Lakeside Marina in September 2014.
Were you the only woman at the institute, or were there others enrolled?
There were two other women in my class and two others in different classes. I was the youngest girl and close to the youngest student there.
Did you grow up on the water?
Yes, I spent every summer weekend in Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin. I loved every minute of it. I found it relaxing and peaceful, with the cruises across the bay and the lake over to Michigan. I also took multiple trips to the Upper Peninsula to all the little towns and beaches.
What drew you to a career in working on boats?
I always thought of being a naval architect, but after getting into working on automotive engines, I made the leap over to the marine side after hearing a presentation by a rep from Marine Mechanics Institute.
What’s a typical problem with today’s marine engines?
Mostly, it’s people forgetting to do maintenance, but nothing else that consistent. It’s something different every time.
Do you like to get out on boats in your free time?
Yes, I hope to get out more this summer. Maybe I’ll explore Lake Winnebago.
Do all your friends ask you to fix their boats for free now?
Actually, most of my friends don’t have boats yet, so I’m in the clear there.