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Inspiring Women through the Job Shadow Program at the Canadian International AutoShow

Written by Rochelle Alquiza | February 2024

In the fast-paced realm of motorsport, I found myself at the forefront of an exhilarating opportunity—the Women In Motorsport Canada (WIMCanada) job shadow program. Recently, I got to dive into the ins and outs of the 2024 Canadian International AutoShow, tagging along with Eric Jahn, the auto show’s digital marketing coordinator. 

WIMCanada's dedication to empowering women in the industry is truly commendable, and this job shadow program is proof of its commitment to nurturing the growth of aspiring women. This job shadow opportunity marked another significant stride following the Indycar Arrow McLaren and Honda Indy Toronto job shadows experienced by other passionate women in the motorsport industry. 

Graduating soon with a bachelor’s degree in Marketing from Western University, this opportunity was a thrill for me! Rewinding to 2023, I attended the auto show for the first time as a spectator. Fast forward to the present, and I found myself back at the auto show, ready to absorb the industry intricacies with a fresh perspective. Tailored to connect me with industry experts and provide insights into the day-to-day activities of the auto show world, it was a pivotal moment in my journey toward a career in the industry.

A Day in the Life of a Digital Marketing Coordinator

The day kicked off by meeting Eric Jahn and shadowing his activities. From there, it was a deep dive into the realm of digital marketing, involving website updates, sifting through a substantial archive of photos captured the day prior, and tackling the morning email routine—a typical start for a digital marketing coordinator. 

I then gained some insights into the remarkable performance of the auto show; not just in the growth of attendance, but also the phenomenal engagement across their website and various social media platforms. It wasn't just about the stunning cars on display; the auto show demonstrated its excellence in digital communications, engaging attendees through various online channels.

Walking through the auto show, I witnessed firsthand the meticulous attention to detail in curating content for their social media platforms. The excitement continued as we walked among the impressive display of cars, getting a closer look while Eric captured some captivating content. One standout moment was meeting Ontario Provincial Police Officer Kerri Schmidt, assisting in setting up his livestream to a potential audience of 95K Instagram followers!

Experiencing WIMSim: WIMCanada’s Racing Simulator

Post-shadow, the adventure continued with a visit to the WIMCanada booth, where I had the opportunity to explore the WIMSim racing simulator. The racing simulator, crafted exclusively for women in collaboration with Advanced SimRacing and D-BOX, offered a realistic and incredibly fun experience!

Setting up was a breeze, and once I hit the track, the realism was striking—it felt like I was in the driver's seat at an actual racetrack. The racing simulator caters to all skill levels, whether you're a seasoned pro or a complete beginner. For someone new to racing like me, the WIMSim provided a welcoming starting point.

In essence, it was a day of both enjoyment and education, providing insights into digital and events marketing. Key takeaways? Delving into the intricacies of digital marketing politics, dynamic nature of event marketing, where spontaneity and creativity flow seamlessly amidst a bustling environment, and realizing the interconnected strategies of the motorsport and auto show industries.

A big thank you to Eric and the Canadian International AutoShow for the job shadow opportunity. Special appreciation to Leanne, Chris, and Erin from WIMCanada for making this happen, and to Phil Nelles from Motorsport Industry Association Canada for coordinating the day.

Inspired Towards a Career in Motorsport

After such an immersive experience and a firsthand look behind the scenes at the biggest auto show in Canada, the allure of a career in automotive and motorsport is undeniable. Looking ahead, WIMCanada envisions creating more avenues to advance careers for dedicated women interested in motorsport. This includes presenting more programs like this, offering world-class racing simulator packages, and maintaining a prominent presence at motorsport events across Canada. The road ahead is exciting, and we are steadfast in our commitment to paving the way for passionate women to thrive in the motorsport industry.

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