Building an aftermarket career by building connections: Spotlight on Guy-Olivier Potvin
The thing you notice most in Guy-Olivier’s spotlight are the number of times he mentions the help and support he got from others in the industry. He understands the value of having industry mentors and isn’t shy about thanking them. And although he’s still relatively new to the Young Professionals in the Aftermarket (YPA) Committee, he’s already looking ahead at being a mentor to the next generation.
Years in the automotive aftermarket industry: 7
How long have you worked in the automotive industry? How many of those years are in the automotive aftermarket?
My journey in the automotive industry began in 2016 when I had my first job within Groupe Park Avenue as a lot person. From there, I was given exposure to numerous roles within the retail sector. Since my graduation in 2020, I have been dedicated full-time to being an entrepreneur in both the Dealership and Aftermarket sectors.
Did you know you wanted to work in the automotive aftermarket?
I did! In fact, on my first day in the aftermarket course with Professor John Jackson in 2015, I had exclaimed that I wanted to pursue a career in Aftermarket parts manufacturing (I had my eyes set on KW Suspension at the time). As I gained experience in retail, it was important for me to keep an eye on the dynamics and changes in the aftermarket after my professor ignited my understanding of that sector and its importance in North America. This happened at the AIA Canada’s Student Aftermarket Day where I was immediately influenced by the strong leaders present that day and the YPA Committee.
Have you had an industry mentor? If so, who and why?
There have been many mentors throughout my education and internships that made a huge difference in my development and I am eternally grateful for (special mention to Benoit Perrault, Norman John Hébert and Claudia Barbeau). Specifically, in the aftermarket, my Professor John Jackson was one of those who had a great impact on me. It is important that I include Jean-François Champagne for always making time for my questions and checking-in with my progression throughout my time at the ABSC!
What does your participation in the YPA Committee mean to you?
Since my involvement is still very early, my participation is more so geared towards listening and absorbing information so that I can execute on the areas I have value. For now, simply speaking about the YPA Committee and the aftermarket industry to young people looking for alternatives to more traditional education is the place I am leaning in to!
What advice would you give someone either starting in the industry or looking to transition into the industry?
I would encourage anyone starting to keep their vision as wide as they can to absorb the variety and intricacies of the chosen sector. I feel like I have still only scratched the surface and seek to learn more about them daily. Finally, the best time to start in our sector is yesterday. Get involved today!
Get to know Guy-Olivier better
Make & model of your first car?
2001 C240 Classic
What is the best professional development book you’ve ever read?
The New Psychology of Winning, The Compound Effect and Getting Things Done.
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About the Young Professionals in the Aftermarket
Young Professionals in the Aftermarket (YPA) is an Automotive Industries Association of Canada (AIA Canada) committee comprising of young executives, of 45 years or younger, in the Canadian auto care sector. The Committee’s mandate is to ensure the future growth and prosperity of the aftermarket industry.