(Editor’s Note: Following the publication of this interview Sheila was hired by Chris King Precision Components here in Portland. Congratulations, Sheila, and congratulations, Chris King. Everybody wins.)
Our Introduction to Bicycle Maintenance for Women class in Portland is just a couple of weeks away. There are a couple of coveted spots still available, but they are sure to go fast.
In the run-up to this last women-only class of the year, we will be presenting a series of profiles on UBI alumnae. Some are recent graduates, while others have been working in the field for several years. The bike industry is continuing to mature, and the inclusion of more women is a huge part of this evolution. We hope you enjoy these profiles.
I worked in a Co-op in Eugene for a summer as a bike messenger/ volunteer coordinator. This was the beginning of the end for me.
How did UBI prepare you for a job in the industry?
UBI was amazing. The instructors are friendly and extremely knowledgeable. Before UBI the bike industry always seemed a little intimidating. Now I have the confidence and the skills to really feel like I belong.
What did you enjoy most about your experience?
Everything! The pace was great and the fact that you could stay late on certain nights (with a teacher still available) and practice anything you didn’t feel 100% on was awesome. The student teacher ratio was perfect and there was always someone available to answer questions. The balance between lecture and hands-on, so you can really commit the lessons to memory. Oh, and the abundance of puns was pretty great too!
Would you recommend UBI to a woman planning on pursuing a career in the bike industry?
Definitely! You’ll learn a lot, gain confidence in your skills, and at the end of it all have an amazing school on your resume. UBI is a great way to break into the industry.