Chris Montgomery | Automotive Technology | SIU

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Chris Montgomery

Company: American Honda Motor Co.

Position: Market Quality Engineer/Campaign Specialist

What do you love the most about the Automotive Technology Program at SIU?

I love the dedication and expertise that the professors provided on a consistent day to day basis is what I love most about this program.  My instructors, as well as the entire administration, were devoted in the advancement of my education and future success. Their assertiveness in making sure that myself and fellow peers understood the concepts of the various areas we were studying and researching were important to them and it is something I will never forget.

How has the Automotive Technology Program prepared you for what you do? 

Having now worked in the Automotive Industry for some time, I can reference back and see that SIU Automotive Technology is progressive in evolving to the ever changing technology of today’s vehicles. This program helped teach me how to critically think in order to solve problems, not only from a technical standpoint, but from an overall professional and business standpoint as well.  Part of the reason I received my current job was due to the strong reputation SIU’s Automotive Program had with Honda.

Give us a snap shot of what you do everyday. 

My permanent position is as a Campaign Specialist for American Honda Motor Company’s Parts & Service Division, but I am currently on assignment working as a Market Quality Engineer for Honda of America Manufacturing.  During my assignment, I am responsible for resolving market concerns relating to Chassis related issues on Honda & Acura vehicles. These market issues are captured through warranty claims received from dealerships for customer owned vehicles or through pre-production testing of vehicles before they are released for sale.  Another goal while I am on site at the factory’s Market Quality Division is to also help evolve the communication between the Sales, Manufacturing, and Design sides of Honda business relating to overall quality of our products. During my more permanent role as a Campaign Specialist for American Honda, I am responsible for working with Engineering and Suppliers to procure high quality service parts to support Safety Recalls and other various campaigns. This support of Campaigns and also Technical Service Bulletins stretches across Honda & Acura’s entire product line of vehicles, motorcycles, power equipment and other products to ensure we have the best quality parts available for dealerships to repair the products. I truly love what I do and Honda allows its employees to embrace and carry out constant innovation and implementation with its processes and products.

Any advice for current and future students?

Set goals and stay focused on what you would like to accomplish with the degree you earn from this distinguished program.  No one is incapable of working in their desired trade or company if you put in the dedication. There is a lot of pride within any automotive company and those companies want to see your enthusiasm to excel and provide something positive and different to their organizations.  Keep a binder with some of your technical writings, research papers, involvements and other things that you can share with employers when interviewing.  This can be appealing to the person interviewing you, and will help you stand out from others.  And of course, try to gain experience early on thru internships, externships, co-ops, or a part time job at a dealership which is a valuable way to learn various facets of an automotive business.