Interview with Mitch Ashley (2020)

In this interview we chat with Mitch Ashley, Support and Implementation Supervisor in the Technology Team at WesTrac Tomago.

Meet Mitch

1. What led you to a technology career at WesTrac?

I joined the Royal Australian Navy as an Electronics Technician working on various systems including communication, radar, sonar and combat/weapons.

Royal Australian Navy Radar Systems

I completed my Cert III Electrical/Electronic Engineering and went on to complete a Cert IV Engineering (Fluid Power) and finally my Diploma in Engineering – Advanced Trade.

All of the technical knowledge and leadership I learned during this period of my career were the perfect fit for my role within the WesTrac Technology Team. 

2. What were you doing before joining the Technology Team at WesTrac?

I worked at Hyden Engineering for a year after discharging from the Defence force.

3. How did you first hear about the technology job opening up at WesTrac?

I've always had an interest in heavy machinery. Advances in technology (telematics, autonomous machines, etc) made that industry more appealing. I applied for a technology-orientated role at the NSW WesTrac Institute and narrowly missed out on the opportunity. I persisted and interviewed for the Technology Team, finding a better fit there.

4. What is the most interesting part about working in a technology role at WesTrac?

I can't go past field testing the latest technology systems for Cat equipment in conjunction with global experts from Caterpillar.

Advanced Cat technology

While this task is extremely challenging, the reward of seeing a new technology solutions become available world-wide, after testing by our team, is unbeatable.

5. What's a challenge you've overcome in your role and how did you do it?

Our team is challenged by customers every day to provide safer and faster ways to do the work. A few minutes saved here and a couple of litres of diesel saved there can have a huge impact on a site's operating costs over time and that's where technology comes in. I feel privileged to work in a team with so much knowledge and experience.

Working on computers in the Technology Team at WesTrac

Together we overcome these challenges on a daily basis.

6. What is the environment and atmosphere like at WesTrac?

It's a fantastic work environment that encourages and rewards initiative and free thinking, while enabling you to grow in a technical and professional manner.

7. What are the best perks about working at WesTrac?

Being able to say that I work with one of the world's biggest brands, Caterpillar, and for one of the most highly respected organisations in Australia, WesTrac. Whenever I tell someone where I work the most common response I get is "are there any available positions?"; it's just a great feeling.

8. If you could give some advice to someone applying for a technology career, what would it be?

Don't be scared to put your name forward, even if you only meet some of the recruitment criteria. If you could add value in other areas, that's what will matter most. Explain the value you'll add in your cover letter and re-enforce this in your interview. The Technology Team is a diverse group of people with different knowledge bases; we need to be to ensure we can meet all our customer's needs.

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