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Students To Share Conference Experience with Community

November 16, 2007

Loyalist College Automotive Students To Share SEMA Conference Experience with Community

As the first Canadian students to be invited for internships as part of the internationally renowned SEMA (Specialty Equipment Market Association) conference in Las Vegas, four Loyalist Automotive students have returned and are eager to share their experience with the community. On Monday, November 26th the public is invited to attend one of two presentations planned for 3:30 and 7:00 p.m. in the Wilkinson Lecture Theatre in the Kente building.

SEMA draws the industry’s brightest minds and hottest products and typically attracts more than 100,000 industry leaders from more than 100 countries. The SEMA Internship Program provided a valuable learning experience for the Loyalist students, giving them the opportunity to test their classroom knowledge in a real-world setting. They were placed with four companies and spent in-depth time with each during the course of the show.

“It was a pleasure to have the Loyalist College students and staff take part in the SEMA Internship Program, “ said Patricia Talaska-Benson, Director of Educational Services, SEMA. “The SEMA conference is the premier automotive trade show in the world, and by participating and being part of the event, interns are able to see what the $36.7 billion industry is all about. Combined with the SEMA Scholarship and our other year-round activities, we hope that students discover and learn about the many exciting and wonderful career opportunities available in this market.”

Burke Brodie, from the Automotive Service Technician program, was one of the four students who attended. “Being the first Canadian ambassadors to the SEMA conference was by far one of the most memorable experiences in my life. I came back with a renewed zest for the automotive industry and the opportunities available.”

“It definitely reinforced my love for the field. Just being in that environment was amazing,” added Liam DeCouto, another participant. “This trip made me realize how vast the automotive industry really is. I hope that other Loyalist students will have the same opportunity that I have had.”

“This show gave our students practical exposure to the automotive industry that we could never duplicate in any other way,” explained professor Dave Stewart. “They displayed nothing but passion and professionalism throughout the show. As interns they worked alongside industry leaders, participating in high-stakes negotiations, demonstrating product knowledge and allowing potential employers the opportunity to get to know them. I was very proud to be there with our students.”

For more information regarding the November 26th presentations, contact Dave Stewart at (613) 969-1913, ext. 2630 or Gerry Byrd at ext. 2431.

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Media Contact:  Marilyn Warren, Communications, Loyalist College, (613) 969-1913, ext. 2332; e-mail:  or Dave Stewart, Automotive, (613) 969-1913, ext. 2630