AFTER 35+ YEARS IN THE INDUSTRY, DIESEL PRO TURNS TO TEACHING
Since 1982, Greg Osborne has honed his skills working with big trucks in the diesel industry.
This year, he joins the Bloomfield, New Jersey, Universal Technical Institute (UTI) campus as a diesel instructor. He says he's excited to share his experiences to help students begin their own careers.
“I just can't wait to get rolling and get in front of students and talk with them,” says Greg, a Pequannock, New Jersey, native. “I think it's going to be pretty cool.”
Back when Greg was a high school student, he planned on playing football in college. Despite attending William Paterson University to play, a lingering knee injury from high school cut his playing days short.
His father had suggested checking out technical schools, and Greg decided to enroll in the Teterboro School of Aeronautics.
The aviation job market wasn't thriving when Greg graduated, so he turned his work of doing afternoon shifts at BFI waste management into a full-time role as a mechanic. His career journey led him to work as a trucking company mechanic and shop manager for companies including Suburban Propane and Con-way Freight.
Greg, who has Master Technician Status in diesel with the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence, also had his own Mr. Handyman franchise, as well as working as a road breakdown coordinator for a trucking firm.
From his experience moving up the ranks in trucking to being a business owner and manager, Greg saw teaching as an opportunity to teach the next generation how to succeed in the in-demand trucking industry.
“The trucking industry is very large and is probably going to stay that way,” Greg says. “Every day that people consume and buy, it's all brought by truck. It's an industry that's going to be around for quite a while, and it provides well-paying jobs.”1
Greg's Recipe for Success
While Greg didn't always intend to work with trucks, he says his interest in the industry has lasted more than three decades because of the constant learning opportunities that are available.
“I like to learn and do new things,” Greg says. “Every week, you do something different. It's not always exactly the same, and the more you learn, the more things you can do.”
Greg says students at UTI will succeed in the program if they exemplify a professional attitude at school and in class. Greg says having a strong work ethic and commitment to excellence is what enabled him to consistently advance in his own career.
“Every place I worked, I rose up,” Greg says. “I wasn't just a mechanic. I was a manager, field manager or foreman. One of the keys is to show up on time every day, even 15 or 20 minutes early, at your tool box, ready to go. The way you get noticed is through your hard work and being conscientious.”
Students can put those principles into practice at UTI by making attendance and studying a priority, which can be attractive to future employers.
“Show up every day on time, study, pay attention, don't mess around, and you can't help but learn and be successful,” Greg says.
The UTI Difference
Besides getting to help the next generation of diesel techs learn the skills they need to grow their careers, Greg says he's looking forward to teaching at UTI because of how supportive the culture is among the professionals who work there.
Coming from Greg, who has a vast array of work experiences, his positive impression of the UTI culture is encouraging for students.
“The culture is much better than a lot of places in terms of how people treat you and act,” Greg says. “Some places struggle with culture and don't treat people fairly. UTI is a great place to work. It goes back to how important professionalism is. You should treat everyone like a professional and expect to be treated that way.”
Greg says graduates can look forward to plenty of opportunities in the diesel market once they've finished school. He says having a UTI education is undoubtedly valuable to employers.
“A lot of companies can't find quality mechanics right now. If Penske was hiring two people, and one person had a high school mechanics class, they're likely going to consider the graduate from UTI first,” Greg says. “They're so far advanced and have been exposed to so many different classes and different things in the industry. They already have a well-rounded education to get started."
Greg says students who attend the new Bloomfield campus can expect to have constant support in the classroom, especially from instructors like himself.
“Students can definitely come talk after class or whenever there's a break,” Greg says. “If they have questions and are unsure about something, I'm going to be there to help them. We're not just throwing them to the wolves. We want them to succeed.”To get information on the diesel and automotive programs offered at the new UTI campus in Bloomfield, visit online or call (800) 834-7308.