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MMI Grad Liana Acevedo Continues to Find Success in Her Career

Apr 30, 2021 ·
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When we last spoke with MMI grad Liana Acevedo, she was working as a motorcycle technician at one of the largest dealerships on the East Coast (read her story here), but she’s made big career moves since then.

In July 2020, Liana transitioned to a service manager position at Peak Equipment in South Plainfield, New Jersey. Despite the uncertainty of the pandemic, Liana has had a busy year of work and is excelling in her new role.

Keep reading to learn all about how Liana landed a service manager position at just 23 years old, and her tips for those looking to find success in the industry like she has.1

A New Opportunity

Liana has always been mechanically inclined. Her dad rode Harley-Davidson motorcycles, and she grew up watching Supercross. At a young age, she began riding and working on bikes herself, which eventually led her to train at Motorcycle Mechanics Institute (MMI) in Orlando, Florida.

After graduating from MMI in 2018, she worked in a dealership as a motorcycle technician. Her days were spent doing maintenance and repair on all kinds of makes and models — and she loved it. Her job always presented her with a new challenge, and no two days were ever the same.

Like any great technician, Liana has always been open to new opportunities that would help to expand her knowledge. When the pandemic happened, she began to look for other things that inspired her.

Liana’s uncle owns Peak Equipment, a company that rents and sells used heavy equipment. While heavy equipment wasn’t really her thing (or so she thought), Liana has always been inspired by the way her uncle built the company from the ground up.

Around this time, Peak Equipment began to really take off. Liana became interested in the business side of things, and when a position became available, she jumped at the opportunity.

Stepping Into a Management Role

While Liana’s experience and training has been focused around motorcycles, she’s been able to apply much of what she’s learned in her new position. In fact, she credits her education from MMI for giving her the foundation of knowledge she needed to succeed.

“I always felt like with my experience at MMI, I could work on anything,” Liana says. “After I graduated, I never felt limited to just motorcycles.”6

As service manager, Liana manages all of the equipment the company rents out. This involves making sure the equipment is regularly serviced and ready to go at all times. When the equipment is returned, it’s her job to check for damage and determine whether any repairs need to be made. Keeping the equipment in tip-top shape is essential to the business, so her role is critical to Peak Equipment’s success.

Similar to her previous job as a technician, Liana enjoys the variety that comes with her day-to-day work. “The number of different machines that I get to work on and drive is the best part,” she shares. “It’s really exciting.”

Skills You Can Take Anywhere

You might be wondering how Liana learned the ins and outs of so many types of equipment in such a short amount of time. After all, there’s a big difference between a Harley-Davidson motorcycle and a Caterpillar excavator!

According to Liana, the two have more in common than you might think. Once you learn the foundation of engines and how they work, this knowledge can be applied to many types of machinery, big and small.

“I feel like I had a lot of background,” Liana shares. She thought the industries would be completely different, but she’s found that her MMI education and experience working at the motorcycle dealership can be applied to what she’s doing now — she’s just working with larger equipment.

“These new engines and bigger machines aren’t really that foreign to me because of everything I learned at MMI,” she says.

In addition to the hands-on courses Liana took at MMI, she’s become especially grateful for the more business-oriented courses. She was able to learn about what goes on behind the scenes in a company, like managing equipment, calculating costs, and making profit — which are all things she has to consider in her job now.

“I use what I learned at MMI all the time,” she shares.

Pushing Past the Stereotype

Being a female in the trades can be a rare occurrence. But thanks to leaders like Liana, stereotypes about women in these industries are starting to become a thing of the past.

Liana has faced her fair share of challenges being a female in the industry, but according to her, it’s pushed her to become even better at what she does. She always stays on top of her game and ensures she knows what she’s talking about, which has helped her gain respect from others — especially now as a female in a management position.

“As long as I present myself in a way that’s very knowledgeable, others are more open to listening and wanting to follow,” she says.

A Motorcycle Enthusiast at Heart

Much of Liana’s time is now spent around heavy equipment, but that doesn’t mean she’s left motorcycles behind!

Liana has continued to ride and race motorcycles just as much as she did before. She also spends plenty of time in the garage working on bikes, whether it be her own for racing or fixing up bikes for family members who also enjoy riding.

“Motorcycles are always going to be my life. I’m always going to work on them,” Liana says.

Between riding, racing, wrenching and working her full-time job, it’s safe to say Liana stays pretty busy. It can be challenging to balance it all — but according to her, when you care about something, you make time for it. “It’s what I love to do,” she says.

Words of Advice

Liana’s commitment, drive and willingness to give 100% to everything she does has taken her a long way in her career. Her advice to those considering a path similar to hers is to pursue your passion and get the hands-on training you need to achieve your goals.

“If I didn’t know all aspects of an engine, I don’t feel like I could confidently talk about it with people,” she says. Understanding the inner workings of an engine can open doors in many different industries, not just motorcycles.

For those looking to make a career change like Liana, her advice is to follow your heart and go for it. If an opportunity presents itself, you’ll never know how great it could be if you don’t give it a shot. You might be surprised by how naturally it comes to you!

What’s Next for Liana?

As you can see, there’s no stopping Liana when it comes to pursuing her career ambitions. She hopes to continue taking Peak Equipment to new heights, while also growing as a person and a professional.

In the future, she would love to start a company of her own. She would also like to one day host classes for women on basic mechanics to help them get started in the industry. Based on what we’ve seen, she’s well on her way to making these dreams a reality.

In her spare time, Liana continues to run her two Instagram accounts, which she started to create a community to empower females in the trades! To follow along, be sure to check out @thegirlswhowrench and @thegirlswhoride.

Overall, Liana’s story is a testament to how far hard work, dedication and passion can take you in this industry. We look forward to following her success in the years to come!

If you’re interested in pursuing a career like Liana’s, consider training at Motorcycle Mechanics Institute. MMI has campuses in Orlando, Florida, and Phoenix, Arizona, and classes start every six weeks. To learn more, request information today.

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By submitting this form, I agree that Universal Technical Institute, Inc., Custom Training Group, Inc., and their representatives may email, call, and / or text me with marketing messages about educational programs and services, as well as for school - related communications, at any phone number I provide, including a wireless number, using prerecorded calls or automated technology. I understand that my consent is not required to apply, enroll or make any purchase.

By submitting this form, I further understand and agree that all information provided is subject to UTI's Privacy Policy available at uti.edu/privacy-policy

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