How This Vehicle Estimator Followed Her Intuition to Find Her Happy

Like many, Roya Khodabandehloo didn’t know what she wanted to do after graduating high school, so she decided to test the waters in college and explore avenues. She started first with studying sociology before picking up chemistry and math, and then finally deciding on interior design.

Roya picked up a part-time job as a receptionist at an auto body shop to help support herself while she studied, but it wasn’t long until she realized that she was already where she wanted to be.

“It was a pretty big decision deciding not to go back to school.… I was doing interior design, but at the same time it didn’t feel wrong, it felt right and I followed my intuition, and I’m happy I did.”

A big part of Roya’s satisfaction came from the opportunities her boss has afforded her. After expressing her interest in staying at the body shop, she was given the option to take courses to move ahead in the business as a vehicle estimator.

“He really does inspire me. From the day I started, anything that I wanted to, just to make changes and learn more, there’s no stop on what you want to do.”

Roya’s not the typical vehicle estimator you’d expect to see working in an automotive shop. First of all, she’s the only woman you’ll find at her shop, but she hasn’t compromised who she is to blend in with the other guys. Roya has earned respect among her peers, and has seen herself grow to become knowledgeable within the field.

While some customers are initially surprised to see Roya assisting in the repair of their vehicle, working with them has become Roya’s favourite aspect of the job. Being able to assist people in repairing their damaged vehicle, as well as the diversity of getting to meet and deal with new people and new problems that need to be solved, is what keeps Roya within the industry.

“I wish other women would get into this field because it’s a great job to have, and it’s something that women stay away from … it’s a great environment to work in.”

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