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Mascenic

Jump-starting a career

Mascenic automotive class paved way to dream job with Porsche

Kevin Gedenberg grew up in Greenville, watching his father, Peter Gedenberg, race at the Monadnock Speedway, and fell in love with cars. It started a lifelong obsession with cars that would lead him to his current dream job as a service technician with a Porsche dealership in Connecticut.

“That fueled my fire,” Gedenberg said of his father’s early racing career, with a laugh in a phone interview Sunday afternoon. “There are pictures of me as a toddler holding a wrench.”

By the time Gedenberg was 13, he knew he wanted to make working with cars a lifetime endeavor. And any lingering doubts he may have had were washed away when he joined Mascenic Regional High School’s automotive program. It took what had always been a hobby of his and gave him the skills to make mechanics a career, he said.

“The knowledge I got from that class was amazing. It really set me up for where I am now,” said Gedenberg, who graduated from Mascenic in 2011. “It put me on the right path.”

The skills he acquired at Mascenic’s auto program helped push him to the top of the class when he enrolled at Universal Technical Institute in Norwood, Mass. And when Gedenberg entered the institute, he had his eye on the ultimate prize: an elite Porsche Apprenticeship Training Program given to a small number of the top graduates every year. Since only the best get in, Gedenburg said, he set out to be the best. That meant perfect attendance, and a 4.0 grade point average, and generally a lot of hard work.

“I didn’t want to give them any excuse not to accept me,” he said.

By the time Gedenberg graduated, he was on the list of 24 graduates from multiple UTI campuses across the country to make the cut for the program. And all of his hard work paid off almost immediately, he said. Before he even finished the Porsche training program , Gedenberg had interviews lined up at multiple dealerships, and it was just a matter of picking the best fit for him. Eventually, he settled on the Porsche dealership in Wallingford, Conn.

“There were seven different dealers that wanted me to come work for them,” he recalled. “I went to three dealerships to interview and did several others by phone. This seemed to be the best fit, in terms of having the best shop equipment, and being in the area I wanted to be in.”

With his job settled, Gedenberg simply had to finish the Porsche program, and then get right to work. Just a little more than a week after finishing his apprenticeship, he was working as a service technician at the Porsche dealership, making repairs and doing tune-ups on four to seven cars in a day, talking to customers and fixing some of the most high-end cars on the road.

“The day-to-day experience has been a dream come true,” he said. “I get to work on these cars, and give it back in better condition than they gave it to me. It’s very surreal. I can’t believe I’m actually working here. I love what I do, and there’s not a lot of people that can say that.”

Gedenberg gave a lot of credit to the Mascenic Automotive Program and his instructor, Vince Fittante, for his success at UTI, and in his career.

“If you’re even considering it, take [the automotive classes],” Gedenberg advised those interested in an automotive career. “It leads you on a path where you can do whatever you want. It’s like anything, where you get out of it what you put in. If you put in 100 percent effort, you’re going to take away 100 percent of what the program can offer you. I would say, learn as much as you can, because it’s a privilege to have that program. I went to Mascenic because of that program, and it really helped me be where I am today.”

Ashley Saari can be reached at 924-7172 ext. 244 or asaari@ledgertranscript.com. She’s on Twitter at @AshleySaari.

Good article, Ashley.

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