Jocelyn Rivera, East Coast Lead Automotive Inspector for Beepi

Editor’s Note:  Jocelyn Rivera is a trailblazer, and I don’t say that lightly.  In an overwhelmingly male-dominated industry, she has absolutely shined, not only succeeding but coming out on top.  In the process, she has paved the way for other women to take the road less traveled, following in her footsteps and also learning from her wealth of knowledge that was traditionally found from the voice of a man.  When I first heard her story I thought “okay…this will be a first”, and indeed it is.  Although my hope, and I know Jocelyn’s hope, is that this won’t be for long, and we’ll continue to see more and more women driving – and thriving - in the auto industry.

Jocelyn Rivera leads a team of inspectors across Beepi’s East Coast operations, including New York, Washington DC, Tampa and Miami / Photo Courtesy Beepi.

Jocelyn Rivera leads a team of inspectors across Beepi’s East Coast operations, including New York, Washington DC, Tampa and Miami / Photo Courtesy Beepi.

{in the driver’s seat}

Jocelyn Rivera is the East Coast Lead Automotive Inspector for Beepi, which is a peer-to-peer marketplace for buying and selling used cars.

When you think about her role, managing a team of 10 men in this massively male dominated industry,  you start to realize the type of confidence, education and determination a woman must need in order to take on this responsibility.

 The good thing?  Jocelyn has what it takes.  Even more, Jocelyn has proved herself in so many ways, so many times, that many of her male counterparts consider her their personal mentor, not the other way around.

Jocelyn with her daughter / Photo courtesy Jocelyn Rivera

Jocelyn with her daughter / Photo courtesy Jocelyn Rivera

{like father like daughter}

From a young age, Jocelyn has been fascinated with the mechanics of a car, thanks in large part to her father.

“My father was in the Coast Guard when I was a child, and when he’d come home one of the things we’d do together is work on this old GMC truck.  He’d ask me to pass the socket and wrench, and over time allowed me to actually start working on the truck itself.”

Her dad pushed her to pursue a long-term career in the automotive industry and Jocelyn agreed, enrolling in mechanic’s school after college which would, as she puts it, allow her to be taken seriously in the shop.

“I was the only female in my class, and actually one of the first female graduates in ten years.”

Jocelyn performing a comprehensive 240-point inspection, which certifies Beepi Cars / Photo Courtesy Beepi.

Jocelyn performing a comprehensive 240-point inspection, which certifies Beepi Cars / Photo Courtesy Beepi.

{top of her class}

Jocelyn graduated with the top GPA in her entire class, but the road wasn’t easy.

“I was motivated because I felt like I had something to prove, that not only did I deserve to be there alongside the men, but I could fix a car as well as they could too.”

She also received more ASE Certifications, or “National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence” Certifications, faster than any other man in her class.

“It was a great moment for me, being in a class of 25 men and coming out on top!”

 Immediately, Jocelyn landed roles in various automotive shops throughout the Florida area.  She worked as a commercial parts pro at Advanced Auto Parts, DriveTime (a huge used car dealership), Sears, and with a fellow female auto-inspector who ran her own shop.

“For about a year and a half, we ended up running a bunch of women’s car care clinics when we weren’t doing auto repairs.  Women would sign up to come and learn about the mechanics of a car; where the oil is located, where the brakes are, how the tires wear, etc.”

Jocelyn says that right off the bat, women were excited about the clinic because it was “women teaching women” about something that they didn’t already know about, but should.

Jocelyn and her team of inspectors hand-deliver every Beepi car - with a bow on it / Photo Courtesy Beepi.

Jocelyn and her team of inspectors hand-deliver every Beepi car - with a bow on it / Photo Courtesy Beepi.

{accelerated drive}

About a year ago, Jocelyn went through several rounds of interviews to land an automotive inspector role at Beepi, which as described earlier is a peer-to-peer marketplace for buying and selling used cars.  Cars sold through Beepi have gone through rigorous testing, allowing the buyer to know what they’re getting and also avoid the “cringe-factor” of dealing with inviting a stranger to your home or haggling with a dealer.

“I perform a 240 point, 2-hour inspection of every car I look at that’s sold to make sure it’s worthy of being sold through Beepi.”

Within a few months, Jocelyn was promoted to East Coast Lead Automotive Inspector, covering several east coast territories while managing a team of 10 inspectors…all of whom are male.

I read a lot of motivational books because I always want to be a better leader than I am now.  When meeting a new team member I immediately develop a level of trust and maintain that trust with constant communication so everyone knows that we’re supporting one another.”

Jocelyn with the Beepi team / Photo courtesy Beepi

Jocelyn with the Beepi team / Photo courtesy Beepi

{in the driver’s seat}

In the past year since starting at Beepi, Jocelyn has served as a mentor to several men who admire her depth of knowledge and passion at work. 

Since her promotion, Jocelyn has also launched and developed a safety initiative program at Beepi, responsible for ensuring safe practices while on the job and defensive driving techniques while on the road. Her idea has flourished, with every Beepi warehouse nationwide adopting and practicing the initiatives in their own regional offices.

While Jocelyn has completely thrived in this predominantly male industry, she’ll probably tell you that he finest accomplishment, however, is her 12-year-old daughter, who likes to brag to her friends that her mom works on cars…and can “fix an engine faster than their dad can!”

Jocelyn with her daughter, also named Jocelyn, then age 10.  Courtesy of Jocelyn Rivera.

Jocelyn with her daughter, also named Jocelyn, then age 10.  Courtesy of Jocelyn Rivera.

{DRIVEN q&a}

You’ve had quite a few women who have stopped you on the job inspired by your path to becoming so successful in a male dominated industry.  What have you told them about your journey?

“I have told them about that my journey is not without its ups and downs. That some days I would wake up and wonder why I decided to take this path. And my answer to them every time is because I want to be different. I want to show women all over that just because it is a male dominated field it doesn’t mean you can’t enter that world and succeed.”

What do you think makes a great leader, particularly when you’re the minority?

“I believe what makes me a great leader is my persistent need to be better than I was yesterday. Being the minority gives me more drive and the desire to prove to everyone around me that with hard work anything is possible. It also helps me be more empathetic with my team because I care about what is going on with them behind the scenes. After all, I had to deal with a lot of criticism and internal struggles throughout my career to get where I am now.”

Have there ever been any moments on the job where you’ve felt intimidated?

“When I first started in the automotive industry I was extremely intimidated. I mean here I was a 22-year-old woman walking into a shop filled with veteran technicians with 15+ years. Everyone had their opinions on how I should do things, even telling me I didn’t belong. The great thing about these moments it that they helped me become a stronger version of myself.”

What’s your best advice for a woman who is buying or selling a car?

“My first piece of advice is that if it doesn’t feel right, walk away. The dealership selling the car should not be forcing you or using scare tactics for you to purchase a vehicle. The time you spend with them should be more about getting to know you and what your needs are in a vehicle. My second piece of advice is know the price range the vehicle is actually worth. It is a fact that women get charged more than men.”

If you were to do anything in your career over again, what would it be?

“This is a great question. I think the only thing I would do differently is encouraging more women to make the decision to enter the automotive world. I feel consumers can benefit tremendously from having more women inspect and repair their vehicles because of our relentless pursuit of perfection. “

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?

“By far the best advice I received was my Dad telling me never to let anyone tell me what I am not capable of. He inspired me to be better each day.”

To learn more about buying a selling a used car through Beepi, click here!

Next week, meet Crystal.  She's 25-year-old second-generation immigrant that launched a catering business alongside her mother.  Not only that, her essay on entrepreneurship from such a young age landed her admission into Harvard.  Her amazing journey is up next, on DRIVEN for Women!

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