Cars, Cards and Coffee event to introduce car enthusiasts to careers

Katerina Mihailidis, Intern Reporter

Interested in networking your automotive interests, making inspiring connections and talking cars? Bring yourself, your friends and your automobile to “Cars, Cards and Coffee” on Saturday, April 1. The event will be held 10 a.m.-2 p.m. in Oakland University’s P32 parking garage.

OU’s chapter of the Society of Automotive Analysts, in collaboration with the Motors Club of OU organized the event for the first time this year. Its purpose is to give students the opportunity to explore the automotive industry in a casual setting, bring their cars and share their interests with each other and automotive industry professionals, said Andrew Steffes, president of the SAA at OU.

According to the SAA at OU’s GrizzOrgs page, the group’s mission is to “bring together students and professionals that share a common interest in driving the automotive industry into the future.”

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, Faurecia, GM Financial International Operations and LMC Automotive, as well as Tier-2 companies that support automotive industries will attend the event, Steffes said.

“I’m a firm believer of networking,” Steffes said, adding that the event may open doors to internships or jobs for students.

He added that there’s a decent chance students will one day end up working in positions that are connected to the automotive industry in some way, whether they realize it or not.

Andrew Stupka, vice president of the SAA at OU, has contributed significantly in pulling the event together, according to Steffes.

Steffes explained that he teamed up with the organization’s former president, Joshua Yasoni, to start the OU chapter of the SAA in 2014 to provide students with a chance for dialogue and to increase their interest in the automotive industry. It is the SAA’s first-ever student chapter.

The SAA is an organization with over 500 members, Steffes said. According to the SAA’s website, the organization provides members with “direct and personal access to industry leaders, exclusive events across the broad scope of the automotive industry [and] networking and interaction with key influencers.”

The establishment of OU’s chapter also provides students, regardless of their majors, the chance to “share insights and expand their professional network,” according to the group’s GrizzOrgs page.

The page encourages analysts, manufacturing professionals, journalists, students, dealer representatives, marketing specialists, subject matter experts, MBAs, engineers and financial service providers “to get involved and make a difference by becoming active participants in the professional, civic and social aspects of the industry.”

Professionals are encouraged to bring their business cards to Cars, Cards and Coffee.

“If students have business cards, by all means, bring them,” Steffes said.

Participation in the event is free of cost, and no registration is required. Coffee and donuts will be provided.

For more information, contact [email protected].