“Garber Made Me a Better Person”: Mikayla Laux’s Story

Mikayla Laux knows cars. She always has, to be honest.

“I remember going to private school in eighth grade, and I could already rattle off car names so easily,” she said. “I used to have that same ‘ole battle of ‘Chevy is better than Ford’ with the boys in my class.”

When a brand-new Chevrolet Silverado captured Mikayla’s attention in a parking lot—and she couldn’t help but capture it on her cell phone camera—she realized her interest in cars was next level.

“I was a freshman in high school, and Chevy had just redesigned the Silverado,” Mikayla explained. “I saw the new version of the Silverado in a parking lot, and I took a video of it on my phone. The owners of the truck saw me taking a video, and I was like, ‘Oh my gosh, I look so stupid,’ but they were like, ‘No, no, no, you’re not stupid. That’s so cool that you’re so into automotive.’”

What started as a hobby has grown into a passion – and now? A career path.

Hailing from the St. Charles and Hemlock area in Michigan, Mikayla is currently a sophomore at Northwood University pursuing a degree in Automotive Management and Marketing.

The college program helped her realize she’s not the only one who shares her passion for cars.

“Knowing cars has always comes easily, but I thought it was just a weird memorization thing I could do,” she said. “But then I came to Northwood and joined clubs like the Auto Club, and I realized there are other people like me. I’m not the only one who knows cars.”

That yearning to know cars is what led her right to the doors of Garber as an intern this past summer.

Finding Her Path

In high school, Mikayla originally considered pursuing a career in biology to become a doctor.

Then she took a tour at Northwood University in Midland, Michigan—and everything changed.

“I sat at the Automotive table, and I realized I wasn’t the only girl interested in cars,” she said. “Hearing about students’ internships with Toyota and other places and how they were going to different dealerships with reps…I was like, ‘This is what I want to do.’”

While Mikayla knew a lot about cars, she didn’t know a ton about Garber. She did, however, know several family friends who worked for the company. Those connections helped her get her foot in the door to work as a part-time employee at RightWay Auto Sales, which is under the Garber umbrella.

It was Mikayla’s professor that steered her towards Garber’s internship program.

“I was working for RightWay, but I didn’t know about the internships at Garber,” Mikayla explained. “My professor tipped me off because he buys his cars at Garber. He said, ‘You should look at their internship program.’”

So she did. She also applied to intern at General Motors.

Ultimately, Mikayla determined that Garber was a better fit.

“I chose to intern at Garber because it was convenient; I already worked there, and I also already knew the company,” she said. “Plus it’s a paid internship, which is nice.”

Mikayla began her internship in May 2023, working Mondays through Fridays through August 18, 2023. The internship quickly became a life-changing experience that she would never forget.

“Garber Has Made Me a Better Person”

Before Mikayla worked at RightWay and interned at Garber, she considering quitting the automotive industry all together.

Life had thrown challenges her way – and she wasn’t sure which direction to take. Her grandma had passed away due to leukemia. Mikayla felt lost.

“The last part of 2022 was hard,” Mikayla said. “I was laid off as a receptionist at a local dealership, and I bawled. I thought, ‘I shouldn’t go into automotive.’”

She said her experience at Garber helped her change and grow, cementing her path and passion in the automotive industry.

“Garber made me a better person because it made me grow up,” she said. “I learned how to be more professional.”

Now back to her studies at Northwood University, Mikayla said she is already applying the lessons she learned at Garber to her schoolwork.

“I am three days in at school and I’ve already referenced knowledge I learned at my internship and used it in the classroom,” she said. “We had to do a big project in my service class where we had to explain what we’d do if the service center was failing, and I pulled from some of the knowledge that I learned from Garber and what they do to support their customers.”

And while her internship is over, Mikayla’s experience at Garber is not done yet. In fact, it’s just starting. She is currently employed with the company working for the Accounts Receivable team.

She said she’s grateful for her internship experience.

“If the girl I was a year ago would see me today, she’d be blown out of the water,” Mikayla said. “Garber has truly given me the real-world experience that I can use in the classroom and after I graduate.”

Fast Five

Fave food? Anything pasta: Lasagna, baked ziti, spaghetti.

First job? I worked at an apple orchard in Freeland.

Favorite memory from Garber? Being in Used Car. I would make cookies for every department as a thank you at the end of the week the Used Car guys would be like, “You can’t come in if you don’t have cookies.” It was fun.

Three words to describe Garber: welcoming, fun, inclusive

Piece of advice for future interns? Go in with an open mind. I did not know if I wanted to do service, body shop and parts. I thought, “I won’t like this, why am I even here?” But it changed my perspective to experience it firsthand.

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Lindsay Henry

Lindsay Henry

Lindsay is the Digital Communications Manager for Garber Automotive Group.

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