Darcy Hudak: Open Road Passion
Wednesday, February 22nd, 2023
NWP Instructor Darcy Hudak
Darcy Hudak wasn’t always happy and passionate about his career. Before becoming a Motorcycle Mechanic and Instructor at Northwestern Polytechnic (NWP), he was working at a job which was negatively impacting his mental health.
Riding his motorcycle during that time was one of the few things that kept him going every day.
One evening while watching television with his wife, a Motorcycle Mechanic Institute commercial caught Darcy’s attention with its ‘the passion of the trade” tagline. Darcy added that the commercial kept specifically using a line that his grandfather used to say, “if you do something you love, you'll never work a day in your life”. Darcy felt that this was his sign to change his life and applied to the Motorcycle Mechanic Technician program at NWP Fairview.
Darcy went to work at Gaudin’s Honda in Beaverlodge for five years, before applying for a job at Mighty Peace Harley-Davidson® in Grande Prairie. While working there, his manager sent him to take Harley-Davidson® factory training at NWP and he was able to finish all five levels and become certified as a Master Service Technician and Journeymen.
“I fell in love with Harley-Davidson,” said Darcy. “Harley-Davidson is all about the passion of riding and the passion of the industry. I was already burning with passion for motorcycles, but Harley-Davidson really ignited in me to want to share it with people”.
While at Might Peace Harley-Davidson®, Darcy had the opportunity to take on an apprentice and realized he enjoyed teaching and mentoring.
“I would get a little choked up because he was unbelievably passionate about the work that he was learning and doing,” said Darcy reflecting on his first apprentice. “If I could have experienced that myself, sooner, my life would have ended up different. That’s when I decided that I wanted to become an instructor.”
When a position came up to teach the program at NWP, Darcy jumped on the opportunity.
Darcy’s experience of getting up to go to work is now completely different. He sets an alarm to remind him to go home at the end of the day instead of dreading his morning alarm. He added that if you see him around campus he is almost always whistling and “bouncing with happiness”.
“If 13 years ago, you would have told me that I could be this happy with my life. I wouldn't have believed you.”
He explained that one of his favourite things about instructing is being able to see that moment when a student connects with a concept they have been struggling with.
“Nothing makes me happier than to stop and talk to somebody about getting into the program. I get chills from watching the students get an engine started for the first time,” said Darcy. “If I can save one person, the way this program saved me, then I'm in the right place.”
Darcy explained that completing the Motorcycle Mechanic or Harley-Davidson® program at NWP can open careers in many areas of the industry. Alumni have gone to work in multi-line shops, as parts technicians, use this program to complement other education, or simply as a retirement plan.
When asked if he had any advice for people nervous about following their passions he said, “It's the fear of failure holding them back. If you don't try, you're going to fail every time, you have to take those chances to move forward.”
Interested in learning more about NWP’s Motorcycle Technician or Harley-Davidson® Technician program? Visit NWP.me/Motorcycle