Starting on a new career path can be daunting, especially when your chosen field requires certifications and licensing that you may not have yet. At Booster, we recognize that some of the best talent might yet be untapped, and we are committed to opening opportunities for anyone who feels they embody the Booster culture.
For unlicensed new hires, Booster offers a paid, in-house training program called CDL Academy, to help trainees gain the necessary certifications while training to work as an SP. The program is currently offered in California and Washington.
Brandon Arnold, a Lead Service Professional, started his journey with no prior CDL experience. Now, he leads and trains Service Professionals (SPs) across the nation. Here’s what he has to say about his driver journey, his time with the CDL Academy, and the opportunities he has found at Booster:
What has your journey at Booster looked like?
I began my work with Booster in July 2021 as a student in the CDL Academy and SP trainee. By that September, I had obtained my CDL and soon was offered the opportunity to work in the Washington, D.C. market as an intern supervisor. The following November, I began my position as a lead in the Orange County Market.
I still work as a lead and have trained SPs in several markets where I had the chance to get the market up and running, to implement the “Perfect Boost” spill prevention protocol, and provide guidance to new SPs.
In March of this year, I upgraded my CDL to a Class B and passed the test for removal of my airbrake restrictions through Booster. I have just completed Booster’s “Shifting Gears” program, a training path for aspiring supervisors.
Why were you attracted to Booster in the first place?
When I first learned about Booster, I had never driven a CDL, but I had worked with delivery services and driven box trucks. At the time, I was working in a warehouse. I enjoyed what I did, but I didn’t see the type of upward mobility that I was striving for. I knew the doors that a CDL license could open in the industry, but I also knew that a lot of the programs offered by different companies to obtain your CDL are predatory and costly.
When I heard about Booster’s CDL program, and the opportunity to train and be paid while earning your CDL, I jumped at the chance. Getting a CDL is rarely easy, and at that time it was even more difficult due to the pandemic, when truck driving jobs were in high demand. The CDL Academy offered me a clear pathway to my goal and had defined growth opportunities for me once I had gained my license — that ended up being a deciding factor for me.
What was it like to balance the CDL Academy with your Service Professional training?
It definitely keeps things interesting. We would bounce back and forth between CDL test-prep classes and field training. Usually, we would spend about an hour each day in class, where we would discuss the test and what would be on it, and also dive into test-taking strategies. Once we received our permits, we would move on to learning about the tanker and all its components. This part we studied very extensively — I like to say that we knew that material so well, if it was a broadway play we would’ve gotten a standing ovation.
For the field portion, we would ride along with seasoned SPs to get a sense of what a shift would be like. We would also run our own routes with 200 gallon capacity pickup trucks to get used to filling vehicles, providing customer service and using the related software.
What has kept you at Booster for so long?
The opportunities. Working with Booster is such a great opportunity to get into the fuel game and to grow with something from the ground up. I believe in this company and its potential. It’s an opportunity to be a part of something completely different.
Every job has its ups and downs, but for me at this company those ups and downs have come with distinct growth and purpose. There is a lot to work toward. In growing with this company, I have found so many opportunities to better myself and move forward with my career.
What is your favorite thing about working at Booster?
The people and the travel opportunities have been my two favorite parts of my time here. In the Orange County market, specifically, a lot of us SPs came through the CDL Academy at the same time and have been working together for a while now. We message with each other on Slack during every shift, making jokes and keeping each other motivated. Night shift isn’t always easy, and having that camaraderie makes it much more enjoyable.
Beyond that, the opportunities I have had to make new relationships with people across the country have been very rewarding. To go into a new market and work with a bunch of new people, earning their trust, guiding them through the Booster way and helping them plan and further their own career paths and purposes within the company has been an experience I really cherish. And it’s always a bonus to get to explore a new city along the way.