Always be ready to network

A simple taxi cab ride provides an opportunity for strangers to connect through the world of work.

I just returned from a meeting at the National 4-H Conference Center in Chevy Chase, Maryland, just outside of Washington, D.C. It was my pleasure to represent Michigan State University Extension and Michigan 4-H Youth Development at a discussion and brainstorming session about career preparation for 4-H youth that may pursue jobs and careers in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM). My opportunity to learn started with the most interesting taxi cab ride to the National 4-H Conference Center.

I used my communication and social skills to launch a conversation with my cab driver. He has been driving cab for five years to help pay the bills. After completing his degree in architecture, he became an entrepreneur. He is a design architect who prefers to design residential buildings. We then had a fascinating conversation about his favorite architectural structures in Washington, D.C., including the Kennedy Center. You should always be ready to network and connect with people or you might just miss a great opportunity to learn something new! This was a wonderful experience to practice my life skills.

This individual is passionate enough about his dream career as a design architect and being his own boss that he has been willing to take on extra work as a way to reach his goal and live within his means. There are many lessons in this conversation. Good money management practices and living within your means are important practices for a successful future. Having goals and aspirations are important too and can help you stay focused on achieving the job or career of your choice.

Do you have an interest in learning more about architectural-related programs at Michigan State University? If so, you may want to check out these sites:

As a result of career exploration and workforce preparation activities, thousands of Michigan youth are better equipped to make important decisions about their professional future, ready to contribute to the workforce and able to take fiscal responsibility in their personal lives.

To learn about the positive impact of Michigan 4-H youth career preparation, money management and entrepreneurship programs, read the 2016 Impact Report: “Preparing Michigan Youth for Future Employment.”

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