Yesterday, I had the opportunity to share some of my college & career experience with a group of high school students at Coleman Tech Charter High School. I was asked to give an overview of entrepreneurship and talk about the different possibilities and risks in the decision to become an entrepreneur, and also give the students a little bit of background on my own personal experience in my career as a photographer.
My good friends Jason and Craig also spoke about their careers as entrepreneurs, and hopefully the kids left with a little inspiration at the end of the day. I tried to think about what I had wanted to hear about when I was their age – and I could just remember being so frustrated with adults being so vague about their careers, not sharing the nitty-gritty details, and at the base of it all – not giving me a clear picture of what their lifestyle was really like working in the careers that they had.
I had it set in my mind to “keep it real & relevant.” I talked about what it was like for me in high school – (I had quite the sordid past & ran with the wrong crowds, still debating on whether or not to share about that on here yet) and then spoke a bit about my college experience in a specialized entrepreneur program. After giving them a little bit of a history lesson about myself – we talked about the pro’s & cons of being your own boss. I was actually really impressed with the amount of feedback from the group – I know if I was in their spot at that age, I’d probably be dosing off or distracted with causing some kind of mischief during a guest presentation.
At the end of my presentation – I set out 10 of my business cards on a table, and told the students that if anyone’s interested in learning about photography, I’d be willing to offer a year-long mentorship to an individual that’s highly motivated. By the time they were seniors in high school, they would be at a level much more advanced than the majority of their peers, and they’d have a kick-start on gaining experience in the real-world job market, not to mention “working for themselves”. I was stoked to see that the cards got snatched up in seconds, and one of the kids pounded his fist on the table because he didn’t get there in time to take a card (that was awesome). I told everyone to get in touch with me via this blog if they weren’t able to pick up a card, and that only to contact me if they were STRONGLY MOTIVATED and serious about learning the craft. (So if you guys are reading – get in touch! I’m looking forward to your emails)
All in all, it was a pretty crazy experience getting to talk with a few of the kids – understanding where their mindset is and what their main concerns are at that point in life was really interesting. And while I feel like my profession is novel in the form of helping businesses improve their brand image or couples remember their wedding day the way it ‘should’ be told – I’ve always felt a certain lack of fulfillment when it comes to a philanthropic perspective. I’m hoping that my advice and experience can help at least one student in their path towards achieving success in what they want to do, or at the very least – provide them with some insight that might help boost them along in the process.
Thanks for having me guys, I had a blast talking with you all – and if you have any questions, feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org