On the Job: Briyuanna Torns-Smartt

Briyuanna Torns-Smartt, TeenQuest graduate
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Ever since she completed TeenQuest 10 years ago, Briyuanna Torns-Smartt has been using the same resume format that she learned how to create during the program. That, along with the interview skills she learned, has helped her continue to achieve success.

“There is a running joke in my family that as long as I make it to an interview, I’ve got the job,” says Torns-Smartt. “The biggest thing is confidence and knowing how to talk about myself, which was instilled in me during TeenQuest.”

Torns-Smartt recently used these skills and that resume to land a remote job working as an escrow support specialist at OS National, a company based in Georgia What’s more, she landed the job while moving back to Genesee County from Tennessee.

“I got the job during the drive back home,” says Torns-Smartt. “I applied the day before we left, had my first interview during our first stop for gas, When we crossed the border into Michigan, they called and offered me the job.”

Now, Torns-Smartt works from home where she spends her day performing data entry and helping people buy and sell houses through the service Opendoor.

What path did you take to your current position?

I started out working at Living Word Ministry through Summer Youth Initiative as a summer camp counselor after I graduated from TeenQuest. I worked there for three summers and, after I aged out of the program, I got a job working at Tropical Smoothie Café. I worked there for three years and then worked some office jobs until I met and married my husband. Then, we moved to Tennessee where I worked at Fortera Credit Union before I got my current position.

How did the lessons learned in TeenQuest help you on the path to this position?

The leaders instilled self-esteem into the students, which is especially important in our area. Students go through a lot and having someone tell you that you are worth something is important.

What skills did you use from TeenQuest when interviewing for your position?

Eye contact, having a strong handshake and always bringing a question to the table to show that you are paying attention and have researched the employer.

What is a favorite memory?

Mock interviews. At the time, it felt like the worst thing in the world. When we first started the interviews, I wasn’t paying attention and I didn’t know that this counted toward finishing the program. So halfway through, I asked if I could start over and give it more of my all, and they let me do that.

What advice would you offer current TeenQuest students?

Save multiple copies of the resume template they give you and pay attention to how they tell you to fill it out. I have used mine ever since TeenQuest and I even helped my husband change his resume to that format.

TeenQuest and Summer Youth Initiative are made possible through the generous support of the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation.