TeenQuest graduate Dylan Olson has two paths in mind for his future. One, where he continues a career in umpiring, ideally in Major League Baseball. Another, where he pursues his other passion – working for the Michigan Department of Natural Resources.
“One plan is to pursue a job in my degree field,” says Olson, who graduated from the University of Michigan-Flint with a Bachelor of Science in wildlife biology. “But I am also going to continue to climb the ladder of officiating baseball.”
During the summer, Olson serves as a full-time baseball official who primarily works with leagues that are 16 and up. During the winter, he works as a package handler for FedEx.
“I am planning to do some volunteer work with the DNR, which will hopefully lead to a job as a DNR officer,” says Olson.
Although he has big plans, Olson is enjoying what is he currently doing.
What does a typical day look like for you?
It depends on the tournament I am working, but I typically start at 8:30 a.m. and then end at 9:30 p.m. However, I typically only work three days a week. On the days I work, I am making a lot of quick decisions on each play to decide each outcome correctly.
If you follow the umpiring career path, how do you plan on pursuing that?
I would continue to go to a variety of umpire camps to train. There are two approved academies in the country that I would have to work up to attending. But if you graduate from those camps, you go right into a job with the minor leagues.
How did lessons learned in TeenQuest help you with your current position?
It helped me build confidence in communicating with strangers and making my point known. This helps me when interacting with coaches.
What is your best memory from TeenQuest?
When we did our interviews. I remember it being so nerve-wracking, even though there was no implication of a job. That was five years ago, and I still remember that.
What advice would you offer current TeenQuest students?
Don’t underestimate how far you can go. There were a lot of times I have been hesitant to apply for a job, but you just have to have the confidence to try and go for it.
What has been your proudest moment since TeenQuest?
Probably graduating from college. It was a four-year journey, and I was so happy when I got that diploma in the mail.
TeenQuest and Summer Youth Initiative are made possible through the generous support of the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation.