Hannah Warner’s time in TeenQuest still remains fresh in her mind ten years after having been in the program. A 2013 graduate from Davison High School and a 2017 graduate from Mt. Vernon Nazarene University, she took the self-confidence and interview experience she gained during TeenQuest and has used those tools to better prepare for any work situation she has faced.
“I was a part of the afterschool club program of TeenQuest – where you built skills of how to do a good interview, how to fill out a resume, how to fill out an application, and had mock interviews,” Warner said.
With her position at Backyard Oasis, she has taken her experience and has been able to help mentor young people entering the job world for the first time. She makes sure they know what it takes to put their best self forward to get an interview. She saw all too clearly how badly young people need this help.
“We were hiring for the summer, and I was looking over the applications and that’s what made me think, ‘Wow, I am so grateful that I went through that process,’” said Warner. “Because no one in my life had told me how to properly fill one of those out and there were a lot of mistakes on there.”
How did lessons learned in TeenQuest help you on your path to your current position?
It took away the fear of exploring different opportunities and different jobs until I found out what was right for me. Anytime I’ve done an interview for a new job I’d bring out my TeenQuest folder and look over those notes. Being confident and putting my best foot forward in interviews, I took those skills and transferred them to any time I was talking with a potential client or my authority figure in whatever work situation I was in.
Do you have a memory or moment that stands out from the program?
Definitely the mock interviews. Getting all dressed up and dolled up. I still remember them saying, ‘Make sure you dress for one job, the position you want, not the position you’re hiring in for,’ and I still do that to this day. I remember showing up there and getting to chat with a few different people, you brought in your resume and had it in front of them, and it was cool because you got good feedback right then that you could use in the next round of mock interviews. I took that straight to a job interview next, and I got a job that summer.
What advice can you offer current and former students of TeenQuest?
Take it seriously. Don’t blow it off. Don’t blow through it. Because having this as a life skill is going to literally shape – or break – what your life and your living conditions look like.