On the Job: Shariona Smith


Mott Middle College graduate Shariona Smith is busy working toward her dreams of owning her own event planning service. In the meantime, however, Smith works for General Motors, where she sanitizes touchpoints in their factory – a job that was created after the coronavirus pandemic began.

“Each morning, we start with a meeting where we are given the touchpoints we are tasked with sanitizing,” says Smith.

Meanwhile, Smith is making sure she doesn’t stray from her goals. She is currently working with a group called Where to Travel where she is working on becoming a self-employed travel agent.

“Working as a travel agent will help give me the experience needed to get into the event planning business,” says Smith. “I will be able to learn how to work with customers, organizational skills and how to work from spreadsheets.”

Learn more about Smith’s goals and how lessons learned in TeenQuest are helping her on her journey.

What made you interested in event planning?

I worked for the Big Brothers Big Sisters Club of Greater Flint, and they put on a fundraising event every year called Suits & Sauce. We helped set up and run the event and seeing it run so smoothly was very exciting for me.

What lessons have you held onto from TeenQuest?

Working with Mr. Gaines. He always used to talk with me and was the one who made me believe I could get a summer job.

What skills from TeenQuest have you used while interviewing for a job?

Walk into an interview with the confidence that you already have a job. And once you get a job, make yourself irreplaceable.

What advice would you offer current TeenQuest Students?

Pay attention. The skills they teach you will help you in the future. Listen to your facilitator when they talk about how they got to where they are now. Ask questions and get knowledge out of them. And most importantly, have fun.

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