A graduate of Carman-Ainsworth High School, Maxwell Montney says he can thank the TeenQuest program for helping him land his current position as a Co-op Credit Analyst at Financial Plus Credit Union.

“Taking initiative was one of the biggest lessons I learned,” says Montney. “I was the first person to put in my application for my job and the first one to land an interview. I did my best to make a good first impression, which helped me land the job.”

After graduating from TeenQuest, Montney worked for the Flint Public Library through Summer Youth Initiative. While there, he was then offered a summer internship which turned into a part-time job for four years.

Currently, the University of Michigan-Flint senior is working on a bachelor’s degree in business administration with a concentration in finance and a minor in economics – something he is very passionate about.

“When I graduated high school, I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do in college,” says Montney. “I saw that finance was a growing career path so I took a leap of faith, and I am so grateful that I did because I really enjoy what I do.”

See what Montney says about his current position, his goals and how lessons learned in TeenQuest continue to help him on his path:

What does a typical day look like for you?

I work on the commercial side of finance. When we get a business application through a lender, that application comes to either my mentor or me. We look at tax returns, personal financial statements and run credit reports. We determine the debt service coverage to see if they are credit worthy and then potentially distribute funds.

How do the lessons learned in TeenQuest help you in your current position?

The principles learned from TeenQuest, I apply to my everyday life and in the workforce. My biggest takeaways were setting goals and maintaining a positive attitude. It helped me lay out goals and determine how I was going to get there. Being able to measure my progress has been a big motivator.

Is there a specific moment in TeenQuest that resonated with you?

Our facilitator, Mr. Hatcher, was explaining how important it was to set goals. He explained that many people have a plan but they don’t have a way to get to the end goal. He showed us how to develop steps to get to that end goal.

What advice would you give to current TeenQuest students?

I cannot stress how vital it is to take initiative. It shows employers that you have what it takes to be a good leader. Communication is also important. It helps solidify teamwork and makes setting and achieving goals more efficient. Be kind, courteous, show up to work on time and, last but not least, remember that your actions speak louder than words.

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

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