Tarik Everett has been on the path to success ever since his days at TeenQuest. He was the president of the class of 2008 at Flint Central High School and graduated fifth in his class.

From there, Everett was awarded an academic scholarship at Howard University, where he received his BBA in Supply Chain Management. While studying in Washington, D.C., he participated in pitch competitions and had two internships with Fortune 500 companies.

Following his graduation in 2012, Everett applied for a business consulting position with IBM, where he was hired and has been moving his way up ever since.

“I was promoted twice in four-and-a-half years, and I am now in management,” Everett says. “I worked hard and was engaged in the company, and IBM saw that.”

Everett now works as a business consultant manager at IBM. Moving forward, he plans to attend graduate school and get his MBA, with a focus on venture capitalism.

Below, Everett talks about how his time in TeenQuest and Summer Youth Initiative helped him on his journey to where his is now.

What does a typical day look like for you?

As a business consultant, I am contracted through IBM to help other businesses solve their software issues. My days vary. For the most part, I provide customer and user support for the businesses I work with.

What is your favorite part about your job?

Problem solving. When I am in a situation where there isn’t an obvious solution, I enjoy working with people inside and outside of my team to come up with an educated solution to the problem.

What did you learn in TeenQuest and Summer Youth Initiative?

Through team building and problem-solving exercises, I learned it is important to make sure that you are engaged in the workplace and communicate properly with staff and your bosses.

What advice can you offer current or former TeenQuest students?

Take advantage of the opportunities that these programs give you but understand that this is just the beginning. If you work hard and seek help when you need it, more opportunities will come.

Final thoughts?

I hope that students in TeenQuest consider going to a university after high school and that they choose one that fits them — not just in academics, but personally as well. A lot of my friends went to college but didn’t finish because they didn’t find a university where they fit in. Make sure to keep going and do what is right for you.