Hanging out with World Changers


24 Mar Hanging out with World Changers

I always dreamed of returning to my old high school with a career so interesting that everyone I ran into would just be bursting with questions about it. Well, dreams come true. At least sort of. Last week I did return to high school, but not my own. And though I got a lot of career questions, more than a few were prompted by the promise of a smiley face sticker. I spent the morning at Mastery Charter School Shoemaker Campus where I, along with with Leadnomics software engineer Alex Moser, was a Career Day Panelist.

The motto in the Mastery Network is excellence, no excuses, and at Career Day, the students were living their motto out loud. Alex and I were both incredibly impressed by the students’ thoughtful questions. A few of our favorites:

  • How do you balance work and personal life?
  • How do you deal with boredom at work?
  • What makes one company stand out above its competition?
  • What do you tell yourself to stay motivated through challenges?

The students were dutifully taking notes on our answers throughout the panels, making me sincerely hope my ideas were noteworthy!

At the end of the question/answer portion, each panelist got to choose a standout student to join him or her for lunch in the cafeteria. My lunch with ninth-grader Tarik turned out to be the highlight of my day. Over turkey wraps and Chex Mix, Tarik told me about his plans to be an archeologist or a marine biologist; to build technology that will scan the deep oceans; to run for political office; to study historical wars to understand how we can avoid the mistakes of the past; and to all-around be the coolest kid out there (my words, not his). At the end of lunch Tarik told me, “I don’t think I’m going to change the world. I know it.” High five, Tarik and thanks to Mastery for inviting Alex and I to such an inspiring day.


Taylor Burke

Taylor Burke is the content and communications manager at Leadnomics.

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