Bobbie Reyes, of Hayward High School, has confidence in her budding career, and if you meet her you will instantly know why. Like any great entrepreneur, she knows how to recognize opportunities. When she stepped into Rick Charles’ Business Finance and Marketing class last fall she was prepared to drop the course, but something in Mr. Charles’ introduction struck a chord, and she knew she had to stay. 10 months later she was runner up in the Bay Area’s regional finals, and on October 9th she will be competing with 40 other young men and women from around the nation for $25,000 in the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship’s (NFTE) Youth Entrepreneurship Challenge at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View.
Win or lose, Bobbie is gaining tremendously from the experience using the networking skills cultivated saying that future employers are waiting to hire her once she graduates from college.
Says Reyes, “I have people waiting for me to graduate from college so that they can hire me.”
The source of her pride and forward-looking nature? Her answer, “Networking.” It is a skill she learned through her Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE) instructor, Rick Charles during a program offered through his business and marketing class at Hayward High School.
The most impactful lesson she learned from NFTE, according to Reyes, is networking. She believes it is one of the most powerful skills to develop as a young person. She says that it is due to her successful approach to networking that future employment will not be a problem. She also believes in continual improvement, saying, “Every time I receive an award from my community or from NFTE, I remember that there is always room to grow.” She wants young people to know that one needs to be a risk taker and to try new things. “That’s what happened to me with NFTE. I took a chance and ran with it. You never know what doors will open for you,” says Reyes with a smile.
During a recent visit to a NFTE classroom, the students asked for my business card. I congratulated them on their proactive approach to networking and encouraged them to develop a system that works to keep that data handy for future reference. What system do you use?