Below is an interview with Mr. Flores regarding his experiences in his education and his professional life.
1. Can you provide a brief overview of your career – positions, companies, etc.? What motivated you to pursue this career path?
I've always had a fascination for money growing up. It's interesting how much we revolve around it, how happy it makes us, and also how scary it is when we don't have it. I was drawn to the idea for owning my own business because I'm competitive and I could make a lot of money. In college, I became a Financial Advisor for a company called Northwestern Mutual. This was a great learning experience, where I set my own schedule, learned sales, and became my own boss. After graduation, I looked for another challenge and became an Account Executive for a company on Wall Street called Frost & Sullivan. Unfortunately there was something missing. Although I was making money and being competitive, I was not passionate about the product I had to sell. Now I'm at Namely, an HR, Payroll, and Benefits company. After my first day on the job, I fell in love with the product and the culture. I knew that was half the battle, and the money would come later. Now my career path has been set in motion, and it's up to me to stay competitive and be successful.
2. Can you provide a brief overview of your education and how it did, or did not, prepare you for your career?
I graduated from Cardinal Hayes High School and did my four years at Boston College right after. I owe a lot to Cardinal Hayes for providing me with the tools needed to start a career. Whether it be how to dress, how to be professional, how to speak to others, how to write, it's amazing how all the little things we learned in school come back to our lives every day. I'm happy I went away to college because I learned about being on your own and the need to leverage friends and teachers to be successful. I learned it's tough to get good grades on your own, and a support system like your family or a mentor is necessary.
3. Could you describe your connection to 4T’s?
The President and Founder, Kayode, reached out to me on LinkedIn. We're both alumni of Cardinal Hayes HS, so it was a matter of time that our paths would cross. I was able to speak at one of the events to current students. It was a rewarding experience because I was able to answer questions I had when I was a student.
4. Why should someone consider learning more about 4T’s? What else can a student do on their own to benefit their education?
4T's is an organization that is down to earth and really wants to help students. I wish I knew about it in high school because it's an avenue where students can learn from those who already went through what they're doing. Students can ask questions and pick someone else's brain outside the classroom, which is motivating.
A student can also join an extracurricular activity like a sport or club to benefit their education. I think it's important to stay as busy as possible and figure out what you want to do in the long term.
5. In your own words, why is receiving an education important?
Receiving an education is important because it's a stepping stone to start a career. There are tons of opportunities out there in the job marketplace, however, the bare minimum to qualify for the majority is a Bachelor's degree from a 4 year college. An education will also allow you to have meaningful conversations with others, meet new people, and open your mind to new ideas.
6. What advice would you give to yourself in high school?
Stay competitive, keep shooting to be number one in all you do, and trust in yourself and your friends and family. Also, go online, find Kayode, and attend one of the 4T's events. You won't regret it.
-Samantha Phillips and Hope Swedeen
Please share your reactions to this professional's experiences.