HR Happy Hour Episode 506
Hosts: Steve Boese, Trish McFarlane
Guests: Ian Schrader and Tony Irovic
This episode of the HR Happy Hour is brought to you by Paychex, one of the leading providers of HR, payroll, retirement, and software solutions for businesses of all sizes.
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This week, we met with the hosts of Waterloo Table Talk, a couple of high school seniors who share insight into the next generation entering the workforce.
– Ian/Tony background and college plans
– Importance of community involvement and outside of school experiences
– What schools can be doing to prepare kids for the future
– Skills training and teamwork
– Starting a podcast/networking/communication
Check out the Waterloo Table Talk podcast here
Welcome to the HR Happy Hour Show with Steve and Trish sponsored by our friends at Paychex. Today we have a very special episode. We will be joined shortly by the hosts of none other than the Waterloo Table Talk podcast. Believe me, you’re gonna enjoy this show. But first Trish, I have a question for you and kind of fits along with the theme of the show. And I think with our guests as well. So if you could go back to your senior year of high school, and thinking about entering college, what would you pick for your college major? And why?
This is so easy, actually, all your questions are hard. This one’s easy, because I’ve been going out to the University of Nebraska with my kids. Both are majoring in journalism and mass communications. And when I saw the very first presentation by that college, every course was around media relations and broadcasting and sports media and how to be a podcaster. It’s like everything that you and I have had to teach ourselves over the last 15 years or so. And it’s all just like presented to you. So that would be it. I would just go back to college and just learn it much sooner than what we did. How about you? What would you be studying?
I would go a little different route, Trish. So I was advised by everybody back then, the whole thing about college majors was what can you do to get a job after college? Yeah, right, the highest likelihood of being professionally employed. So I did that, I went down that route. I would go history, I think because that’s what I enjoy the most. So I probably would pick that. But we’re going to find out what our guests are considering as well because they’re of that age where they’re thinking about those decisions. Really right now. So we are very excited to welcome our special guests Ian Schrader and Tony Irovic from the Waterloo Table Talk podcast from your very own Waterloo, Illinois.
That’s right. It is my favorite podcast to listen to other than ours, but I don’t listen to ours. Theirs is my favorite.
Ian is a senior at Waterloo High School and he’s very involved with the school. Growing up as the youngest of three brothers sports have been very much a big part of his life playing basketball, soccer and golf. Additionally, he and his vice president student council along along as being a leader in other clubs and organizations outside of podcasting, he enjoys spending time with his classmates and friends. Welcome to the show, Ian. Thank you,
Tony. Also a senior at Waterloo high school he’s lived this entire life in Waterloo with his parents and two older brothers. We get the oungest of three, both of you guys. Tony is also a he’s a member of multiple student organizations playing basketball for four years shout out and football his senior year. He’s also a leader in schools FCA. Tony describes himself as a philosopher, as do I oddly enough, Tony, welcome to the show. How are you guys today?
Tony Irovic 3:26
Good, thanks for having us.
Ian Schrader 3:27
Our legs are a little tired from basketball practice.
I know we’re gonna talk about that a little bit maybe at the end of the show. We’ll talk a little how the team is shaping up and what kind of offense we’re running. We could do the whole show on high school basketball.
Let’s save that for your high school basketball podcast.
All right we will, so let’s jump in guys it’s great to have seniors in high school really coming up on graduation here in a few short months and lots of interesting talks about first of all, do you guys like have some plans already made for what you’re thinking about doing after high school? Tony, I’ll throw it to you first.
Tony Irovic 3:54
Yeah, I do I’m not decided specifically what college I’m gonna go to. I have narrowed it down I know I want to go south but I would like to go into pre-med and then hopefully take the medicine route to become a doctor.
Wow. Anything in particular that interests you? Are you more of a general practitioner or specialty?
Tony Irovic 4:16
I’m taking to account everything right now. Obviously, I’m young, it’s a long road. 12 year road or more.
But you cannot change your mind. Gotta name it today.
Tony Irovic 4:25
With a lot of time to change your mind. That’s true. But I’m really thinking orthopedics, something sports related.
Ian Schrader 4:34
I am going to major in agricultural engineering. And I am not entirely sure where I want to go. I have it narrowed down to two or three right now. But yeah, agricultural engineering.
It’s pretty cool Trish, we look back and we both would have picked a different major, than the one that we did. I’m not saying you guys are going to look back and think that the same way but it’s curious, right? Because that’s kind of sometimes what happens right? You look back.
I wonder if it’s changed though, because I feel like when we were in school and graduated, I don’t think anyone talked to me about what I wanted to major in. I don’t recall anyone talking to me about visiting colleges or scholarships, it was just not a big deal. It was just sort of like your parents kind of said, well, you should go to college, and then told you what to major. And and that was kind of it. So I don’t know. I mean, I always honestly, what I wanted to do was I wanted to be in the DEA, and be an investigator. Narco. And then I started thinking like, well, I want to have a family too. So human resources, kind of is where you do a lot of investigations, actually. So that’s why I picked HR ultimately was, it was sort of like what I wanted to do. But yeah, when I was a senior, I didn’t even know anything about what we actually do now.
It’s not always the case, certainly. But the curious thing is like a lot of folks in our age bracket kind of fell into the thing we’re doing now from like doing six other things. And now you’re doing the thing you’re doing now, that’s definitely what’s happened to me too. But, guys, that’s great. So one of the things want to talk to you about is kind of beyond school, right? Like I, you know, I have a son who’s in college now who went through kind of what you guys are going through a couple years ago, just just going through now to you guys feel like hey, being active in the community, doing things besides just going to class was important to you? And if so, why? And maybe talk a little bit about your experiences outside school and what you’ve been doing the beyond that?
Ian Schrader 6:25
My answer is absolutely, um, I have really enjoyed my high school career. And I think that’s because there has never been a weekend, there has never really been a season that I have had felt like that I had nothing to do. I always feel like I’m trying to help other students. I’m trying to help younger students, trying to like, teach them what high school is about and like, and even within the community, just giving back to people and having things to do on the weekend, getting yourself involved in kind of it comes back. I know, it’s where it’s used a lot. But like networking, networking, networking. Me and Tony know a lot of people and we’ve known that because of how much we’re involved in.
Tony Irovic 7:05
I would like to add in how I’d say that going in high school about my junior year, I realized that there’s a lot more to school in grades, there’s a lot and if at the end of the day, you’re then go into classes and getting an A in a class is not what you’re here to was not supposed to get high school, you’re really supposed to have, like earned some social skills. Hopefully, when someone leaves high school, they can walk up somebody shake their hand, look them in the eye, introduce themselves. I think that’s a huge skill. And that’s overlooked nowadays.
For both of you in first, where did that come from, though? Because not all teenagers are like that. Right? So have you always been that way, like comfortable talking to, you know, people of all different types and around the community? Or was that sort of taught to you by your family?
Ian Schrader 7:45
I would say, I’ve grew up with two older brothers, right. And so I’ve always been like, the more talkative out of both of us, like, I’ve always been one that I don’t shut down for, like going to talk to an older person or something like that. But ever since I was like, in junior high, it’s just kind of been Baby steps, baby steps, baby steps. Like, I’ve never when I was in junior high, I wouldn’t have like went up to a random person and said, like, hi, me and Shane is I am right. Alright. But now that I’m in high school, and since me and Tony have started doing this, it’s got a lot easier for us to just go introduce ourselves. And it just takes a lot of practice and like knowing, and being confident in yourself.
Tony Irovic 8:25
I like to say that a big part of that is you have to get it through your mind that the people that you’re talking to are going to be happy to hear from you. Like whenever you go and introduce yourself to somebody, they’re not going to say Oh, who’s this? Who’s this weirdo is talking me out of nowhere, and be like, Wow, I can’t believe this young kid just came up to me and started a conversation with me. I think that today.
Yeah, I agree. I think there are so many adults actually who are quite shy or introverted themselves. And so if you’re someone who will take it upon yourself to go and talk to them, they’re gonna remember that for for all time when you say I mean, I think it’s really impressive when people are able to go talk to others, without much hesitation.
So yeah, we’ll have a question that’s not really in the notes. But I’m asking anyway, because it’s, I’m curious about this, like, did you guys feel and I’ll throw to either both of you guys to comment and whoever wants to take it first can take it. Did you guys feel, I don’t know. Any the weight of pressure expectations, etc, in order to you know, to achieve academically, maybe to be involved more in the community to be good at sports instead? Or to to go be you know, go and be in pre-med. That’s a big thing. That’s great. That’s awesome. Did you feel like and I feel the pressure that I got to perform and do this?
Tony Irovic 9:31
Honestly, not really, at the end of the day, like, like, most people, especially kids in high school feel like there’s so much pressure on them. There’s so much expectation to them, that end the day, you’re really trying to prove something to yourself. Is that fair? I think it’s like sports wise, it’s a little different. You’re trying to you’re trying to back up the rest of your players. You want people to look at you look up at you and like you want to you want to lead them but school wise in the day it all comes down to you and you do a good enough test. It’s that that’s your thing, and I don’t think anyone else should have that like opinion based based on you have your own actions.
Ian Schrader 10:03
Yeah, I completely agree. I think I’ve definitely had like pressures, but I think I make them for myself more than like my parents, I’ve never been one to like scout my grades or anything like that. They’ve kind of just like, you got it. If you get what grade you get, like you deserve it if you get what you get, right. And me and Tony have talked about this a lot. And we think that most importantly out of students is it’s not really what grade you’re getting. And we see this a lot with our classmates and stuff to so many people try to memorize things, when we’re actually learning something is so much more important than an actual grade. Because when you actually can learn something, tests and quizzes become a lot easier when you see a new problem, and you actually know how to do it, instead of memorizing how to do it.
Tony Irovic 10:46
Basically like they’re not getting out of it, what they’re supposed to be like, they’re going in the class saying, I want to get an A, they’re gonna forget about it, instead go in there with a passion to learn. And like, if you do that things will pile up on each other. And eventually you get good at learning. And from then on, you’re gonna earn good grades, it’s going to be easier for you to do that. And you’re not going to stress as much. It makes High School easier.
Is there anything that the schools can be doing, not just your high school, but high schools in general to sort of say that to people when they start high school because I mean, having twins that are seniors along with you all, I know that, you know, especially for my daughter, she puts that same kind of pressure on herself almost to the point of burnout. And it’s definitely not coming from the parents to them. So is there something that the schools could do different or say to an incoming freshmen?
Ian Schrader 11:33
I would say that a lot of it has to do with the teachers. Because if you look at some teachers, teaching styles, some of them they don’t really foster that idea of really learning. It’s just kind of test quiz, like do your homework quiz, do your homework quiz. And it’s not really like they won’t throw curveball questions on their stuff that actually makes you want to try to figure it out. What makes us like, I think what makes us want to learn more is when teachers throw something on there, and then it makes us want to look deeper into the topic, it makes us want to see more of like how this could be beneficial to us as a whole. And so there is some very good teachers, I have to shout out Richard McDermott. He does a great job of making sure you are learning the topic. And if you don’t learn it, you’re not going to do well in this class,
Just for the listeners, can you say what does he teach?
Ian Schrader 12:26
He teaches physics and calculus
Tony Irovic 12:28
and computer programming.
So you know, it’s really interesting, as you were describing that in and this is something we’re going to follow up on, we’re going to show later in the week with a member of a school board here in Waterloo. And one of the things I want to ask him, and it gets to something that he made me think about is how schools in general, maybe even the school specifically, and I never find out what incentives and measurements are on the teachers, right? Because we’re talking about teachers, it some teachers may be really kind of hey, test, quiz, test quiz, you know, they’re incented, to make sure everybody gets a certain number of marks on certain tasks, maybe standardized tests at the state level, I’m not sure how it works in Illinois, but that’s how it did where I grew up, right, you had a certain benchmark test, and you had to do in the schools had to have so many kids pass, etc, etc. And that’s what the teachers were incentivized about around and rewarded. And so a lot of that’s what that’s how they behave, right, if that’s what their incentives are.
Right, and I think too, teachers, like anyone else, it is a job. And so you’re going to have those people that are in the top 10% of that job. And you’re going to have those that are just kind of trying to get by day to day and teach maybe to a test or to whatever measurement they’re being told and then you’re going to have a few that are not probably living up to the standards, right? It’s just like any job.
Tony Irovic 13:40
I’ll say something about the incentive idea is that whenever you put that out there a lot of teachers I think will try to like what what can I do to make these kids get having easier A in my class? Where do I do a better grade? That’s what I don’t like that viewpoint a lot is because like, you want the kids still to be challenged. You don’t want them to, you know, you don’t want anything to take an easy at the end of the day. I don’t think that’s going to change the way a teacher teaches.
Yeah, it’s a really interesting topic. I want to get into it with our school Johnny, right.
Yeah. Johnny Caupert.
We’re gonna talk about one more thing, Trish and guys on sort of the pressure and expectations does it help to I don’t know your older brothers either of you guys. I don’t know anything about them wouldn’t have helped you if they were kind of losers like ahead of you. You know, I mean, they didn’t really get they were kind of low achievers maybe narrow do wells and then you guys could come in be the shining star that would help a lot. Right?
Ian Schrader 14:29
I would say that it would make you want to succeed and be better than that.
Yeah, you wouldn’t be wouldn’t be bad like, like, poor and he did great. But like poor Eli Manning. You know, his older brother was Peyton Manning. Oh my god. I gotta be Peyton Manning too,
Tony Irovic 14:43
Yeah. I would say like, you say the word. I’m not saying my brothers are losers. I love my brothers. I’m sure they will hear the word meaning them are very different people. And like most anyone will know that whenever I got in high school freshman year, my brother was a senior. And someone came up to me they told me like who’s that weird kid in the hall. I was like That’s my brother to say that he like a mustache funny facial hair. So everyone, the nicest brothers. Oh, they’re so nice. They aren’t but like, we’re all different our own way. And not that just because they you know, quote, weird ever. Obviously, everyone’s weird and you always hear that right? Just because the weird they’re still great kids are great people, but everyone’s different. But that did create a lot of competition. For me, like I took a lot of things away from them. cons and pros. And it kind of pushed me to be who I am today, and I just want to be a little different.
Yeah, I can’t lie. Trish and Tony. And I had an older brother. And when he screwed up, especially he screwed up kind of bad, which he probably did a couple times. I can’t I was a little part of me that felt pretty good about that. Because the impression that he was off me, the attention was gonna be off me for a while.
Okay, so you’re all the youngest, right? Well, you know, I have a younger sister. Yeah. They’re so different. Yeah, I have a younger sister. I’m the oldest. And so I felt like I had to work so hard for every single thing. She’s standing here looking. But yes, I feel like she was the perfect baby of the family. And I had to be the one that got in trouble and did all the wild stuff. And I got in trouble and whatever. So I don’t know. She’s nodding. So I think that’s true.
Tony and Ian, you guys, as we established seniors in high school, got some college plans and firming up things or thinking about majoring etc, etc. I wanted to jump maybe a little bit ahead and love for you guys to give us some thoughts and comments, observations about the world of work, right? Because this, this podcast is really about work workplaces, interpersonal relationships, at work, etc, etc. It’d be great for our listeners to hear just some thoughts, especially if they don’t have you know, kids of their own or around kids and your age or or, you know, what generation we talked about here, Gen Z, Gen Z, these guys?
Well, a lot of the people
don’t need to label them because old people need to label.
No, I think a lot of people that listen to the show are people who are hiring leaders. They’re people who are, you know, business managers who are building their teams out and that what they’re looking for, ultimately is, what is it that your generation needs from us as leaders, because we were kind of raised just as background, we were kind of raised, like, you don’t really speak up too much. You just come in, you listen to your elders, climb the ladder in a certain order. And now and I would say also to is kind of the tail end of people going into a job for 30 years or 40 years, right? Because my dad told me, I said, Well, my professor said that we would have about seven jobs on average in our life. My dad was like, Absolutely not, you need to work somewhere forever. So that was a big change for our generation. So for your generation that feels like we need to hear what do you need from us, because we definitely don’t want to treat you like we were treated. Because I don’t think that would work.
Tony Irovic 17:48
I think that the best thing for kids to have, and to support them as they’re being brought up is confidence. Like, there’s a lot of people that are really good at a lot of things. And if they’re not competent enough to go out there and put themselves out there, they’re not going to perform as well as they could.
How would you encourage that though, if I’m a teenager, and I’m not feeling confident, or even if I’m already in the workforce, right? I’m in my 20s, whatever, and I just don’t feel confident. Do you have any tricks that you use to just kind of like, push yourself past that fear? Because I hear from a lot of people, they’re really fearful or anxious, high anxiety around their lack of confidence?
Tony Irovic 18:24
Oh, it’s all I think it’s all a social thing. Like the competence, the fear to put yourself out there, you’re scared of what others are gonna think of you to say you’re a teacher, and you the student who excels in English, but she’s kind of quiet, maybe like, don’t target her out, like trying to make her feel bad or anything but like that, but say like, Hey, would you like an opportunity to do this? Or I have this independent study? Can you work with me on this, that type of thing.
So offering those work opportunities starting in high school, college, and in the work? I like that.
I think I’ll throw it to you. Have you given any thought about hey, if I go down the agricultural engineering path, and I come out of it, what not so much what you want to do, but what kind of work workplace kind of people leadership, etc, do you think would work for you?
Ian Schrader 19:05
I think that especially with engineering, like technology is up and like it’s, it’s gonna spike really soon. But with technology, I think the biggest thing that workplaces need now is the evolution of teams. So a lot more that and that helps boost confidence. Do I completely agree with Tony, but when you put a team together, you have one strong leader, you have somebody that’s been in that industry for 10 years or something, but and you put all these very intelligent people together with that, you’re going to get so many new ideas and so many, so many ways to fix problems. That is it just everything comes so much easier when you get teams and it boosts confidence of people that don’t have a say, that don’t always have the courage and confidence to go out and say, Hey, this is my idea. I think it’s a great idea. I think he could solve this, this and that. But when they go in as a team, and they come in a tight knit group of three or four people and they can tell them and bounce off ideas with them, so many problems can be solved.
I’m glad you I mentioned teams, and because a lot of the technologies that we see in the workforce are starting to have teams build off of different skill sets, very fluid teams. I know both of you have been on sports teams, if you had to think about those teams that you’ve been on, probably since you were, you know, four or five years old all the way through now. Do you think that there are aspects of that that have actually helped prepare you more for work than what school and book learning have done? And if so, maybe Tony, you answer first, like, how does that impact actually being on teams,
Tony Irovic 20:35
I would say definitely, and what you take away from your coaches is like, I feel like taking an order or an instruction from a coach, it demands a lot more respect, they feel like they I’m not saying teachers are like, high level students. But a lot of times, that’s how it feels with a coach. They feel like your boss, it’s like, I want to do good, because I want to prove something to you. And, like, there’s a lot of there’s a lot that comes from that. Yeah, I
Ian Schrader 20:59
would say that a lot of it also comes with just a relationship with other teammates too. If you can, like you don’t, you don’t always like somebody on the court on the basketball court on the soccer field, you don’t like the way they play. But if you can get along with them off, off side and be friends with them, that relationship within the game becomes a lot easier you get to you glue better if you can become personal with your teammates?
Can I ask a quick follow up on that one? Because I know on your show, you talk about a lot of the surrounding schools, for example, in their teams, right? Yeah, a lot of trash talk. I just really super fun. But no, um, there have been times I know where you call out both of you call out different players from different schools, both positive and negative, right? Can you talk a little bit the ones where you really talk about the positives of some of these opponents? How can you see how that might translate into working with someone maybe who comes from a competitor? Is that something that comes naturally to you too? Because I was surprised when I heard you both doing it. Maybe Ian first?
Ian Schrader 21:57
So I would say in this is what jobs to within sports. Whenever you’re playing against a team, you’re always learning from them football, for example, basketball, you watch a team, you see they have a great play, the coach will sometimes put that play in your playbook, you see a great player and how they play. Maybe I want to model how I play after that. So if you look at different teams, or different people within a company, and how they are working, how they’re conducting themselves within the workplace, that makes you want to do the same thing.
Tony Irovic 22:26
So I’ll just lead off what he said, It’s like taking something away from somebody. It’s like, if you’re watching a player in basketball, and you see them do this move, you want to learn that move, you’re trying to add it to like your arsenal. It’s something you take away from others do that with social skills do that realize like, hey, this kids are really good in school, because they have this method they study this way. Or like, maybe this is how much time this is how they prioritize their time. And that’s how you can get better at that type of stuff. And that goes anything in your future.
That’s great guys, you got on our radar, not just for your exploits in the classroom or on the basketball court or on the football field. But from your podcast, Waterloo Table Talk. It’s everyone’s talking about it here. And it is because I’ve been here three days and I’ve heard four people talk about it. Tell us about that. Tell us about the podcast how to get started. What you’re trying to do.
Tony Irovic 23:13
Well, how it started it is sometimes I get these big crazy ideas, and I’ll be honest, they’re not always great ideas. I had a boy band idea and they shut that one down. Then one day, I texted Ian out of nowhere.
Tony Irovic 23:28
I was listening to podcasts in my home. And I was like, You know what, it’d be so much fun to do this meaning and we love talking about big like world. I said, I put myself as philosopher as the bio kind of a joke, but like talking about big world ideas, and we love these big conversations, right? I text them. I was like, Hey, we start a podcast. And his response was, I agree. I was like, I’m not kidding. We should start a podcast. He’s like, No, I’m being serious do and I was like, Okay, perfect.
Ian Schrader 23:52
Yeah, so me and Tony both love podcasts. We listen to a bunch of podcasts. And I had actually just listened to this podcast about the yes theory of just when you’re being young say yes to everything right? Cuz I mean experiences can come whatnot. I just listened to Tony text me. I was like, yes, let’s do it. And so that kind of started it took us a while to get going to figure it out. After he texted me that that night, I think I researched podcasting for like, two, three hours. We just looked at everything we needed. I looked up so many YouTube videos, just how to get started. And then from there, we were just like, we started spreading the word and people are like, Yeah, I actually think that’s a great idea. Like I think I would listen to that.
Tony Irovic 24:32
One thing we’re talking about he’s told me is like, we’re gonna get a lot of trash for doing this. Doing this. I was like, honestly, probably by the end of the day. But they didn’t start a podcast, we did.
Yeah. You got the microphone right. All right. That’s great guys. And here’s it’s gonna be fun Trish coming up after the break. The tables, no pun intended will be turned, tables are turning. Ian and Tony will have a chance to ask us some questions. We can pretend to be guests our own podcast. But first we must thank our sponsors.
This episode of the HR Happy Hour Show is brought to you by Paychex, one of the leading providers of HR, payroll, retirement and insurance solutions for businesses of all sizes. Financial capital has long been established as a key driver of business performance. But today business leaders are increasingly recognizing the importance of their human capital and driving success. Download Paychex latest guide to discover why breaking down the silos between HR and finance can result in better business strategy and growth, as well as 14 Simple HR metrics your team should be tracking and why. To download the e-book visit pyx.me/fdmresearch that’s pyx.me/fdmresearch and thanks so much to our friends at Paychex.
That’s right. We love them. I’m anxious to go see them. What’s the weather like in Rochester? Is it snowing up there?
It’s probably imminently snowing.
I feel like they are probably under two feet of snow. Stay warm, our friends Paychex?
Wait till spring is my advice. Yeah. All right. So here’s the funny thing. I’ll say this for the for our listeners. Trish. We’ve got two computers. I’ve got two pages of notes, a notebook I’ve been taking notes. Tony and Ian rolled in off the basketball court. No notes, no nothing, just ready to go.
I don’t know. They’ve got it all up here in their head.
I don’t know what they’re going to ask us. So, I don’t know who’s going first. So guys, It’s your show now.
Yeah, your show. Take over.
Ian Schrader 26:20
Alright, you guys, and you kind of stole my thunder with your question of the day. So obviously you guys are HR people. This is about jobs, whatnot. So with what the experience that you guys have, and it doesn’t have to be because you already said what you would go back and do like what job you would take. But what is one skill that you would advise high schoolers or people coming up into the job force to really learn and to focus on?
Me to go first?
Yeah, because I gotta think.
You both kind of touched on it throughout the show already. But it’s networking. I was not taught to network. I was very outgoing. But no one really told me that it would be valuable in my career. And once I figured that out, I was probably several years into my career, maybe early 20s, early to mid 20s. Before I started feeling like, oh, this was a good thing to do, I would have done a lot more of that. And back then that meant going somewhere in person, maybe to a networking event, being more thoughtful about that. But now and through what we’ve done with social media, even even if you can network on a LinkedIn group, a Facebook group, a Twitter chat, whatever, get involved, meet people. That’s how Steve and I met was through Twitter, actually. And back to Dan’s point of saying yes to everything. Meet people say yes, you absolutely get opportunities, because I would say both of our jobs have completely changed based on us saying yes, on social media.
That’s a good one. You know, I picked something a little different. Not that I disagree. I’d say writing. I think if I could look back then what would I have spent more time trying to get better at at a younger age who would have been writing and that’s just kind of boring business writing, I’m talking about whether it’s creative writing or persuasive writing, or even just news writing journalism. You mentioned journalism school, that was really exciting. I just, there’s so many different forms of writing. And even to this day, like what we’re doing, what we used to do, and what we do now involves a ton of writing, right? And I’ll tell you that you’ve been writing like nonstop for weeks. So to me writing would be one thing. That’s it. Now, I wish I would have spent more time really practicing that and getting feedback on my writing. That would be the one thing.
Well, that’s a differentiator, too, because a lot of people shy away from writing, no one thinks they’re a good writer or a good editor. But if you do that, I think it opens up your your job opportunities, regardless of what position and what career path you’re going on. So yeah, writing is a good one.
Tony Irovic 28:40
Awesome. My question for you guys. Looking back on these skills that you wish you would have honed in on a little more? If you would have had that knowledge at the start of your business or your career, how do you feel like things would be different view? How would you have shaped your business differently?
Oh, goodness, that’s a great question. Well, I started I would say, really started my career at Price Waterhouse Cooper. So that was a company that really pushed me into networking. So I don’t think I would have had to do that in order to do better there, the writing piece would have actually really helped because I didn’t learn that until maybe 10 years into my career. So I think if I would have done that sooner, I would have had more opportunities to be a public speaker, which I love. And I didn’t really embrace that until probably 10 years in or so and found a true passion there. I think that’s probably the difference.
Yeah, I’ve actually got to answer similarly I think you I probably would have found my way into doing more of the things I like doing sooner right because I spent a lot of time yeah it’s I got arm twisted into go into business school and which was fine for a while and I did you know accounting and finance for quite a while.
Can you tell just a little bit they don’t know your background in terms of how you started and you were in the Middle East and
I did accounting and finance in college. And then that was when I went to the corporate world doing accounting and finance for a really, really big company. And just as luck would have it, this really, really big company, which is still a really, really big company, needed people to go to Saudi Arabia for a while to do some new system upgrades and to sort of teach people over there how to do the accounting the right way. And, you know, wherever they needed, like, young single males to go, cuz that’s all who could really go right. And so I fit the demo. So I got tapped to go. And it was great. It was a really good career altering experience. But still, I wasn’t doing a ton of writing, right? I moved from Accounting and Finance into technology, and then spent 10 years doing technology all over the place. And only much later than did I start, like you guys just started the podcast on your own. I started a blog just because well, why not? Because back then blogging was the podcasting right of the day. So 2008, you didn’t start, although I did actually 2009 started this podcast, but we didn’t call it a podcast better. But so I would have gotten to what I really liked doing more, which is this kind of stuff and other things that we do a little bit sooner, probably I probably wouldn’t have spent seven or eight years kind of, you know, doing T accounts and debits and credits and all that.
They say to you, though, with writing, it’s not just writing for yourself, some people love that stuff. So I’m not knocking it as an editor. So even with the two of you, go start a blog somewhere, even if it’s private, even don’t publish it anywhere, and have a friend read it and edit it, because those are good practices to have. I learned that in my second job, which I was working for a PR firm. And I was writing presentations by that point. I was doing a lot of writing, I thought I was really good at it. And wound up working in Washington DC for Ronald Reagan’s last Press Secretary Bill Garber paper. And yeah, so at the end of his presidency through when he passed away, Bill was his his press secretary and Bill would edit my work and talk about like being terrified, but he really made me a better writer. And so I would say, even at a young age, have someone else read what you’re what you’re working on. Even your most personal thoughts, have them tear it apart, right? And really help. No, we do that. I’m kidding. That, no, but I don’t think I don’t think I knew that when I was in high school. And I think that would have been really helpful. Also, just for classes in general, I have a trusted advisor, you know, and just make sure whether you guys go to different schools, or wherever you go, make sure that you still keep that person in your life. Because they’ll give you that honest opinion. And sometimes the people you work with don’t.
Ian Schrader 32:27
So alright, I got a question. Just podcasting. What would you guys say the biggest advice for us moving forward is like what helps what helps you grow your podcast? Who are the most?
I will say, first of all social media, actually learning how social media works. And again, we kind of got in at the the early days of social media. So Twitter, we’re probably on by 2008. Maybe. And that was really our main method initially was Twitter. And so for us, the challenge is, anytime there’s new social media channels, we’re trying to figure out how can we use tick tock to promote the podcast, right? How can we use not just LinkedIn, but Facebook Live and all these other things. So be open to learning to follow social media, and learn how to use hashtags. So and also when you when you have how many episodes? Do you have 13? Don’t think just because you’ve done one, and it’s gone. No, go back and re promote them, and then start thinking about, okay, I had a guest on the third episode, and I’m going to do episode 14 That might kind of coincide with that. And then when you share it out on all social media channels, you’re tagging it so I’m just trying to think like one that you had that I liked, I said was around like the animals fighting each other, which one would win, right? You can tag it, you know, Animal Fights, you can tag it, you know, just animals, right? You can tag different you’ve done sports ones, almost everyone involves some sort of sports, right? You’re hashtagging sports, you’re hashtagging High School, you’re hashtagging college recruits your hash, whatever, use hashtags, because that amplifies your voice. And that’s been how we grew it. And I would say, I believe we’re coming up on 3 million downloads. Yeah. Summer will be at 3 million downloads. And that started in I would say you really got going by summer of ’09. Yeah, so just over a decade.
I guess I’d say to me, it’s, okay to be niche as long as you’re a little bit different to me that the space is so crowded, but when you guys my sense of it, what you you’re carving out space, which is a little bit unique, because there’s probably not a ton of two guys who were seniors in high school doing a really kind of kind of off the cuff fun and you know, just truthful podcast, there’s probably some out there’s a ton of them. So you’re carving out some space to me as you’re going to take this thing forward or you know, as you evolve it right because pretty soon you won’t be two seniors it’ll be two freshmen in colleges. And so it’s going to have to evolve and something. So for me, I’d be thinking about that like How do I evolved it to keep it fresh, keep it unique, because it’s so crowded and busy, right? The space is just so full of full of when we see this too. We’re doing when I started this, it was just me doing HR podcast. Yes, there was a guy, you know, now there’s 1000 of them, right? 5000 of them. So it does get challenging to try and we shuffled are to just how do we have a unique take on things when 1000 other people tell them the same story?
Right. The other thing I would say to if you plan on doing this and keep it going is really think about the name of the podcast, right? Because right now it’s Waterloo Table Talk. But if you do continue it, you go away to school, well, is it still gonna be Waterloo Table Talk or not? Right? You might, but now it’s early enough days that you would not lose your subscribers. Think of a name that’s lasting for us. Honestly, we’re kind of in the same boat. It was the HR Happy Hour because it was done at night, after all of us who met on social media in human resources around the world would go home, put our kids to bed, and then we’d like grab a drink and jump on the Happy Hour. Now, that’s not really we do it during the day. So in hindsight, in hindsight, if we could have changed that we might have changed the name.
But now we have shirts and cups.
Yeah, now we are kind of locked in. But think about the name. Make sure it’s broad enough that it’s going to evolve with you as you grow your audience. All right.
Good stuff, guys. Hey, I want one more question before we wrap. Okay. All right. Let’s I want to know, what’s the first real basketball game official and then tell give me a little scouting report. Not necessarily on the shelf, because give me a little team. Each other. You can scout each other if you want. I’m a basketball guy all the way. Okay, so, first of all when is opening night?
Ian Schrader 36:38
Opening Night is Tuesday, November 23. Against Litchfield.
That’s next week at
Ian Schrader 36:45
Waterloo is hosting a home Thanksgiving tournament.
I am there, that’s amazing. I’m in town a few more days, so we should go. I’m going so give me a little scattered report that we’re looking at guys.
Ian Schrader 36:57
So most of our offense is motional offense. We have a very large lineup this year. I am the smallest starter and I’m 6’2″.
He’s a tall person, I just met him here.
Ian Schrader 37:11
So we run a lot of awesome size out of motion for bigs a lot, of posts and shoots. .
Nice, Tony, what do you look for this year?
Tony Irovic 37:19
That’s a hard thing. I think we got a lot of athletes. There’s a lot of guys in the for like, you know the amount of kids that are dunking on our team is going up and up. We’re really pushing that like Ian here he jumps out the gym and we’re really pushing that I think.
Just one time, it never happened for me.
Tony Irovic 37:36
I think we really just utilize our size. Especially big guys you know it’s having a having them in the lane does a lot opens up a lot of things move the ball around them. I think that’s gonna be big in our offense.
Who are some of your other starters we’ll give them a shout out.
Ian Schrader 37:50
We got Ty Linhart, he’s our best player. We got Tyler and me and then for sure we have Logan Calvert so us through there like the returning and then we’ll have Alex Dellies, a freshmen and then that fourth spot it’s a little up in the air. We got Wyatt Fink, Clayton McAllister, Anthony Maxi.
You can’t go wrong.
Yeah. Freshmen starting varsity though.
Ian Schrader 38:15
He’s like six eight. Yeah, six eight.
Tony Irovic 38:19
He’s played AAU Basketball almost his entire life.
You can’t teach height. Right.
Tony Irovic 38:24
That’s right. He’s got skill, though.
And a lot of the guys they named, these are players with heart too. They’re not just height.
You can tell. All right, the podcast is Waterloo Table Talk. You find this wherever you get your podcasts, right. Awesome. So we wish you guys tons of success, both with the podcast, both in the basketball season, both in your sort of future endeavors, pre-med, Ag Engineering, or whatever you change to thirty years later.
We will have you back on come back in ten years. Tell us how it all turned out.
Tony and Ian, thank you so much for joining us. We’ll put some links down to find you guys in the show notes as well. We really appreciate you guys being here tonight.
Ian Schrader 39:05
Thank you guys.
Tony Irovic 39:05
Thank you very much.
Awesome. Trish, great stuff. It’s been super fun. Right? I loved it. Waterloo’s finest right around this table.
Don’t you love Waterloo? I’ll miss it someday.
Well I probably won’t. Yeah, I’m gonna go. I’m not gonna be there. I’m ready. All right, good stuff. Okay, we must go. I want to thank once again, Tony and Ian from Waterloo Table Talk. I want to thank you Trish McFarlane. I want to thank our friends at Paychex for always being behind us 100% of the way, hopefully it’s not snowing in Rochester. Thank you very much for listening to our Happy Hour Show. You can find all the archives at HRHappyHour.net. My name is Steve Boese. We will see you next time and bye for now.
Transcribed by https://otter.ai