Zack Hogan ’21 — Relationships are set in stone, they never change. Or so I thought.
Now, I was nice to others when I interacted with them, but I didn’t go out of my way to talk to the people I had relationships with, and I especially didn’t push myself to meet new people. This summer Jason Bridges, my boss, mentor, and friend, showed me the importance of people.

Jason owns two businesses on Nantucket island, the Handlebar Cafe and Nantucket

Zack Hogan ’21 (left), Adam Zorich ’21 (center), and Jason Bridges ’98 (right)

Bike Tours. Although his businesses have specific products and services (coffee and bike tours), he runs them through the lens of emotional intelligence. He taught us to treat everyone, no matter who they are, as a person first. Importantly, he reminded us that this is a mindset for life and not just for work.

It took a couple weeks for me to fully realize what Jason was preaching to us. My epiphany happened one day as I was walking around downtown Nantucket. I passed an elder from the community on the sidewalk, and as I passed her, I looked back and said a simple ‘hello’. Immediately following my greeting she stopped in her tracks. She asked me if I knew her, to which I said no, and continued to introduce myself. We had a wonderful conversation for a couple of minutes and she had the largest smile on her face. Following the conversation, I realized that she must’ve been so taken aback because no one else had said hello to her that morning. In fact, she was so surprised that she assumed I must know her. Later in the day I saw her once again and she had that same large smile when I said, ‘hello again Anne’. By talking to her that day I completely surprised her and changed her mood. It was that day that I realized the power of a simple greeting, the power of relationships.

Since that day through bike tours and within the Nantucket community I have realized that every person has something interesting about them that they would like to share. Now, timing is key, but you never know what can happen when you chat with someone new. Through people I’ve met and the relationships I’ve built, I’ve learned from others as well as myself, both given and received advice, and even connected different people to benefit one another. Feel free to reach out and talk to me, I would love to talk about some of my experiences.

In closing, I would like to thank the small business internship fund for providing me with the opportunity I had this summer, my co-NBT intern Adam Zorich for always having my back and collaborating with me day in and day out, and Jason and Courtney Bridges for investing in me and always pushing me to improve.