How Pulitzer Photographer Michael Williamson Redirected a Career
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In Chapter 4 of 16, environmental management expert Andrew Hutson meets Washington Post Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer Michael Williamson flying from Washington D.C. to Chicago. Hutson, then a business process consultant, finds inspiration in Williamson's project riding horses with Mexican mounted police doing drug control. That night Hutson invests time identifying and pursuing a purpose more aligned with his passions and interests.

Transcript


How Pulitzer Photographer Michael Williamson Redirected a Career Erik Michielsen: How did sitting next to Washington Post photographer and two- time Pulitzer Prize Winner Michael Williamson and a flight for Baltimore to Chicago change or inform your clear trajectory. Andrew Huston: He had a really impact on my life, which is kind of interesting and we can always have those impacts on people whether we knew it or not. When I was working for Andersen Consulting, which is now Accenture, I was on a project in Baltimore, I would sort of flight out Monday morning, fly home Friday night, so it was terrible. And it was my birthday, it was my 23th birthday and I was getting in my seat and there was this guy, kind of coming who was loading this photograph equipment and I was like – I usually don’t talk in airplanes usually, especially after a big week like that, all I want to do is take a little nap and get home and while I'll asked him why are you loading up here, just tons of stuff, there's even they're not allowed to carry on. Well, I'm a photographer, I work for the Washington Post. I'm on my way to the US-Mexican border, to ride with the Mexican mounted police on sort of drug patrol. I was like, that’s awesome, I just got done working to change the human resources benefit system for the State of Maryland’s Department of Transportation. And it was this huge wakeup, this guy is doing really cool stuff with his life, and here I am 23 and I've got – he’s up there – he’s going to like ride a horseback with the mountain police, like drug raids an I'm like worried about what my boss thinks what my tie looks like and like what I'm stuffing up away in 401K, like this is really the wrong – this is just wrong. So we actually had a great talk, he’s a really cool guy and he ends up writing this book, that Bruce Springsteen had read and he ended writing the album Ghost of Tom Joad based on sing this book of photography, this guy had done. So I went home that night and it was really a rainy night and a bunch of – it was just crazy rain, like street flooding up to your knees rain. And i got home, I didn’t know where anybody was, this is before people had cell phones. And I went over to friend’s house, knock the door, and much more just hanging out. And the power had gone out, and people just had some bottle of wine and cheese and they had some candles. We had a radio with batteries we’re listening, just kind of hang out talking about what we’re doing in our lives and kind of talking about this cool guy that I just met in this airplane, who was doing this really amazing thing. And how I – what are we doing? And I made the decision that night that I was – this was not how my life was going to be, like I knew I didn’t like the job I was in an I knew that I had to make a choice at one point or another, to take a different path. And I don’t have any idea what that meant, but I made the decision that night that I was going to figure out whatever that was and I did.