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My name is Herve Twagirumukiza, and I am a senior at Waukee High School. Choosing to do APEX has allowed me to learn more about STEM professions and figure out which branch of engineering I would like to do in the future. By learning more about the different fields of engineering, I discovered that I was interested in civil engineering the most. Along with APEX, I am also a member of Student Council, where I use my leadership skills to help the students at the high school.

Projects that I have worked on include renovating a building at a university, improving an office layout, and designing a marketing booth. Currently, I am working on two projects for Hy-Vee, which involves extensive research to complete. For example, one project requires me to research ways to improve the asphalt/concrete in the parking lot, acoustical equipment to use in their stores and dining area, and to look up several different wall, floor and ceiling options for their locations.

My wish for writing this is to persuade other students to enroll in APEX. I think it is a great class to take if you want to gain more knowledge about a specific profession, or even if you don’t know what you want to do and want to try something new. I have learned professional skills, specifically how to communicate professionally with clients on a regular basis through various means of communication, such as email and face-to-face meetings. My Hy-Vee project requires me to me to speak to my client on a regular basis to keep them informed about updates to the project. I am also learning how to promote myself to businesses with resumes, online profiles, and using business cards. In APEX, I have created a LinkedIn profile, which has helped me reach out to businesses and gain attention from employers. APEX has also taught me how to use professional software such as Revit, SketchUp, and AutoCAD. My class and I have to use those programs to present our ideas to clients. We had to go through training to use them.

By taking APEX, it has helped me decide on a specific college to go once I graduate high school. After going on a tour of the ISU campus with my APEX class, I have decided to continue my education at Iowa State University and study civil engineering.