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Before taking part in APEX, I only had a vague idea of what I wanted to do beyond high school. Business was always a first thought that came to mind, but I hadn’t made any specific plans regarding my future. My mom had once offhandedly suggested that I should try being an actuary because I am good with numbers. My interest peaked; however, I had absolutely no idea what an actuary does. While searching for more information, one of my teachers notified me that APEX offers a course that is entirely dedicated to the amazing world of actuarial science. I signed up for the course on a whim, but it has turned out to be an experience that I will never forget.

Being a member of the Foundations of Insurance and Actuarial Science (FIAS) Team has allowed me to submerge myself into a world that I didn’t know existed prior to this school year. From meeting with various CEOs, CFOs, and other professionals, to touring multiple insurance organizations, there has not been a dull moment. I have learned so much through job shadows and tours, where I have had the opportunity to work alongside professionals in the industry and to learn more about exactly what they do on a daily basis.

I personally was given the chance to work with Jason Clausen of SFM Insurance along with my fellow associate, Becca Heidt. Over the course of three months, we collaborated to figure out how to mitigate winter slips and falls around Waukee High School. The process was challenging and definitely frustrating at times, as we ran into many obstacles along the way.  Despite our minor setbacks, in the end, we successfully wrote a grant which approved the allocation of $4,556 towards heating mats that would be stationed around the high school campus. I am proud to say that I contributed to helping better protect the Waukee community during a hazardous time of year.

Besides being given the chance to work on multiple projects with other professionals, APEX has allowed me to better myself in a plethora of ways. I can attest to this improvement because I have become much more knowledgeable with computer programs like Excel, my wardrobe has improved tenfold due to the fashion tips and resources that the WILC provides, and I am able to meet and interact with others who are well-accomplished in the business world. This is only a tiny fraction of what I’ve learned during the time that I’ve been a part of APEX. It’s easy to get confused when learning new insurance concepts; yet, the learning process is what makes everything so worthwhile. These skills will stick with me and will be beneficial beyond high school. Eventually, when I venture out into the world and begin applying for jobs and searching for my desired career, I will be better prepared thanks to APEX.