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Since I was young, I’ve had the goal of becoming an engineer, but now, after my experience with APEX, my vision has been set forth into action. Through APEX I have had the opportunity to work projects with real clients, tour local firms, and gain professional experience working alongside architects and engineers. This experience has given me tremendous insight into the engineering world – which is a unique high school experience, and one I am grateful for.

As an APEX associate taking Architecture and Engineering, I spent part of my class time at the Waukee Innovation and Learning Center and part of my time at Shive-Hattery – an architecture and engineering firm located in West Des Moines. In addition, I also was paired with a mentor who provided me advice on resumes, cover letter and projects in progress. My mentor also helped set up projects for me to help with that were targeted towards my career interests. For example, currently I am working on redesigning the Ankeny Airfield runways. This involves meeting with two employees at McClure Engineering and discussing the criteria needed for the reconstruction. This is a project that really zones in on my interests, and it has helped me further define my career goals. I am also working on another project with my mentor, who is a landscape architect with Shive-Hattery. Another APEX associate and I are assisting him with the renovations of the Marriott front entrance. This involves researching ideas and designing different concepts on CAD software. These design ideas will then be presented to our client and they will offer us feedback.

I can honestly say that being involved with the APEX program has definitely enhanced my professionalism and helped strengthen my career path. After high school I plan to continue my education at the University of Iowa. After college I would like to find a job in the realm of civil/environmental engineering.