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Going into APEX I had very little experience with basic business things such as shaking hands or sending professional emails. I went from not knowing how an email should look to sending many emails to business partners and classmates. Over the course of a single term, I have gained the skills and experience to confidently introduce myself to others. All of these skills have helped me lead meetings with business partners, leave positive impressions on others, and help build my reputation as an aspiring professional.

Another area where APEX has really helped me in is career exploration. I have always had an interest in math and science, which led me to want to be an engineer, but I never really grasped what it means to be an engineer. Quickly into my APEX experience, I discovered that, although math and science concepts are prevalent in the engineering industry, they are not always used in a way that matches my specific interests. As I continued to pursue information I came to a point where I wanted to know more than what I was finding on the internet. This led me to reaching out to my instructor, Tyler Wright, and asking for help to get in contact with local professionals in my fields of interest. Within a couple of days, Tyler told me that a classmate of mine was already working on scheduling an interview with an industrial engineer, and this enabled me to go with a couple of my peers to gain insight into that career path. This experience helped me determine what parts of the job that I would enjoy, and what parts I would not.

Further, I explored engineering related careers with Tyler Wright, and Michelle Hill, APEX Director, helping me quickly get into contact with a business analytics consultant. From that interview I made a connection and got a job shadow with a data analyst at Meredith to explore that path further. Another area that I have found an interest in is accounting and actuarial science, and to become more informed on what those careers would entail, Tyler helped me arrange a meeting for later this month at Accumold.

APEX offers an unmatched flexibility for how student associates can use their time and the connections available to them through the program. I have chosen to use my time to do extensive career research, which has helped me understand how my interests can be incorporated into the best career path. With all of the informational interviews and job shadows I have been a part of, I obtained a lot of knowledge and understanding that is influencing what areas I want to pursue in college. For all of these reasons, I am grateful for my APEX experiences, as they have helped shape my future!