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Could you give a little background about yourself?

I am a senior at Waukee High School. I am planning to enter Iowa State’s Accounting program. In my free time I am a programmer and web developer, but I also have a passion for accounting and business.

Why did you sign up for APEX FBI?

I was initially just interested in continuing to learn about accounting, statistics, and business operations, however I quickly learned that I was going to learn much more.

Tell me about your APEX experience.

My APEX experience was constantly busy, but extremely valuable. During my semester, I was able to do many things including learning from nationally recognized businesses in various industries (accounting, insurance, investment, etc.), hearing from people in all sorts of careers and at many levels (Entry Level – C Suite), and working hands-on with local companies and seeing day to day workings of real businesses.

That is how I was first introduced to Wellabe, a local insurance company, and was able to interact with them. I was offered the opportunity to work on a project they pitched for us and was put on a team. Our project was to help Wellabe automate the quarterly statutory reporting. They estimated the process to take 2000 man hours, and our job was to cut it down to 1000 man hours. As part of this team I was able to both build skills professionally and technically, as we got to work hands-on with two actuaries from Wellabe who were just as eager to make a connection with APEX.

I also feel that I had a lot of time to reach out to business professionals in accounting, the field I am aspiring to be in, and ask them questions about their career. There is probably no better way to learn about these things than from someone who experienced them firsthand.

What are some skills (technical and professional) you have learned during your time at APEX?

  • Business statistics
  • Excel, VBA, SQL
  • Various business/industry-standard software
  • Communication and organizational skills
  • Teamwork and leadership skills

What is your favorite thing about APEX?

Exactly as my instructor explained, you get what you put into it. I felt that I could keep putting in without limitation and continue being rewarded.

At the start of my APEX experience, I wondered how far this statement would actually go, knowing that in the back of my head, I was striving to break into the business field and get an internship this summer. I thought surely there is no way I could put in so much and get an internship, and that is exactly what happened. Because I wanted it and was willing to put in the work and get out of my comfort zone, I was able to get it.

What do you plan to do in the future, and how has APEX helped you in your journey?

I hope to one day become a CPA (Certified Public Accountant),, and APEX has helped by giving me a head start. It allows me to jump straight into the business world and start building my skills as soon as possible.

Seriously I cannot stress enough how important APEX was to helping me get into the mindset of business and professionalism, always providing me with all the resources I might need whether that be actual materials, help from really great instructors and peers, or connections that are out in the business world in really impressive areas. The best part, as I mentioned before, is that you are an individual. You make your own choices and do your own things, and it is up to you how much you utilize those resources and succeed.