At the beginning of the term, I had no experience with APEX nor did I possess many professional skills. In June, I had an on-the-spot job interview for Noodles and Company and struggled to put together an outfit that looked professional. My mom had to quickly prep me with questions to ask and what they were probably going to ask me. I went into the interview not very prepared, but somehow, I got the job.
Previously in school, I was only focused on getting through the class and getting a good grade. When studying for tests, I would quickly learn the material, write it down on the test, and forget it immediately. I thought I was interested in writing, but after exploring that interest farther, I realized it wasn’t something I wanted to pursue. I then took Web Design and Computer Applications and realized I enjoyed computers. I decided to participate in the APEX program’s Developing Web Based Technologies course to further explore what area of computers I might want to go into.
My main project this year has been for Train to Inspire, a local fitness organization for people with disabilities. I was the project leader, designing the complete website from scratch and maintaining professional communication with the client. It was definitely a challenge, as I was not familiar with WordPress and the client wanted several complicated features. The project was a great chance for me to improve my problem solving skills as I figured out how to make an upcoming events calendar, slideshows, and contact form. Overall, Train to Inspire was a very beneficial way to showcase my web design skills.
APEX has been a complete transformation for me. It has shown me a glimpse of what the real world is like outside of high school. I didn’t know how to dress professionally, communicate with adults, or be productive without being told exactly what to do. During the semester I would set a daily goal for what I wanted to accomplish each day, which helped me stay on task and be productive. I believe everyone should take an APEX course because it gives you a chance to explore an area you are interested in. I now know that I would like to pursue UI/UX design in college with a Computer Information Systems major.