By: Kaitlyn Long // Apex AOIT – Class of 2016
For Apex AOIT, the significance of completing a business internship is critical. In fact, all of the directors to preside over the Academy since its creation in 2001 have required an internship to be completed as a prerequisite for graduation from AOIT.
Every student in our nationally-acclaimed Academy learns about career-readiness, and participates in regular activities to ensure that professional behaviors are learned, practiced, and refined. All of these are taught in preparation not only for a student’s internship, but for post-education life in the “real world.” More than simply teaching our students about how to be prepared for life in the business world, the Academy also instructs that for which we were named: information technology.
Many students, especially those with a particularly strong interest in technology and the concepts they’ve been taught in their AOIT classes, choose to connect their knowledge of IT with their required internship in a local technology company. Two students who elected this choice, and who have exceptionally notable stories, are Dhvani Bhatia (AOIT class of 2016) and Meredith Bailey (AOIT class of 2015).
Bhatia and Bailey secured internships at SAS Institute, located in Cary, North Carolina. Since its founding in 1976, SAS has grown into the largest analytics software company the world has ever known, with genuine rivals taking years, even decades to present themselves. Due to the active participation of SAS C.E.O. Dr. Jim Goodnight, Apex High’s AOIT program and SAS have maintained a strong partnership for years. Apex is even a proprietor of a class dedicated to teaching students SAS programming specifics.
During her internship at SAS, Bhatia was dubbed an “Information Technology Intern,” and was one of four AOIT students to join the SAS team in 2015. Bhatia, a student of the Web Development track, was the only intern with no prior programming experience outside of Programming I.
“I had no idea what they were talking about,” laughs Bhatia. “I actually started Googling the things they were saying just so I could understand!” Her supervisors took note of this, and immediately made an adjustment. They noticed Bhatia’s unique talent for writing, and combined her two interests into one critical job. “Basically, I would go through all of this really sophisticated code, and write about it in a way that would be understandable to people with no knowledge of technology.”
However, she says that the biggest thing AOIT assisted her in doing in her internship were the things that can’t be taught with tests and quizzes in a traditional classroom setting. Bhatia claims that AOIT gave her the foundation and confidence she needed to successfully conduct meetings, get information to and from people, and, essentially, communicate effectively.
In evaluation of her time spent at SAS thus far, she remarks, “I could definitely see myself doing tech writing [as a career].” Her interests steer her more towards business, but she greatly enjoys the combination of her two passions—writing and computer science. She intends to minor in English in college next year.
However, this is not what makes Bhatia’s story memorable. At the end of summer, with the beginning of their senior year looming in the near distance, the four students prepared to end their time at SAS. That is, until Bhatia got an offer to continue her work at SAS, this time as a full-time intern.
She accepted, and is now managing a full course-load at school, plus her work at SAS.
Dhvani Bhatia is the definition of an Academy success story: she translated the talents gained in her education to an area of work she never dreamed she’d enjoy, and excelled in such a way that her superiors not only took note, but wanted her to continue her work as a regular member of the company.