By: Rachel McKinney // Apex High AOIT – Class of 2016
Networking: to further one’s career by interacting with other people to exchange information and develop contacts.
Doesn’t sound like something teenagers are doing? Think again. Last Thursday, AOIT juniors were in the Apex High Media Center networking with small business owners who are offering paid summer internships to students. It may seem like a strange sight seeing so many teens dressed in business professional clothes, shaking hands with potential employers, and exchanging business cards, but the Apex Chamber of Commerce Networking Event has become a yearly tradition in Apex High’s nationally distinguished Academy of Information Technology.
Junior year is an exciting time for AOIT students as they begin their search for meaningful internships, and the AOIT class of 2017 is no exception. They are looking forward to gaining real workplace experience through their internships, the annual networking event is the first step towards that. The event is a great way for students to build interpersonal skills by introducing themselves to and interacting with real, professional adults. AOIT Board member Marcia Murto who attended the event, not only praised student’s professionalism through their business attire, but also “the fact that 5 to 10 minute conversations were taking place, suggesting that real connections were being made.” The annual event is the perfect opportunity to help connect small businesses to young, skilled interns, and vice versa. As Ed Majkowski of Random 434 Boutique said, “we are looking for someone to take us to the next level,” and that is exactly what the networking event aims to accomplish.
Juniors may not yet know where their internship will be, but they are looking forward to finding one. Some have specific fields that they would like their internship to be in, others are just excited for the opportunity to gain real world experience and to expand their resumes. “I’m not sure what field I want to go into career wise, so I’m hoping my internship will help me figure that out,” says AOIT junior Angela Schulze at the networking event. Seniors who have already gone through the intern experience were also at the event to talk about their internships. Dhvani Bhatia, an AOIT senior who interned at SAS attended the event to give advice and insight into what an internship is like, gushed to the juniors about how she “learned more in her internship than she ever did in all of high school.” Juniors can expect to learn applicable, real world skills no matter where their internship may be, and the networking event is the first step towards getting that internship
This year’s Apex Chamber of Commerce Networking event was another success for AOIT, and we can’t wait to hear about the experiences the juniors have this summer at their internships!
Check out this video for a firsthand experience of the event: