Category Archives: Internships

Why is Communication Important? 6 Major Tips!

Written By Shawn Beekman // Apex High AOIT class of 2018

Communication used to be essential for survival in the wild. Being warned of incoming danger through verbal or nonverbal communication could be the difference between life and death. Today it’s not as extreme but if you want people to trust, respect, and understand you clearly, it is essential that you master the art of communication. Here we go over some tips to help improve your communication so you can succeed in any career path:

1. Listening

Listen to hear what they’re saying, show interest, and further the conversation.

Communication is an “exchanging of information or news”. This means there are two sides to the exchange: talking and listening. Listening shows respect, interest, and allows you to understand what the other person is saying. Whenever you talk you want to be responding to what the other person is saying to further the conversation and further the understanding. It’s important to focus on them while they are speaking and what they are saying. It helps to repeat the words they say in your head and looking at them so you don’t get distracted. While it is important to think before you speak, it is more important that you hear everything they have to say. Don’t keep a response in bouncing around your head and say it as soon as they stop talking because then you just missed everything they were saying by thinking about what you were going to say.

2. Body Language

Have good body language to show interest, be more likeable, and engaged.

Your body language subconsciously has tells which let the other person know how you are reacting to the interaction. Facing towards them, looking them in the eyes, nodding your head, smiling, and standing up straight are things you should be doing to show you are interested – the other person will feel respected and understood. Turning away from them, not showing eye contact, negative face expressions, and slouching are signs that you don’t want to be in the conversation and make them feel disrespected. It’s important to identify how your body language comes off to other people and how other people’s body language reacts to you to gauge how well the conversation is going.

3. Think Before You Speak

Think before you speak to collect your thoughts and better convey ideas.

The major key to speaking clearly and getting your point across is rehearsal. With enough time anyone can figure out the perfect way to change their wording to get a point across and the best way to do that is rehearse it in your head or write it out. Before you engage the conversation it’s helpful to play out how it will go, how they will react to what you say, and how you will react to that, etc. because the conversation flows better when you already know what to say and you can figure out how to convey your point.

4. Confidence

Be confident because it makes you more likeable, reliable, and trustworthy.

The most important skill anyone can have is confidence. Confidence is walking into a room and not caring what other people think of you, you feel comfortable or confident in yourself to function normally without worrying about what people think. Arrogance is walking into a room and expecting everyone likes you. There is a fine line between being confident in yourself – being able to perform at your maximum ability – and thinking you are a gift to humanity. Confidence undoubtedly shows in your presence, body language, and attitude when talking and sells you to be more respectable and trustworthy. This makes a huge difference in how you come across to people and how they treat you.

5. Open-Mindedness

Be open-minded because it makes you more likeable, knowledgeable, and aware of different perspectives.

People have their own opinions and nobody likes to be told they’re wrong. Understand that even when you think or know you are right that you shouldn’t argue with someone or call them stupid for being wrong because that ruins your personal image. Being open to new ideas and other’s opinions also means you are more well-rounded and able to see things from different perspectives, which is important to making important decisions.

6. Build A Connection

Build connections with people to have friends, conversations, and earn favors in the future.

People have all the power in the world in the workplace. It’s important to be friendly to people and make friendships. If you want that job, raise, or promotion you will want to be liked by the boss because they’ll be more likely to give a raise to the good worker who is friendly than the good worker who doesn’t talk to anyone and is always serious. Or on the other side, if you are the boss and want your workers to want to do work it’s important to be friendly to them and treat them well so they want to work for you and do their best work for you. If people hate their boss then they won’t give their work 100%, they’ll do 70% or 60%. Essentially you should have mutual relationships where you get what you give. There’s a middle ground with this though. Being a people pleaser is risky because you are easily abusable and will often get walked on so know your line. But being unpleasant to people will make you widely disliked.

Although some of these tips are hard to implement into your daily life it is very helpful to at least know about them and remember them occasionally. If you listen, have good body language, think before you speak, have confidence, be open-minded, and build connections then you will be way more successful than someone who doesn’t.

 

References

Doyle, Alison. “These Are the Communication Skills Employers Look For In Employees.” The Balance, 28 Nov. 17 ADAD, www.thebalance.com/communication-skills-list-2063779

AOIT Networking event

Written 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:

 

AOIT interns find success with major corporations

Written 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).

SAS_Institute_logo
The concept behind SAS began as an attempt to analyze research collected about agriculture at NCSU.

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.”

Because of her time spent in AOIT, Bhatia was able to apply her prior knowledge of technological skills. “E-Commerce I with Mrs. Evans saved my life!” she declared. Over the course of her internship, Bhatia taught herself JavaScript, and enhanced her HTML skills. Her lack of knowledge of programming allowed her to shine in another way: she was the only intern who knew the fundamentals of HTML.

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.

Hello Everyone,
I wanted to let you know that I have enrolled the entire AOIT 12th grade cohort into a AOIT Internship Blackboard Site.  If you login into Bb you should see the site.  Click on the site and go to the Content section to see instruction for uploading your blog entries.
internshipscreenshot
– – > I need everyone to upload their Blog entries by May 15.
Even if you turned in a hard copied I need you to upload a soft copy.  This will serve as a repository for me to see all the blogs and read them.
Also I need your Supervisor’s Evaluation and Time Sheet turned into me by May 15.  This is mandatory for everyone!  If I do not get the supervisor’s evaluation you will fail your internship.  The evaluation is found on pages 20 and 21 of the internship packet.  Please get this done.
Lastly please RSVP for the senior banquet on Thursday May 21.  Everyone should have received an invitation by now.  If you did not please see me ASAP.  You can pay for your guest using the PayPal or credit card button found on the main page of the AOIT site.  This is a fun night and you get your cord and certificate.
I have copied all the parent emails that I have in case you do not get this note.