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High School Student Makes Real World Connections

by Morgan Bell | May 02, 2017

By Allie Hickey, Northland CAPS student

If I had to think of one event that really signified my transition to “adulthood,” it would be when I joined the Northland CAPS program at the start of my senior year. It was at this point that I was treated like a co-worker/associate and pretty much an adult as a whole rather than a student, friend or peer. My responsibilities quickly changed from normal high school senior type duties, to scheduling appointments and meetings, creating presentations for business partners, and working with a team to achieve a common goal.

CAPS stands for Center for Advanced Professional Studies, and that is just what it is. It’s a completely different environment than a normal high school classroom. People look at you and actually value your opinions rather than just having someone put a letter grade on an essay.

If I were asked what my favorite part of NCAPS was, it would be getting to be in our own internships second semester. I was lucky enough to obtain an internship with KC SmartPort; a non-profit economic development organization based right in downtown KC that works to attract distribution manufacturing, and industrial companies to the Kansas City region. Although very different from anything I had ever done before, SmartPort taught me an abundance of valuable skills that will greatly benefit me in my future as a businesswoman. Working alongside KC SmartPort President Chris Gutierrez and Business Development Manager Morgan Bell has forced me to improve upon not only my business soft skills, but my knowledge of the economic development and supply chain/logistics industry as a whole.

Having a taste of the real world at age 18 is most definitely a blessing and a curse. I learned very quickly that excuses are no longer valid, no matter how true or sad they may be - business is business. It was a hard lesson to learn, but a very important one. Along with the blessing part, I had the opportunity to do an internship as a senior in high school which is almost unheard of. Being exposed to all different kinds of industries and companies has been extremely beneficial when it comes to picking out a possible major or career plan.

Northland CAPS has influenced my life in more than one way, but the most important was by far making me feel and act as an adult at such a young age. Not only has it affected my present, but it has played a big role thus far in planning out my future. I now know that business is indeed what I would like to consider for a career path. Had it not been for Northland CAPS, I most likely would’ve gone into college blindsided, and without a clue of what I am doing or what I want. This experience would not have been what it was had my instructors, bosses, business partners and fellow associates not been there. The intelligence and knowledge that I have gained throughout this program will stay with me long after high school, as I carry my takeaways over into my career path/adult life.

Learn more about Northland CAPS. 

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