A new school year means hanging out with a new group of impressionable and talented Waukee APEX students. Not too long ago, we gave the fall group a taste of our life here at PM and Shift — showing them our stomping grounds and introducing them to what we do. They met with professionals in multiple areas of our company including account service, video production, traditional design, and web design.
The Waukee Aspiring Professional Experience program is all about letting young adults choose what they’re interested in — and then setting them up with area businesses in that field so they can explore related career possibilities.
Performance Marketing and Shift Interactive have been working with the group for a couple of years now, and we keep getting more and more involved. Each semester, a couple classes join us for a tour of the office, to engage in small group discussions, and to speak with employees.
Following the initial visit, we work with them to coordinate job-shadowing opportunities, answer their burning questions, and fill every possible need we can. Being a part of their exploration process is not only helpful to them, but it’s also both fulfilling and invigorating for us. PM partner Jim Swanson knows firsthand just how much of an impact we can make:
“I learned early with the APEX students that if you want to have a great partnership, you need to be a great partner. You have to give up the notion that you’ve been doing this forever and have all the right answers. It’s about talking less and listening more, always starting with the students’ ideas and motivations so they feel comfortable expressing themselves. The rest is easy,” said Swanson.
As a result of Swanson’s open communication, students are quicker to ask questions and talk through problems, helping them learn at a much quicker pace — which is what the APEX program is all about.
For more details on the PM + APEX relationship, check out our Spring APEX blog post.
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