The official student media of Blue Valley Northwest High School


The official student media of Blue Valley Northwest High School


The official student media of Blue Valley Northwest High School


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Stepping into the professional world

With summer opening up schedules, some BVNW students decided to apply to and participate in internships in order to develop skills usually untouched by school.
Jeny Jithesh
Some students chose to participate in research-based internships over the summer

From carrying out experiments and going over test results to showcasing a presentation, interns at the University of Kansas Medical Center had varying responsibilities, Senior Siri Gowda said. As students planned their summer activities, some decided to participate in internships. For many students, an internship provides lessons and experiences that cannot be replicated in the classroom: professionalism, work management and other skills that help one have success in the workplace. 

Gowda participated in an internship at the University of Kansas Medical Center, specifically at the research facility. Gowda said she applied to be a part of an internship for numerous reasons. She wanted to gain mentorship from experienced personnel and learn about the specific field her internship centers around. 

Much like Gowda, junior Esha Himagirish also decided to spend her summer learning from a mentor. Instead of applying for an internship, Himagirish emailed a variety of professors at local universities. Towards the end of the school year, Himagirish reached out to professors at both The University of Kansas and The University of Missouri-Kansas City. While she received minimal replies from KU professors, Himagirish received replies from almost every professor at UMKC.

“I emailed about 10 UMKC professors, and all of them replied back except for one or two,” Himagirish said.

She chose to take a spot in the research lab because it proved to be an application of many of the ideas and lessons she had learned within an Honors Biology or Anatomy and Physiology classroom.

 “From Honors Bio we learned about RNA processing and genetics. Then in Anatomy I learned about muscle structures and [their] functions. [The] lab combined both of those things.” Himagirish said.

An example she provided was when she dissected a fly during the lab and was able to see the things which she’d studied.

“When I went into the lab, I dissected a fly and under the confocal microscope I could see the myofibrils,” Himagirish said. “It kind of hit me, like, that’s an actual thing I learned about.”

 For Himagirish, being a part of this lab made her see that her classroom education was different from what was expected in a professional setting.

“It taught me [that] what you learn in the classroom is much different than what you apply in the actual field,” Himagirish said.  “When I went in there and I interned, I realized that was not what I wanted to do.” 

Even though Himagirish was brought to the realization that bioinformatics was not what she wanted to pursue, she said she still gained a lot of knowledge through her internship. 

Senior Shivam Kumar found his internship through the Young Entrepreneurs Program (YEP), a summer scholar program. 

“Basically what they do is match aspiring entrepreneurs up with local Kansas-City-based companies in order to provide you with valuable experiences in the workplace,” Kumar said. 

Furthermore, the YEP also connects students with venture capitalists and former entrepreneurs to provide them with information on what exactly it takes to become successful in the business world. According to the YEP website, they focus on turning middle and high-school teens into confident entrepreneurs.

Kumar found out about the YEP through a former senior who encouraged him to apply for the program.

“She told me that I would be a really good fit for the program since she knew I was very interested in entrepreneurship,” Kumar said. 

Before summer had begun, Kumar had applied to various summer programs, many of which were science research programs. However, due to their selective nature, Kumar was rejected from many of the research programs but was accepted into the YEP, placing him on the path to an entirely different internship dealing with entrepreneurship more than research.

“I was rejected from the [programs] I really wanted to go to but had been accepted into YEP which led me to select it,” Kumar said. 

The first step of the application process had been to submit an informational form, similar to a college application. 

“I was told around 120 people from the Kansas City area submitted an application online. Then you move onto a phone interview, which is very informal and not too stressful,” Kumar said. 

From there, depending on performance, the interviewee moves onto a Zoom call with a YEP executive and alumni.

“If they like you and think you’re a good fit for the program, you move on to an interview with the CEO of YEP and the company I [was] interning at, C2FO,” Kumar said. 

According to Kumar, there were only 30 applicants left at this point. 

“They were narrowing [it down] to 15 [applicants], so at this point the interview was very stressful but also a great educational opportunity,” Kumar said.

 After passing the final interview with Sandy Kemper, CEO of C2FO, Kumar was accepted. When Kumar found out about the internship opportunity that came as a part of doing the YEP, he described feeling slightly intimidated. 

“I did not know how to code, and honestly, I hate working in an office environment,” Kumar said. “But that was not necessary because I was able to learn the code I needed to know pretty quickly and my office is amazing because the work environment is great.” 

Kumar worked as a data analyst at C2FO, in a structure similar to that of a regular office job. In the beginning, he was tasked with learning a couple of coding languages and how the company operates.  

“I [was] tasked with doing whatever my manager told me to do,” Kumar said. “He gave me a few tasks in the week, and I needed to write code to access C2FO databases and then make a chart out of the tasks he gave me.” 

For the work Kumar put in, he was offered a salary along with various other benefits.

“YEP offers a $10 per hour salary and that adds up pretty quick for an 8 week 9-5 job, and they also give a $2,500 scholarship to put towards college,” Kumar said. 

Other than the salary, the internship also impacted his future in various ways. The internship provided Kumar with connections he could return to in the future.

“I was able to network daily and build connections that [could] help me in the future,” Kumar said. “Internships are very well [looked upon] by college admissions officers, and it looks great that I was a part of the Young Entrepreneurs Program.”

On the other hand, Gowda participated in an unpaid internship. She said she experienced a lot of waiting and less hands-on learning. Gowda added that confidence and social skills are necessary in any sort of internship as she was expected to talk to peers and mentors without preparation. 

From Gowda’s experience, she said being an intern can include challenges along with its benefits, such as finding the correct type of guidance. There are multiple programs within an internship and many different people, so finding mentors that are compatible with an intern can be a struggle, Gowda said.

She added that not only is finding guidance difficult, but it is also necessary for teenage interns especially to be professional. Gowda said patience is very important for interns in high school, particularly because of their age. 

“We are only high schoolers, [so] there’s only so much we can do. Having a lot of patience is huge, because the majority of the time in an internship, there’s a lot of just waiting and observing, not as much hands-on [work],” Gowda said.

Even though there are limitations and it may feel intimidating, Kumar recommended that students should still push themselves to and try an internship during their high school careers,

“I would strongly recommend going for it even if you feel intimidated,” Kumar said “It is very useful for your future and a fun summer experience.”   


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About the Contributors
Nafsiya Hafiz
Nafsiya Hafiz, Writer
Nafsiya is a junior and a writer for “The Express.” This is her second year on staff. Outside of newspaper, Nafsiya plays the clarinet and draws up “lesson plans” for the Writing Club at BVNW. She hopes to participate in a variety of clubs throughout the school year. In her freetime, Nafsiya enjoys crocheting, reading, hanging out with friends, and listening to music. She is excited to continue writing for “The Express” and is looking forward to the year!
Sri Trikona
Sri Trikona, Writer
Sri Trikona is a sophomore and writer for “The Express.” This is her first year on staff. Outside of Newspaper Sri is involved in DECA, FBLA, KAY Club, and Team Up for St. Jude’s. In her free time Sri enjoys reading, spending time with her friends, and teaching students dance at her studio. She is so excited to start her journey in journalism and be a part of the newspaper staff. She hopes to improve her journalistic skills and meet new people. 
Jeny Jithesh
Jeny Jithesh, Online Editor
Jeny Jithesh is a senior and Online Editor of “The Express” and BVNWnews. This is her second year on staff as a writer. Outside of newspaper, Jeny is serving as the President of FBLA and KAY Club and participates in Student Government, NHS, NEHS, and Quill & Scroll. In her free time, Jeny loves going on walks with her parents, hanging out with friends, painting, and traveling. She is looking forward to contributing to BVNWNews as an editor and writer!

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