During the summer of 2018, two Rockhurst seniors were selected to participate in the YEP KC internship program. Joe Hathaway & Zach Telford, both members of the class of 2018, joined 17 other KC area students. You can read more about Joe Hathaway on the YEP KC website. After his experience, Joe wanted to share the following reflection:

The following reflection was written by Joe Hathaway, member of the class of 2018.

The four weeks I spent at my internship at C2FO and the opportunity to be a member of the YEP KC class of 2018 have been a blessing. In those four weeks, I learned more about the business/corporate world and environment than I did in all 18 years of my life. In high school, I was not taught these skills or information. I feel it is crucial for high school students to have this experience because you learn the what the environment of a business is, how a successful business works and are taught lessons each week by innovating entrepreneurs from all over the Kansas City area. At my internship at C2FO, the interns went through a series of lessons taught by each member of the C level team, CFO, CEO, CSO, etc. These information sessions lasted an hour and we were taught how each department functions and were allowed to ask questions. I do not know how many high schoolers have the opportunity to ask a CFO specific questions about running a business and I am blessed to have that opportunity. Likewise, as a part of the YEP KC program, every Friday a guest speaker will come in and have a Q&A session with us. This is extremely helpful because these guest speakers each bring something different to the table and allows us to learn all sides of business. Furthermore, the members of the YEP KC class of 2018 are brilliant and I am surrounded by them each week. The friendships and connections I have made with them will continue to grow as we all branch out into the world of business. If I ever had a question with regards to finance or managing employees, I am able to reach out to one of the members and they will be more than happy to help me. As members of YEP KC, we were taught to think differently. To think out of the box. We were pushed to be curious every day. This was not always stressed in high school, but having the curiosity to learn new things is essential to growth as a person.

Going into the internship, I felt that the first couple of weeks would mainly consist of busy work/paperwork because of my lack of experience in the business world. I was thrown for a loop when C2FO saw the potential I had in sales and incorporated me as a full member. I was a part of a subdivision of the sales team and began my training along with a new hire. That’s right, I learned the exact same training and was given the same amount of attention as a new employee and I was just an intern! And with this I was given similar goals to the other members of the sales team. I worked with accounts and did the same tasks as the other sales members and brought in results! I was amazed the company saw the potential I had and let me use it and because of that, I was able to keep up with other members of the sales team doing similar jobs they had been doing for months. It was an eye-opening experience that this professional company allowed me to do that same jobs as their employees and it taught me to never underestimate someone with less experience, especially a motivated student in high school.

The knowledge I was taught in high school was used extensively during this internship. Having taken two years of AP Computer Science classes, I was able to work my way around the various programs and software that C2FO used with ease. Likewise, C2FO uses a query language in their day to day work and with my background in computer science, I was able to learn the language with ease. At the beginning of my sales position, I created talk tracks to outline what I was going to say to my customers on the phone. All those years of writing and outlining essays in English class paid off. In the sales position I was in, people skills played a large role. The new hire that was learning with me, went through multiple years of speech and debate and theatre in high school. The skills he learned in those classes were very helpful when he talked with customers on the phone. He was able to quickly come up with effective responses to convince the customers and to keep them interested.

Overall, my experience at C2FO and YEP KC had been nothing but beneficial to me. I have learned many things that I was not taught in high school and have met multiple people that inspire me at such a young age. I am blessed to have the teachers at Rockhurst that pushed me to become the motivated individual I am today and to be involved in every aspect of my life. Thank you Rockhurst and thank you Mr. Owsley for letting me have this opportunity. AMDG