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The Best Buy Teen Tech Center Program: An Amazing STEM Initiative Developing Future IT Professionals

In 2012, Best Buy partnered with The Clubhouse Network to launch Teen Tech Centers across the US to help ensure middle and high school age students have access to interactive learning spaces to explore technology, discover new interests, collaborate with one another and prepare for the future. Today, Teen Tech Centers in 14 cities serve as safe spaces where teens can learn programming, design, robotics, music production, and more. A C2C (Clubhouse to College/Career) Internship program provides students with career training and summer internships.

We are extremely proud to be supporting this incredible STEM initiative, and our Apex teams who are getting involved in supporting their local Teen Tech Center in various capacities. James Boucher, a Sr. VP and Champion of the program, shares how “volunteering our time and talents to Best Buy’s Teen Tech Center’s was an obvious decision for us on multiple levels. Our employees’ passion for Apex’s core values is enhanced while working to impact key societal problems like the shortage of qualified tech employees and the education gap. This is one way we can get hands on and see our efforts pay off in terms of motivated young people and shared technical knowledge.”

Here are some highlights of what Apex teams are doing to support this program.
1. Our Chicago office welcomed Teen Tech Center teens at their office for an afternoon, providing an introduction to Apex, our internal career paths and common IT career paths we support and hire for. They also put together and provided a robust ‘Career Resource Packet’ and had our Career Coach Chelsea provide a brief presentation on Resumes and LinkedIn. They then took turns meeting with some of our Recruiters and Account Managers to do mock interviews and have general career Q&A. One of our team members shared “I really enjoyed meeting and interviewing with one of the students, Joshua, who was very sharp, prepared, and motivated with a clear vision of what he is wanting to do in life, which was very impressive to see in someone that is still in high school. It was such a rewarding experience overall and I was very impressed with all of the students!”

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2. Denver went to their local Teen Tech Center to sit down with students and provide key advice around resumes and interviewing. They then sat with individual students to talk through their questions and provide additional suggestions.

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3. Some of our San Antonio team members followed Denver’s example and went and did a Career Advice session at their local Best Buy Teen Tech Center, where they conducted 1x1 career sessions with each student and did mock interviews, LinkedIn/Resume review, and answered questions around general career advice. It was no surprise to hear one Apexer share “we were very impressed with how well put together the Teen Tech Center program is! Coming from the staffing industry, it was awesome to see high school students with complete resumes and LinkedIn profiles. It was also great to hear that many of them already have internship experience under their belts and that they are all actively looking for their next opportunities to be part of the tech world. It gets us excited about the future of IT!”

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Involvement and support of STEM initiatives/programs is rewarding to all those involved! Jermey, our Chicago Managing Director, said “We really enjoyed hosting the students from the Best Buy Teen Tech Center, as they brought great energy and enthusiasm to our office, plus it was great to see how prepared and interested they were in the material we provided! It was great to be able to give them access to see a real world working environment!”

“The visit to Apex gave these students an opportunity to be in a welcoming work environment and meet professionals who were open to sitting with them individually to conduct mock interviews. Based on the feedback from our students, the interviews were very helpful and the feedback from your staff will continue to help the students grow as professionals,” one Teen Tech Center Manager shared. Another explained how her students “had a great time meeting staff and how their mock interviews helped them learn professional skills that will be beneficial as they transition into the professional world and seek employment.” Yet another shared how “one student felt very connected to the person who interviewed her and her level of confidence to participate in future interviews has increased.”

We love hearing about the impact our employees are having and look forward to seeing more of our teams engage in skills-based volunteering opportunities like this, where they’re sharing advice with the next generation of Information Technology professionals!