Hello, my name is Alex Rau. I’m 17 years old and will soon begin my senior year at Prospect High School. Throughout lots and lots of time spent aimlessly browsing the internet, I’ve seen many jokes that go something like, “Entry level position, requires five years of experience in the field”, or, “Requires 8 or more years of experience in Swift(A language that was at the time three years old)”. I believe these jokes are(unfortunately) grounded in reality. Experience is critical in the job market. I believe the best(and only) way to tackle these experience requirements efficiently is to start early. 

I had always wanted to pursue something computer related as a career. Issue with that “computer related” is about as vague as it gets. There are a million different directions I could go in. One of my goals here at JRS Mar/Com is to take a look at some of the many different possibilities within the field of computer science. 

Most of my time is dedicated to cross country, track, and video games. I run long distance but I also do pole vault, which is a bit of an odd combination, but I enjoy it. I’ve always been too caught up with academics and extracurriculars to work, so the workplace environment is new to me. 

So far, I’ve gone down the path of Search Engine Optimization(SEO) and analytics. The major project I am working on at the moment is promoting the Rotary Santa Run held by the Rotary Club of Arlington Heights. The event is very seasonal and promotes only in the months leading up to Christmas, so there is minimal traffic in July. Seeing as doing analytics work without data is quite difficult, for this particular project I’ve changed to more of a focus on website design. I am also working with a team for a long term project, which I have done before but never with strangers. Hopefully this will give me some more experience with what it’s like working with a team in a more professional setting. 

Update: This internship has been a great experience for me. Since the writing of this brief bio, I’ve done a lot more work on the website as well as some side projects such as data aggregation and site audits. Overall this has been a fantastic experience. Throughout the internship, I had a lot of autonomy to figure out how to do things but I also had the support from Joe and the rest of the team when I couldn’t find a way to solve a problem using a CSS/HTML approach. Thank you, Joe, for giving me this opportunity, thanks to the team for supporting me, and special thanks to Rushi for aligning stuff when I couldn’t figure it out.