Student Experience

  • Heather Young | Southwest News Media | Senior 2016

    Heather Going into my senior year of high school, I was still completely unsure of what I wanted to study in college and where I wanted to go. Originally, I had been planning on doing PSEO at Normandale for my last year of high school, then Mrs. Staub, my art teacher, came to me about CAPS I had to decide between the two. Ultimately, I decided that CAPS would be a great way for me to explore different careers and also get experience with ‘“the real world.”

    In the beginning, I was mostly really nervous about being part of the CAPS Digital Design program. Compared to some of the other people that had been accepted into the program, I had very little experience with art and I had no experience with any of the Adobe programs. In my first days of the program, I found that there were other people that were in the same position I was in. Despite the varying level of skills, Mrs. Paulson did a great job of making sure everybody was getting where they needed to be. Within the program, we formed a close-knit group, I felt comfortable with everybody and asking them for help when I needed it.
    As my CAPS experience comes to an end as well as my high school experience, I’m starting to reflect on my life these past four years. I can genuinely say that joining CAPS was the best decision I could’ve made. Not only have I developed my skills in graphic design, I have also learned how to function as a professional. With this, I have become more confident in myself and I am really grateful for this. I think this program is a great fit for anybody because it’s about way more than just digital design, or business, or tourism. It encompasses a wide spectrum of skills which is why it is such a great opportunity for anybody.
    Nate Lemos | Imagine! Print Solutions | Senior 2016 
    I chose CAPS because I saw it as a great opportunity to learn professional skills in a business setting and to learn design skills through a Normandale curriculum. I enrolled in it because I felt like it would look good on any resume that I had an internship in high school and still had time to graduate. My main takeaway from CAPS would be the professional resources I gained. I got a leg up by having a firm foundation with my cover letter, resume, LinkedIn account, and even handshake. I was never taught these things in high school so I should be an easy pick for any employer. I would recommend this program to any student wanting to learn professional skills in the workplace as well as learn new things. At least for me, my internship was focused on learning new things and shadowing alongside experts. If you are looking for more freedom during your high school career and aren’t sure what electives to take your senior year, I would choose CAPS. The immersion experience with CAPS is a great way for students to work closely alongside professionals and their online presence.
    Jade Tran | City of Shakopee | Senior 2016
    Jade My name is Jade Tran. I’m a senior in the Digital Design strand of CAPS and I am currently the Communications Intern at the City of Shakopee. The previous year, I took AP Studio Art with a heavy background in painting and drawing, but I wanted to expand my knowledge to the digital side of the arts. When I had been introduced to CAPS, I took the opportunity right away.
    The biggest thing about CAPS is its fast-paced nature. I entered the course without any knowledge of design programs, professional skills, or job experience and was surrounded by other students whose skill levels were way ahead of me. As scary as it sounds, you’re thrown into the middle of things, but that’s how I learned so much in so little time and was able to challenge myself. By the end of the first semester, I felt confident in all of these areas, had a solid portfolio (which came in handy while applying to art schools) and was ready for my internship.
    So, if you want to pull ahead of your classmates at school and become a professional with extra job experience for your resume, or if you simply want to “do art,” I’d recommend this program.