In the fall of 2014, Qlik partnered with Mentor Foundation USA to support an “Authentic Career Experience” program with 17 senior Statistics students from Penn Wood High School (which I discussed in my last blog post). When it came time for Penn Wood’s 2015 course selection, those same senior students who had participated in the program presented to new potential Statistics students explaining the content and describing their experiences in the Statistics class last year. They enthusiastically highlighted the Authentic Career experience with Qlik and encouraged students to enroll for 2015. The result of their efforts was a 69% increase in student enrollment (from 36 to 61 students) and the expansion of the course from two sections to three!
What better way to celebrate the success of the program than a visit to Qlik headquarters in Radnor? Many of the students participating in the program got the full office tour, a chance to experiment with Qlik Sense on-site and even met the President of the Americas at Qlik: Joe Dibartolomeo.
This year’s program is off to a great start, with an increased focus on crafting questions that get to the heart of what students want to know, and promoting deeper understanding of the complex processes that are involved in analyzing large data sets. The students have a very important topic to address this year: Student Engagement. They are extremely conscious and concerned about the lack of engagement and motivation within their school community, and their goal is to create meaningful change projects to address it during their "Connecting with Qlik" experience.
The survey included questions about support at school and at home, athletic participation, and comfort in asking for help. The access to sophisticated technology (e.g., Qlik Sense) and the appropriate time to explore and use it, supports the students' ability to draw conclusions, compose effective arguments and develop realistic action plans. The students were able to compile the completed surveys and enter the data into Qlik Sense, which allowed them to see all of the results in one dashboard.
I had a chance to catch up with fellow Qlikkies that are serving as “Connecting with Qlik” mentors.
“The students arrived with a list of questions that they wanted to answer,” reported Jennell McIntire. “In my group, each student used the app to answer at least one of their questions. The students used Qlik Sense with ease and comfort and it was nice to see how they were able to navigate and drill down in the app to answer their questions after a brief introduction by CSR Director, Julie Whipple.”
Another mentor, Chuck Bannon, has a more personal connection to the program. "Having grown up one town over from Penn Wood High School, it was a great opportunity to give back to my community. By showing the students what I do at Qlik, I am confident that they feel that they can do it too. Having explained how companies from many industries and lines of business use Qlik to understand their data, the students recognized that no matter where they wind up in their careers, there will be lots of data and there will be a need to understand that data."
Qlik Culture and Talent Business Partner Andrea Ross was also impressed by the Penn Wood seniors. “What a group of bright, curious, enthusiastic students! The first draft of their survey questions was so insightful. I am very much looking forward to continuing in this process with them.”