GREENSBORO, NC (WGHP) — Accounting may be the main subject in Chandra James Northwest High School classroom. But the lessons students learn go far beyond just numbers. You might say what they learn is a credit to their future.

“I said, ‘Hey, you all we’re going to do this project.’ Didn’t know how it would take off with the students,” said James. “Of course, they played tug of war with me, but once they got into the project, they were excited.”

The project was from Rubin Education. A free contest called America’s Next Great Intern. It helps teach students skills they will need to land an internship in the future. Things like how to answer the phone, communicate with team members and do research with critical thinking.

“We’re in a generation that lives on their phones, live on their computers, so having those communication skills is super important. So, that is the main reason why I wanted them to do the project because it gave them an opportunity to interact with each other. Um, it gave me an opportunity to get to know them and learn about them, and I just think that is so important.”

While all of the students participated, one stood out above the rest not only at NWHS, but in the nation. 

Sophomore Rosemary Ruan said for her, “it became more of a, like a big contest.”

She placed third out of all of the participants in the nation. Which she says surprised her.

 “I was really shocked because after my application I thought it was good, but I didn’t think it was amazing. So I was, I was really excited when I heard.”

Ruan admits she worked hard and learned valuable skills.

“I think I developed better, like communication skills and acting professionally. So skills that will help you in a future job or just an interview again. And it made me a bit more likable to express how, what I wanted to say in like, professional manner and how to communicate with like your manager or some, or your coworker or something like that.”

Skills that she says, will come in handy during her Junior and Senior years.

“At school in different clubs, having good communication skills and talking in a professional way is important. If you wanna be like a leader or have a leadership position in different clubs like speech and debate, which I do. And also, um, like deca, it’s good to be able to talk in a business way.”

Keesha Sinclair, the Career & College Manager for Northwest says it’s projects like this truly benefit CTE students in the long run.

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“It’s only going to increase her knowledge and her skill base, to be able to be employed,” says Sinclair. “You know, even if she goes to college and she goes straight to the workforce, she’ll still have those skills and she’ll be ready.”

This is why Ms. James says America’s Next Great Intern caught her eye in the first place.

“What we do for and in CTE is try to prepare our students for the real world. And so anytime there’s a very, very, um, exciting project that’ll keep them engaged, I definitely would like to keep that in inside of the curriculum for the students.”