Aviation High School has offered students many unique opportunities to interact with industry leaders throughout its existence. This fall, senior-to-be Anastasia Pallis will travel to the historic city of Kobe, Japan for one week as part of the annual SeaFair Ambassador program. Pallis is the first AHS student to be offered an Ambassador position, and she offered the Phoenix Flyer an inside look into the process she went through in order to earn this unique opportunity.
Q: Which company is this program being run through?
A: This program is being run through Seafair. Seafair basically runs the summer festivals around the area, such as the Seafair Pirates, the Blue Angels and hydroplane races. The program has been going on since the 80s and they offer it for kids that get more involved in the community and learn how much they can affect their local and global communities by going to Japan every year.
Q: How did you hear about this opportunity?
A: I heard about it in the NOTAM and my first period teacher read it to me on a Monday morning, and I thought that would be a stellar opportunity.
Q: What process did you go through to be selected?
A: I had to fill out an application and write an essay about the community activities that impacted my life the most and I had to go through the interview process with four company officials, one of them being the CEO of Seafair.
Q: What influences you the most?
A: I coach a special olympics team all year round and that has the most impact on me in my lifetime.
Q: What kind of questions did they ask you?
A: They asked me about myself, they asked me to talk about what I wrote in my essay and why that impacted me.
Q: On a scale of one to ten how nervous were you going into the interview?
A: I’m going to say, going into the office I was about a seven but then once I got in there I was totally relaxed and it went really well.
Q: How were you informed of being selected?
A: Well actually I got a email but I read it on their website first and then checked my email. So I kind of already knew before I got the congratulations email confirming my internship.
Q: What experiences at AHS do you think helped you go through this process?
A: Being an intern for the career center helped me because I have gained a little bit more confidence in talking to adults and people of important stature. And also being forced to present to industry officials really helped because I wasn’t as nervous.
Q: Many people take a long time to build enough confidence to be able to go in for an interview, what helped you prepare yourself mentally?
A: I was motivated by the scholarship, and that gave me a lot of motivation to go in and do it. And I knew that if I just put a smile on and went in there and acted confidently and believed in myself then I knew I could make a good impression.
Q: What are you excited for?
A: I’m excited to just go to Japan, I never really thought I would be going there at this age by myself. I am just excited for the new experience and learning about the culture and everything.
Q: Do you have any worries about the actual trip itself?
A: I’m only going to be there for a week so I’m worried that I’m going to be so culture shocked when I get there and I won’t have time to adjust and then I’m going to come back.