The impression you make on adults while you are in high school may very well impact the career opportunities you have later. A newly graduated engineering student shared an example of this when he was hired for his first job out of college, because the employer remembered how hard he worked on the high school basketball court. You will either leave a good impression or a bad impression with those you meet. Here are a few tips to make sure it is good!
- Volunteering: Take time to give back to your school, church or community. You will meet adults who can help further your career dreams. Even if you aren’t volunteering in an area you are interested in, the adults you work with may have a contact you need someday.
- Develop your social skills: Force yourself to be in situations where you meet new people and need to strike up conversations. This will help you gain useful skills for when you interview for admission to college programs and future jobs.
- Watch what you post on social media: Many college programs and employers review your social media posts. Make sure you are only posting information you will be proud of in the future, not what seems cool today.
- Get a summer job: Every job you take will teach you something. You may never be a professional waitress or work in the food service industry, but you can learn organizational skills, customer service principles and sales. If you are coaching a ball team, you learn to encourage others, to break down a skill and teach it and to work with people of different levels of talent. If possible, try getting a job that relates to a field you may be interested in, but never discount what you learn if you don’t get that sweet internship or job.
- Look for on-campus jobs: There are many jobs available on campus; some are through work-study programs which you can be awarded if you have financial need. These can be valuable learning experiences and often have limited hours, so you still have plenty of time to study.
- Intern: Internships are typically offered to students after they’ve completed a few years of coursework in a certain area of study in college. They are an excellent way to apply what you’ve learned from books to how you’ll use it in a career. Internships also help you test drive what kind of job you may enjoy in your field of study.
- Network: Stay in touch with the people you work for and with for future references, whether it is to get into that college program or a job. Have you ever heard the saying, “It’s not what you know, but who you know.” at some point in your life? You obviously need to know some of the “what,” but the difference between getting into a program or getting that job is often in the “who.”
Keep track of your activities
You may think you’ll never forget that you were awarded the Junior Achievement Award for Music; but after a couple of years, it will likely get lost in the shuffle. At the end of every school year starting in high school, write down what you have accomplished, the groups you participated in and the jobs you’ve done. This will help broaden your resume for future college, scholarship and job applications.
Create a North Dakota Dollars for Scholars profile
You will be able to apply for North Dakota Dollars for Scholars scholarships when you are a senior, but you can get started on your student profile now! As you are keeping track of your extracurricular and volunteer activities, jobs and awards, add them to your North Dakota Dollars for Scholars profile too. An additional perk for creating a profile is that you’ll be notified when the North Dakota Dollars for Scholars scholarship application period opens!