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What are some good ways for high school students to gain experience?

I did not have a lot of experience outside of school and volunteering when I started at university, and my brothers are both looking as they could be in the same boat as I was. I have given them a couple of suggestions from things that I learned, however, is there anything that anyone would suggestion for their fields specifically? One wishes to be an engineer (and a swim coach), the other a game designer. Thank you!
#high-school #experience #volunteering #engineering #game-design #sports #coaching #swimming

Thank you comment icon Thank you so much for your answer! I will definitely speak with them on that! Ashley

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Mark’s Answer

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For University students in both Engineering and Game Design fields, look for internships. Both game studios and engineering shops will gladly accept free labor any time they can get it.


Probably, there aren't many such studios in your immediate area, so your brothers need to start networking. Search for local Meet-ups in relevant fields. Don't be afraid to connect with people via online communities. For your game-designer brother, if he hasn't already registered with sites like Gamasutra.com and Stack Overflow, he should.


They should both look for opportunities to "make stuff." Volunteering, or even working on your own thing, is a perfectly acceptable experience for college graduates. There is no shortage of teams looking to build a game together. There again, getting involved with online game development communities is an easy way to connect with like-minded people who want to builds games. For example, if you register with itch.io, you will be able to browse upcoming Game Jams and join virtual teams to build all sorts of games. Depending on the kinds of Engineering your other brother wants to do, he may well be able to volunteer with local high schools to help out with things like robotics competitions, solar car races, etc.

Thank you comment icon Thank you so much for your answer! I am not sure if my brother has heard of either website, but I will definitely be telling him about them. For my engineering brother, I actually just became aware of a "studio" of sorts that helps high school students develop engineering skills. Thank you again for your answer! Ashley
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Alan’s Answer

It's good to ask these kinds of questions at a young age. As the job markets get more competitive, people that finish college without any experience will fall behind those that do. The best piece of advice I can give is to take advantage of the fact that you're young and in school. People in any field are more likely to help someone that's 16-18, 19-22 then someone who's 25-30. Ask them for advice on how to get into a field, do not ask for a job. Ask to interview them either in person or over the phone in an "informational
interview." Do your home work and prep work if they are generous enough to meet with you. Respect their time. Build relationships. Don't try to work people over to get your foot in a door and never speak with them again. People can sense a person's intentions and their desperation. Do internships and be great as an intern, rather than focusing on whatever might be next. Be PATIENT.
Thank you comment icon Thank you so much! I will tell them this, and use the advice myself. This was super helpful!! Ashley
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Kale’s Answer

Ashley,
If you would like to do something with swimming. What I would do is go by my local pool, your schools pool, or even a local gym and see if they have aquatics classes. See if you can volunteer as a instructor, assistant, or coach. Then you can get your feet wet dealing with swimmers of all ages and working or starting your own programs.

Best of luck
Kale'
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鹏’s Answer

If you want to become a game designer, what you have to do is not just to play games - you have to be a member of the game development industry. Try to follow up on industry news, learn about the upcoming new platform, and learn about the hot new areas and technologies that everyone is talking about. This has been much easier in the current era of the Internet than it was a decade ago. In addition, participation in the game industry conference is also useful. Game companies often use such activities to recruit talent. If you can find a person to talk face to face, you can consult a lot of questions and get a lot of information. Finding game training institutions is also a good choice, because many game companies have a direct relationship with training organizations. Through game training organizations, this third party connects the game designers and game companies, and they need each other.

Thank you comment icon Thank you so much! I will talk to my brothers about this, and see what events are in my area with regards to gaming companies. This was super helpful, thank you! Ashley
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Taylor’s Answer

Would suggest that they find opportunities to "shadow" professionals that have similar career trajectories that they might like to follow. Volunteering and internships are great, but sometimes just getting to sit with a certain professional for a week can tell the student a lot about what a specific career looks like day-to-day.

Agree with trying to find a paid or non-paid position as a swim coach to get some experience under their belt. Another alternative for this could be private swim lessons to practice working on teaching stroke technique.

Highly recommend meeting people to broaden network. Whether that be someone who is currently in the desired profession, or who was in the desired profession. Strengthening the network can help with career pathing and can open doors to opportunities that might not otherwise come.
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