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What classes should I pursue in High School to help achieve my mechanical engineering/business dreams?

I'm currently a freshman in high school but I'm not sure what classes to take and I was hoping someone could help me.

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Tony’s Answer

Hey Liam, embarking on a journey in mechanical engineering means becoming a whiz in a diverse array of high school subjects - from mathematics to physics, and even computer programming. These are the stepping stones to a promising engineering career. Why not pop into your school's careers office and chat with the career counselor? They could put you in touch with alumni who are now mechanical engineers, ready to share their experiences and offer you a glimpse into the profession. They can guide you on what it takes to earn the degree and gain the necessary skills to become a proficient mechanical engineer. Consider exploring internships or part-time work opportunities in the field to get a real taste of what being a mechanical engineer entails.

Your interest in business is a clear sign that you're not just serious about honing your engineering skills, but also keen on leveraging them to carve out a successful career. To excel in this, you'll need to get a good grasp of finance, communication, and analytical skills.

Pairing engineering with business can lead to an incredibly successful career path in the long run. So, keep fueling your curiosity and continue your exploration. It's an exciting journey ahead!,
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Rafael’s Answer

To pursue your mechanical engineering and business dreams, it's important to focus on a well-rounded education in high school. Take advanced math courses like algebra, geometry, trigonometry, and calculus to build a strong foundation. Science classes such as physics and chemistry will help you understand the principles of mechanical engineering. Look for technology and engineering courses that introduce you to CAD, robotics, or engineering design. Additionally, take business and economics classes to gain knowledge in finance, marketing, and management. Developing strong communication skills through English and communication classes is crucial. Lastly, consider learning computer science and participating in extracurricular activities related to engineering and business to gain hands-on experience and demonstrate your passion for these fields. Remember, your passion and eagerness to learn will be valuable assets as you pursue your dreams in mechanical engineering!
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Patrick’s Answer

Liam, I appreciate your initiative in seeking guidance about the classes you should take to advance your career in mechanical engineering or business. I trust the following details will offer you some clarity and assistance.

As a freshman in high school with ambitions in mechanical engineering and business, you can establish a robust foundation by choosing courses that align with your career objectives. To fulfill your dreams, your focus should be on a balanced curriculum that encompasses core academic subjects, advanced math, science courses, and electives that enhance your engineering and business-related abilities.

Primarily, it's crucial to take on challenging math and science courses throughout high school. Subjects like Algebra, Geometry, Trigonometry, Pre-Calculus, and Calculus are vital for honing the quantitative skills required for engineering and business. Consider enrolling in Advanced Placement (AP) or honors-level courses in math and science to showcase your academic prowess and preparedness for college-level studies.

Besides math and science, it's also essential to refine your critical thinking, problem-solving, and communication skills. English, literature, and composition classes can aid in enhancing your written and verbal communication skills, which are key for success in both engineering and business sectors. Furthermore, computer science or programming language courses can equip you with valuable technical skills that are highly sought after in today's tech-oriented world.

Additionally, consider elective courses that provide an introduction to engineering principles and business concepts. Classes like Introduction to Engineering, Robotics, CAD (Computer-Aided Design), or Principles of Engineering can offer hands-on experience and exposure to mechanical engineering. Similarly, economics, accounting, entrepreneurship, or business management classes can help you grasp business basics and foster your entrepreneurial mindset.

Beyond academics, consider engaging in extracurricular activities that align with your academic interests and career aspirations. Participating in clubs or teams related to STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) fields, such as robotics clubs, engineering competitions, or business organizations, can offer practical experience, leadership opportunities, and networking connections.

Also, make use of available resources like career counseling services, mentorship programs, and informational interviews with professionals in mechanical engineering and business. These experiences can provide valuable insights, guidance, and motivation as you chart your academic and career path.

Finally, to realize your dreams in mechanical engineering and business, focus on a comprehensive high school curriculum that includes rigorous math and science courses, skill development opportunities in engineering and business-related fields, and active engagement in extracurricular activities and career exploration opportunities. By taking proactive measures to strengthen your academic foundation and gain relevant experience, you can pave the way for success in your future endeavors.
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Michelle’s Answer

Hello, Liam !

You've asked an important question because this is a good time to figure out the best classes for moving forward to a mechanical engineering career with a business background. You must first discover what classes your high school offers and that would mean visiting the academic counseling office and requesting a list of business classes and science classes connected to engineering. Than you can choose each school year from the list.

You should see if your school offers Calculus, Statistics, Physics, Computer Science, Engineering or Design, and Robotics. Double check to see if these are offered at your school. (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) MIT Open Courseware has a website that you can go to for information about their Highlights For High School Project. The information there for this school year is not there but check in the summer to see about this program for your 10th grade year. It may be something you'd want to get involved in. I would also advise taking some Business courses since you want to blend business with engineering. Then in college, you can major in Engineering and minor in Business.

Think about which colleges you want to attend in the future and read all of their admission requirements. This will give you insight on how many high school classes in which subjects are required for admission to the school as well as for admission to the engineer department.

Since this school year will be ending in about four months, you can also think about doing a summer internship or volunteer work for the City of Westford's Engineering Department. That will give you experience for a resume as well as familiarize you with the things that engineers do. I have left a link below for information about it. Think about looking for internship opportunities on employment websites, too, but keep in mind that you may need experience for some. You don't have to be doing engineering. Just being in the offices will give you an enlightened experience, even if you do data entry or any duty as an intern or volunteer.

So, as I've mentioned, your school's academic counselors would have all the information about which courses are offered at your school and you should begin there. There are also Summer Engineering Programs for High School students which look like a lot of fun. I have left a link to an informative website below.

I hope that this is useful and I wish you all the best !

Michelle recommends the following next steps:

MIT'S PROGRAM WHILE IN HIGH SCHOOL https://mitocw.zendesk.com/hc/en-us/articles/5332864282907-Highlights-for-High-School
WESTFORD DEPARTMENT OF ENGINEERING https://westfordma.gov/182/Engineering-Department
INTERNSHIPS IN ENGINEERING https://www.indeed.com/q-Engineering-Intern-Summer-l-Westford,-MA-jobs.html?vjk=4068ce930f68bd7c
ENGINEERING PROGRAM FOR HIGH SCHOOL STUDENT WITH HANDS ON LEARNING https://www.nslcleaders.org/youth-leadership-programs/engineering-summer-programs/
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