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What should a high school student be involved in if they plan to major in something related to business?

I'm in 10th grade and I'm involved in a few clubs however I'm not sure if I should do something during the summer or try to get connected with others in business.

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Yesenia’s Answer

Greetings, dear Rosa. If you are interested in specializing in business, there are several activities and strategies you could consider to strengthen your profile and gain relevant experience: Participation in business clubs: If your school offers clubs like DECA or FBLA (Future Business Leaders of America), join them to learn more about the business world and participate in competitions.
Summer Courses: Look for summer courses at local or online universities that offer introductions to business, finance, marketing, etc.
Internships: Try to get an internship at a local company or startup. This will give you a practical insight into how business works.
Volunteer: Volunteer your time at nonprofit organizations. You can learn about organizational management and corporate social responsibility.
Entrepreneurial projects: Start a small project or business of your own. It can be something as simple as selling products online or offering services in your community.
Networking: Connect with professionals in the business area. You can use platforms like LinkedIn to network and ask for advice.
Reading and self-education: Read books and articles on business, finance, and entrepreneurship to build a solid foundation of knowledge.
Online Courses: Platforms like Coursera, edX, or Khan Academy offer free or low-cost courses on a variety of business topics.
Contests and Competitions: Participate in business plan competitions, stock market simulations, or entrepreneurship contests.
Events and conferences: Attend local or virtual business and entrepreneurship events to learn from experts and network.
Mentoring: Find a mentor who is willing to guide you and share their experience in the field of business.
Soft skills development: Work on skills such as leadership, teamwork, communication and problem solving, which are essential in the business world.
Financial Literacy: Learn about budgeting, investing, and personal financial management, which is essential for any career in business.
Remember that there is no single way to enter the business world. Explore your interests, take advantage of opportunities that arise and don't be afraid to take the initiative. Best of luck on your journey towards a career in business! Fondly. Yesenia
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Moataz’s Answer

Diving into business-related activities during your high school years can be a game-changer, giving you a head start with useful skills, experiences, and connections for your future career. Here's a friendly guide for high schoolers who are eyeing a business major:

Join the Club:

Hop on board with business clubs or organizations at your school, like DECA, Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA), or Junior Achievement. They're great platforms for competitions, workshops, and networking events all about business and entrepreneurship.

Internships and Summer Programs:

Keep an eye out for internships, summer programs, or workshops hosted by local businesses, universities, or organizations with a business or entrepreneurship focus. These opportunities offer real-world learning, mentorship, and a peek into various areas of the business world.

Try Entrepreneurship:

Dip your toes into entrepreneurship by starting your own small business or joining in entrepreneurial activities. Launch a product, offer a service, or organize a fundraising event. You'll pick up handy skills like business planning, marketing, and financial management.

Volunteer:

Offer your time to organizations or events that revolve around business, finance, or economics. It's a great way to gain practical experience, grow your network, and show your dedication to community involvement.

Workshops and Seminars:

Go to workshops, seminars, or conferences that cover business topics. Universities, industry associations, or professional organizations often host these events. They're a goldmine for insights, networking opportunities, and keeping up with industry trends.

Online Learning:

Enroll in online courses or certifications in areas like business, finance, marketing, or entrepreneurship. Platforms like Coursera, edX, and LinkedIn Learning have courses from top-notch universities and industry gurus.

Compete:

Join in business-related competitions like business plan competitions, case study competitions, or financial literacy challenges. These contests are a great way to sharpen your problem-solving skills, presentation abilities, and teamwork.

Job Shadowing or Informational Interviews:

Follow professionals in business-related roles to get a feel for their daily tasks and career journeys. Chat with business professionals to learn about different career paths, necessary skills, and industry trends.

Networking:

Connect with professionals, alumni, and classmates who are involved in business or related fields. Attend networking events, career fairs, or alumni meetups to grow your network and find mentors.

Stay Informed:

Keep up with business news, trends, and developments by reading business publications, following industry blogs, and tuning into podcasts. Make learning a habit and stay current with relevant info.

By engaging in these activities, you'll gain real-world experience, develop key skills, build a professional network, and boost your chances for college programs and future career opportunities in business. Customize your involvement based on your interests, goals, and what's available in your community.
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Chris’s Answer

Hi Marissa,

I think there are a lot of ways that you can prepare for a future business career:

1) Find a Job/Internship - No matter what type of work opportunity that you have there are always things you can learn. I worked a retail job in HS and college and I learned a ton about point-of-sale systems, visual presentation, inventory management, and many other elements. If you are so inclined you may even ask someone with a bit more experience to help show you the ropes.

2) Volunteer - This is similar to a job or internship but often times volunteer activities give you experience with a different type of business. When there isn't a focus on profit as much you often can focus more on efficient operation.

3) Research - There is a lot that you can learn simply by doing research and looking at what types of business degrees and certifications that you can get. Once I got into my career, I discovered so many interesting and unique opportunities that I was completely unaware of. You may come across something you never expected.

Have a great summer!!
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Adina’s Answer

Hi Marissa,
It's great you already know what you're interested in! In addition to the many suggestions above, I would add network and meet as many people as possible! Spend time during the summer coming up with a list of questions that will help you learn more. Some suggestions include:
1. What do you love most about what you do?
2. What does a typical day or week look like for you?
3. What type of skills- hard or soft- are most useful in your work?
4. What does growth look like in this field?

Then make a list of people you know from school, your community, neighborhood and reach out to see if they would spend 30 minutes talking about their work with you. Those conversations will help you explore what sounds interesting to you and what you'd like to learn more about. I would end every conversation asking if there is anyone else they think you should talk to and use that as a way to build your network as well! Good luck and have fun!
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Mandy’s Answer

Hi Marissa, fantastic question! Have you considered connecting with someone in your network who has a business career for a job shadowing opportunity? This could be a relative, a friend, a friend's parent, or even a neighbor. The field of business is broad, so exploring different career paths could help you pinpoint your college focus.

Moreover, securing a part-time job could be incredibly beneficial. Even if it's not directly related to business, various jobs, like those in the restaurant or retail sectors, can equip you with valuable skills for the future.

Additionally, getting acquainted with Excel is a smart move, as many business professions, such as finance and accounting, demand proficiency in it.

And finally, amidst all these, remember to take time to enjoy your summer! It's crucial to balance work and play.
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Lauren’s Answer

Hi Marissa!

You are already ahead of the curve by being involved in business related clubs. This summer, I would suggest you explain your business interest to a local business that you are passionate about and see if they are looking for volunteers or can provide shadow opportunities.

Best of luck!
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Jessup’s Answer

Hi Marissa,

There are some fantastic answers below that give multi-pronged approaches and I just seek to add on with my own perspective and experience: finding the industry you are most passionate about is a great place to start.

Understand that you may not always be able to get a job or internship in your favorite industry, but learning how things vary in business from sector to sector (for example, oil & gas has a different landscape of major players vs financial services, for example) and following the news from an industry perspective will help you have valuable conversations and ask pointed questions about how the same type of business work may differ depending on your industry.

You can also use this to build networks based on different industries!
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Shashi’s Answer

Go ahead and kick-start a simple venture such as mowing lawns, walking dogs, or cleaning houses. The invaluable experience you'll gain from interacting with clients and handling finances is beyond compare. You'll acquire more practical knowledge from this than you would from poring over business textbooks. Wishing you nothing but success.
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Caitlin’s Answer

There are lots of different ways to gain experience and do extracurriculars that would position you well as a business major. I'm sure there are many business-related interest groups - either at your school or the local community - where you can learn more about the business world. I participated in Business Professionals of America (BPA) in high school and majored in business. I would also recommend volunteering with local businesses of interest to you, job shadowing, or - starting your own small business. This could be something as simple as finding a product or service you enjoy (e.g., crafts, painting, sewing, writing, babysitting) as a way to make money and learn the fundamentals of business. Reading books related to business, taking online courses, and networking with people who are business professionals or who teach business at universities you are interested in is also a great way to learn more. If you are interested in activities to add to your resume/application - I would reach out to admissions counselors/your high school counselor to ask specifically what certain schools are looking for when they are reviewing your application. Good luck!
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