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How do I build up my resume while in high school for future colleges?

I am a high school sophomore and I would like to major in business and/or finance, but I don’t know how or what to do in order to convince colleges to give me scholarships.

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Michelle’s Answer

Hello, Litzy !

It is great that you are thinking about building your resume and obtaining some experience now for your future as a college student. There are many things that you can do to start building your knowledge and skills for your career interest in Business.

It is not a matter of "convincing" colleges or donors to award you scholarships, so I want to explain.
Students apply for scholarships and wait to hear back from the sponsor as to whether or not they were chosen. It is not automatic and no one can tell you a specific thing to do to assure that you will get scholarships or grants. Also, many scholarships require an essay and the essay may be about something general in life, not about impressing with accomplishments, although it's always good to be active and involved with activities for personal growth.

I would advise that you start out doing volunteer work and later look for a part time job connected to business. See if you can volunteer at your local Town Hall or a nearby Chamber of Commerce. You may learn a lot about the businesses in your area that way and hopefully make contacts for a part time job in the near future. Please remember that you should not be doing it to impress people, you should always have a sincere drive towards all the work you do and do things that you enjoy.

Part of why you don't know where to begin is because right now, it's just a thought. As soon as you take active steps, you will be teaching yourself and discovering various ways to gain experience for your future career. You have to want to do this for your personal growth and a need to be part of a company or agency. That will work out best for you.

Learn how scholarships and grants work. You can probably get the usual federal Financial Aid if you qualify. With scholarships and grants from colleges and donors, it's just a matter of applying to very many to increase your chances. Some scholarships award multiple students and some just one or a couple of students and there's no way of telling how or why they choose who they choose.

I had one experience with applying for one scholarship when I was in college as a sophomore. It was from the college and one of my professors suggested that I apply. Back then, there really was no need for extra financial assistance because everything was very low cost, but I applied and forgot about it. The next thing I knew, I received an award letter in the mail stating that they have chosen me and there was a ceremony at the college for all who were given scholarships. I was really surprised I received it, but it was well worth writing the essay. It was a small award that covered the cost of my books and materials that semester. Every little bit helps.

I have left some links below for you to explore for possible volunteer opportunities that will hopefully get you started. This is a great time to build experience and get to know your community. Once you are out there, involved and taking an active part, you will discover your particular niches and get the feel of how businesses operate - both non-profit and for profit. When you apply for scholarships (again, apply for many) give it your best effort and you may be surprised at how many you will be chosen for.

I hope this helps and I wish you all the best !

Michelle recommends the following next steps:

THE BEST VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES IN ELLENWOOD, GEORGIA https://www.volunteermatch.org/search?l=Ellenwood,+GA+30294
SUCCESS BEYOND STRATEGZ https://www.facebook.com/SBSELLC/
COUNTY VOLUNTEER PROGRAMS https://www.cobbcounty.org/communications/volunteer-programs
UNITED WAY OF NORTH EAST GEORGIA https://www.unitedwaynega.org/get-involved/volunteer/
HOW YOU CAN HELP ATLANTA - A GUIDE TO VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES https://www.atlantamagazine.com/news-culture-articles/how-you-can-help-atlanta-a-guide-to-volunteer-opportunities/
Thank you comment icon I appreciate this, thank you for the advice. Litzy
Thank you comment icon You are very welcome, Litzy ! Michelle M.
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Nikolaos’s Answer

Hi Litzy,

I would advice you to start by concentrating on your genuine interests and talents. Immerse yourself in activities that are meaningful to you, such as joining business clubs or even volunteering within your community. Taking on leadership positions in these clubs or projects can demonstrate your proactive nature and management skills. Academic performance is crucial, so aim for good grades and take challenging courses related to business and finance. Personal projects, such as blogging about business trends can be another idea that wouls showcase your passion and drive for success in this field. Additionally, networking with mentors in the business world can provide direction and help when seeking recommendation letters for college applications. Lastly, always reflect on your experiences to understand what you’ve learned and be prepared to discuss these insights and growth when completing your college applications.

Best of luck with everything!

Regards,
Nikolas
Thank you comment icon Thank you! Litzy
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Michael’s Answer

It's great to hear you're planning ahead. Building your resume in high school can really make a difference when it comes to college scholarships.

Here are some tips that might help:

Firstly, consider joining clubs like Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) or DECA. These clubs not only look fantastic on your resume but also give you a chance to develop leadership skills and make lasting connections.

Secondly, try to get involved in internships or job shadowing opportunities in the business or finance fields. This hands-on experience can show colleges your dedication and passion.

Also, don't underestimate the power of community service. Volunteering not only helps others but also demonstrates your commitment to making a positive impact.

Focus on maintaining good grades and consider taking challenging courses like Advanced Placement (AP) or dual-enrollment classes to showcase your academic abilities.

Lastly, think about starting personal projects related to business or participating in competitions. These initiatives not only demonstrate initiative but also allow you to showcase your creativity and problem-solving skills.

Remember, colleges appreciate well-rounded students who show passion and dedication both inside and outside the classroom. Keep working hard, and I'm sure you'll achieve great things!
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Caroline’s Answer

1. Academic Achievements
Maintain Good Grades: Aim for high grades in your courses. Colleges look at your GPA and class rank.
Advanced Coursework: Take Advanced Placement (AP) or International Baccalaureate (IB) courses if available, or honors classes to show your willingness to challenge yourself.
2. Extracurricular Activities
Clubs and Organizations: Join school clubs that interest you, such as debate club, student government, science club, or math team.
Leadership Roles: Aim for leadership positions in any clubs or organizations you join, such as president, vice-president, or secretary.
Sports: Participate in school sports teams to show teamwork, dedication, and discipline.
3. Volunteering and Community Service
Volunteer Work: Engage in community service activities. Consistent volunteer work shows commitment and a willingness to give back to the community.
Initiate Projects: Start your own community service project or drive. This shows initiative and leadership.
4. Work Experience
Part-Time Jobs: If possible, get a part-time job. This demonstrates responsibility and time management.
Internships: Look for internships in fields that interest you. Even if they are unpaid, internships can provide valuable experience and networking opportunities.
5. Special Skills and Talents
Music and Arts: If you play an instrument, sing, act, or create art, participate in related activities and competitions.
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Jared’s Answer

Every company, including those in the fast food industry, can benefit from fresh ideas and strategies for improvement. Keep an eye out for chances to minimize waste, optimize inventory, accelerate production, enhance quality, and delight customers. These elements could be your stepping stones to landing your first business role as you describe what you did and how to make improvements.

Don't hesitate to ask if you can volunteer or shadow someone, or even offer to lead or assist with a school club or community event. Sports, too, provide a platform to demonstrate qualities like teachability, coachability, and teamwork.

Remember, serving the community and showing genuine care for others not only makes you a good citizen, but it also helps you stand out. So, let your actions speak louder than words and show everyone the quality individual you are!
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allan’s Answer

Begin by pinpointing your hobbies and passions. Then, use these interests to search for groups on meetup.com or find organizations where you can offer your time as a volunteer. Consider furthering your knowledge by completing certificates or attending workshops on coursera.com. If you're in school, you might want to consider enrolling in Advanced Placement (AP) classes or participating in school programs. Lastly, always strive to keep your Grade Point Average (GPA) high.
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Dalya’s Answer

Hello,

I have crafted a multitude of resumes, each one uniquely tailored to match specific job roles across various fields. I take great care to ensure that my qualifications and skills align perfectly with the job postings. After that, I weave in the required qualifications into my resume. For example, a resume geared towards business wouldn't be the best fit for a finance role. It's absolutely essential to make your resume not only relevant but also easy to understand for recruiters. If not, there's a chance they might pass it over. Always remember to highlight the information that hiring managers are actively seeking. Design your resume in such a way that it immediately captures the interest of recruiters and hiring managers.
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Mariolina’s Answer

Craft your resume to reflect your passion for finance, such as finance-related courses you've completed or internships you've undertaken. Don't forget to include your extracurricular interests too, like sports, volunteering, or hobbies. Keep your resume brief (just a page) and to the point. Make sure to present each experience in an engaging manner. You can easily find ready-to-use templates on Google to help you get started.
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Ankita’s Answer

Building up your resume for college while still in high school involves participating in activities and gaining experiences that showcase your interests and skills. Here’s a simple guide to help you:

1. Excel in Academics:
- Aim for good grades, especially in subjects related to business and finance.
- Take advanced classes if available.

2. Join Clubs and Activities:
- Participate in business or finance-related clubs like DECA or Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA).
- Join other clubs to show you’re well-rounded (sports, arts, etc.).

3. Volunteer:
- Find volunteer opportunities, especially those related to business (e.g., helping at local charities with fundraising).

4. Work Experience:
- Get a part-time job or internship, preferably in a business setting.
- Show responsibility and learn workplace skills.

5. Leadership Roles:
- Take on leadership roles in clubs, sports teams, or volunteer organizations.
- Start a small project or club if none exist that match your interests.

6. Competitions and Awards:
- Enter business or finance-related competitions.
- Aim to win or place well in these competitions.

7. Networking and Mentoring:
- Find a mentor in the business field.
- Attend networking events or business seminars.

8. Certifications and Online Courses:
- Take online courses in business or finance (many are free).
- Earn certifications (e.g., basic accounting, Excel skills).
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Mutala’s Answer

1. Academic Achievements: Highlight your academic accomplishments such as high grades, honors classes, academic awards, and any special projects or research you’ve completed.
2. Extracurricular Activities: Participate in extracurricular activities that interest you and showcase your skills and leadership abilities. This could include sports, clubs (e.g., student government, debate club, science club), volunteering, or part-time jobs.
3. Leadership Roles: Seek leadership opportunities within your extracurricular activities or community. This could involve becoming a club officer, team captain, or organizing events.
4. Community Service and Volunteering: Dedicate time to volunteer work or community service projects that align with your interests and values. Document your contributions and any impact made.

Also engage on summer programs and internships and take on skill certifications.
Thank you comment icon Thank you for giving me advice. Litzy
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Karen’s Answer

My short answer is to start volunteering if you haven't already. Look for activities or events at a variety of nonprofits where you can gain experience and skills to include on your resume. Some volunteer opportunities only require a few hours, especially for a one-time event.

That will also give you an opportunity to connect with individuals who might be able to guide you in the future.

With every good wish.
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Teagan’s Answer

Getting involved in like activities similar to business related fields you find interesting is important. Going to college and only being a sophomore you likely won't have any job-related experience, but volunteer opportunities are among many communities. This would be a great way to get involved and have something notable on a resume that others do not. There are sometimes banks or investment firms locally owned that would be more than happy to have a high school student shadow in the last couple hours of the day before closing allowing you to gain experience and learn more about a future career path.
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Leslie’s Answer

I would say, everyone starts somewhere. Don’t feel that anyone comes to the point of applying for college or scholarships and everything is a-u-t-omatic. That's probably not the case for most of us! It is a process! Your academic achievements are often viewed when applying for schools and scholarships; so put in the work to make good grades. I would recommend putting yourself in a position to volunteer for opportunities that will help. These opportunities can start at school by working with a group or department. For example, some may feel that volunteering in athletics is only for athletes but there are opportunities that can build your business experience in roles like Basketball Student Manager.

Basketball Student Managers typically don’t play ball but have the opportunity to build skills and be involved at another level.
Some of their duties can include…

• Assisting coaches: Helping during practices and games, and on recruiting visits
• Preparing for games: Setting up stations for warm-ups, hitting, and pitching
• Communicating: Acting as a liaison between the coach, players, parents, and administration
• Managing equipment: Sanitizing equipment and maintaining the first aid kit
• Managing logistics: Coordinating schedules and ensuring the team is ready for matches

Take advantage of opportunities! You can then highlight the experiences from those opportunities when you are applying for scholarships and admission to college. So, don’t overthink it. Start looking for opportunities, jump in and get something out of each opportunity! Even a small opportunity can help! Start building those leadership, community service and management skills. Have an eagerness to learn! Be open-minded and look for opportunities in non-traditional places. Don’t put yourself in a box. By pursuing opportunities that may be out of the box, you grant yourself an opportunity to explore and GROW! Go for it! Wish you the best in building those key skills (academic and non-academic) that you will find are not only beneficial for being accepted in schools of your choice or securing multiple scholarships but in building yourself, your skills, and your abilities!

Leslie recommends the following next steps:

Pursue opportunities at school and in the community.
Volunteering is an awesome place to start.
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Daniel’s Answer

Get involved in as much as you can, especially any things you are passionate about. This includes clubs, sports, volunteering, and other extra-curriculars. Additionally, try and work some different summer jobs. As someone who loved relaxing and enjoying his summers, it is still very helpful to even get part time work as it shows initiative and can be framed as valuable experience in different jobs.
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Margaret’s Answer

Start by jotting down all your high school experiences. Reflect on your accomplishments, whether it's a project you participated in or a task you completed. Consider what went well and what you could have improved. If you played team sports, don't forget to mention if you were a Captain, Vice Captain, or mascot. Highlight your ability to communicate effectively with others.

Recognize your unique talents. If you have a passion for traveling, share your experiences. Include your academic achievements, such as your GPA from high school. Discuss any jobs or volunteer work you've done. Even if you haven't had a formal job, you might have babysat for family or friends, or cared for a pet.

Remember, qualities like teamwork, dedication, and discipline are highly valued. Keep your grades up: strive for excellence in your courses. Colleges pay attention to your GPA and class rank.

Lastly, talk about any clubs you're a part of, like the Math or Debate club. These activities showcase your interests and skills, making you a more attractive candidate.
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