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1. If you are a high school student, take time during every week of school to meet with your teachers, discuss topics that excite you, learn a new hobby and make new friends. Audition for the school play or try out for the soccer team. These experiences will stick with you throughout college.

2. Talk to your guidance counselor about how you can shape your future classes into a schedule that suits you and your career goals. There is nothing more important than learning to articulate your passions with the leaders who can help you get on the right path. You’d be surprised when you find that the classes you took in high school directly correlate with your major in college and even after graduation!

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3. Ask teachers about internships and work-and-learn initiatives at your school. If your school doesn’t have an internship program, encourage your guidance counselors or teachers to start one! Express your interest in work-and-learn opportunities, and ask for help with finding an internship that is right for you. School-business based partnerships create amazing relationships and opportunities within the community.

4. Volunteer! Volunteer experiences can be the most rewarding and insightful ways to learn about your community and a given industry. Research different non-profits and charity organizations in your area and ask to join their team. There’s no doubt they would love the help, and you can transfer what you learned into a working skill for your resume!

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5. As high school graduation approaches, research the colleges and universities that truly interest you. Don’t be too influenced by your peers, your future is your own journey. Talk to college career advisors and find out how internships and real-world experiences can give you a leg up with the competition and admissions! Start today to achieve your dreams of tomorrow.

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