I believe the strongest portion of my resume is going to be my extracurriculars. I've been in color guard the majority of my high school years and I discovered that i will be captain and President for my final year. Not only that, but i'm also doing a lot of other stuff for this club that adults are usually paid to do. I want to go into network security but i haven't done anything related to my career at all. No classes, clubs, nothing. Idk what to do and i feel that if i start a club surrounding my career no one would join. Pls help!
one tip i've been given, although i don't know how useful, is apply with a major that is uncommon or aligns most with your background (major that utilizes themes of colorguard). you can always switch your major when you get there!
Wow! First of all, I would like to say amazing job! I would never get that far in EC (extracurriculars) personally as a rising junior (currently finishing up sophomore year). I don't have anything higher than Tier 2a EC (with 4c being the lowest, 4b being the 2nd lowest and 1a being the highest).
Now on to the answer.
1. Don't be afraid to start small! I'm sure at least some of your friends are interested.
2. Don't be afraid to talk to your teachers about setting this club up! Don't be afraid to set this up with the school's dean to make it an official club!
3. Even if you start a club small, know that you'll end up making a huge impact on the younger students.
4. Don't be afraid to lead even if you have NO experience!
5. Take action, don't be afraid of rejection. Listen, if you're heading to a university in the USA, going to the university of your choice is sort of a lottery in some places because universities look for diversity, so rejection is common. Get used to it.
Here are a few examples I've seen my classmates and I have done.
I. ACS Chemistry Club (EST. '18): Four girls in the class of 2022 in my school that I've met before started this club as freshmen students! Some of them were interested in a chemistry-related career. They've talked to the main high school science teacher to set up this club. I am currently in this club as a student interested in pursuing some sort of genetics-related career. This club now consists of about 20 students (mostly freshmen, class of 2026).
II. Business Club (EST c.a. '21): Some class of 2023 students wanted to pursue a career in business and finance. They asked the senior economics teacher to set up a club. As of now, this club has expanded to over 25 students across juniors and seniors (class of 2023 and 2024). I might consider joining next year for fun.
III. Chromebook repair club (EST. '18 or '22 depending on how you count this): This is a personal example. In 2018, the 6th and 7th graders (mostly 7th) back then helped repair a few Chromebooks. As we grew up into high schoolers, Some class of 2024 and 2025 (my grade) students found the issue of there not being enough people fixing Chromebooks. The business director of our school visited an international school in mainland Japan, (to give some context, I live on a remote island in Southern Japan) and was inspired to start this club in 2022 (earlier this year). We managed to settle on a deal of 500 JPY (roughly USD$3.60) per Chromebook fixed. Of course, that's not a lot of money, but it did motivate us to improve and were glad to have support from the school's dean. Some class of 2023 students who were interested in electrical engineering came in and out to help. Now a few of the Class of 2025 are now repairing the school's 3D printers unpaid (it has expanded beyond Chromebooks). This year alone, I have fixed 26 Chromebooks. Although we consisted of about five regulars, I'm hoping eventually the younger students will start assisting. One thing to note in this case is that I personally thought I was the least qualified among the ones who started this club. I had ZERO experience fixing machines. Yes, I have made machines, but not much in fixing. Despite all odds, I still helped start this club as I know that if I want to pursue a career involving genetics, fixing machines would come in handy if a certain machine used to analyze genes had broken down.
In conclusion, here are the steps I would personally take to start clubs.
1. CONSULT TEACHERS. They may help you out. Ask them to send out surveys to the whole school. Perhaps many students may be interested! Younger students look for already existing clubs that pique their interest. You never know. But in any case, don't be afraid to start small. I'm currently doing this for mathematics and chess clubs at my school.
2. GATHER THE SUPPLIES YOU NEED FOR THE CLUB! Consult the school's dean, PTA, and set up fundraisers. Small ones can earn USD$50 to around $200. This may be enough to start. Don't expect your club to get a lot of funds though. I know some large clubs in my school get USD$3000 to USD$10000 worth of school funds + fundraising, but that is very unrealistic for a startup club. Even the Chromebook repair club that was strongly supported as a start-up got about USD$500 in supply (e.g. screwdrivers, wrenches, precision rulers etc.) + repair fees (which was honestly surprising).
3. GET THE APPROVAL FOR IT TO BE AN OFFICIAL CLUB. If you've already talked to the school's dean, this could be done before or simultaneously with step 2. At my school, the requirements are 1 club teacher + 4 students, but it depends on the school.
4. START TAKING ACTION. Congrats! By this time, you've set a time and dates for the club.
And even if no one joins your club, you can host a mini unofficial club with a teacher. For example, under teacher supervision, Two other Class of 2026 students and I (Class of 2025) have done scientific experiments. Luckily, my teacher had a Ph.D. in Science (more specifically, Biology), so we had access to various chemicals to set up sort of a mini-club to compete in science competitions as a group of three (usually the maximum number for group science competitions).
If you're alone completely (which is very unlikely if you've actually taken action), then ask your teacher for help with getting you experience. Some may recommend internships based on your career. And do research on your own too! Internships may be difficult, but take action and at least request! Also, ask nearby colleges/universities for help if needed. They may help you out.
If you're specifically looking for career-related classes, just ask the school dean ASAP, as they may have already chosen the curriculum for next year. Ideally, if you want a certain class within the next year, it would be ideal to start asking at least half a year prior before the school year starts, but I wouldn't say it's impossible. Just email them about certain classes you wish were at the school.
Now let's move on to your case of network security more specifically. Here in Japan, there are examinations for network security on several levels that are accepted in the country (Japan) as legit (anyone of any age can take it), but idk for USA. But for USA classes, I would recommend AP CSP (Computer Science Principles) and/or the more difficult AP CSA (Computer Science A). There are a few sections on the internet, data, and security.
As for a club name, try to not make it lame, if you want to make it catchy. Perhaps start a Hacking Club? I'm pretty sure it would sound catchy. You can discuss how hackers breach through security and anti-hacking measures as that is what network security is.
Edit: You could also start a YouTube channel, TikTok account, etc. about network security.
Sorry, this is long. Idk if this helps. Anyways, have fun and good luck!
SilverDragon (Class of 2025, 10th & Rising 11th, Japan)
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