Highlight- Mentor Chat Before College
Leah Skype called two alumni from her high school that were juniors in their digital media and journalism college programs. She asked about the research they did for college, things they are doing in their different schools and classes, things they were learning, the opportunities and resources available to them, the choices they made to get themselves there, whether they felt that they made the right decision, the things they liked and didn’t like about the school they were in, and their overall experience and advice for someone who is pursuing a related field..
Through research and conversing with others in various fields and degree programs, Leah gained insight and clarity on what she wanted to pursue by learning what she didn’t want.
She took dual-enrollment courses in high school through the local community college that allowed her to earn 54 college credits. She started at Liberty University as a junior, skipping all of the lower level general education classes and starting right away with upper level courses in her core focus area.
She earned a full scholarship by training hard (PSAT books, Khan Academy, tutors) for the PSAT and earning a National Merit Commended Scholarship and multiple local scholarships (Rotary, Credit Union).
Due to her jumpstart on college credits, she is able to double major in Digital Media Video and Graphic Design with a minor in Spanish and still graduate in four years.
Leah networked with her teachers to connect with local businesses, producing content for their social media pages while in high school. She started at 16 years old earning income and experience in her career path.
Career Clarity Questions
What do you recommend for training?
Take action, learn from experience.
Is there anything you would recommend me to do?
Surround yourself with people who are better than you.
Is there anything you would recommend me not to do?
Don’t show up without a plan. Good planning turns into good reality.
Do you have any advice for getting internships and meaningful work even at the high school/ college level?
Summer internships- research, research, research. Look into available programs to assist you in researching. Don’t be afraid to apply at big name companies.
What’s your experience with scholarships/ financing college tuition?
Search like crazy to find as many as you can and apply to all of them. Talk to people. Leah estimated 30 hours total over many weekends, researching, essays, making videos, and applying. Saturday morning discipline.
How did you try to get your foot in the door before you had your big break?
Do good work and you might get a call for the next big project.
What is the toughest part about what you do?
Working with the best can be daunting, but you gain insight into what inspires them.
Best networking tip for your industry.
Hit social media, message them, keep going until you connect.
Best networking tip for college.
Introducing yourself to professors. Talk to classmates.
Best college success.
Relationships. Different walks of life.
Worst career mistake.
Formatted a card, losing footage from a client. Learned to immediately offload and backup.
Best career success story.
Worst college mistake.
Overworking, trying to do everything. Finding rest is important.
Here are a few from Tribe of Mentors by Tim Ferriss:
How has the failure, or apparent failure set you up for later success? Do you have a favorite failure of yours?
The feeling of being unprepared and learning from it.
What advice would you give a smart driven high school or college student about to enter the college world or real world? What advice should they ignore?
Don’t let accolades allow you to relax, keep pushing, find someone who is doing it better than you.
What are bad recommendations you hear in your profession or area of expertise?
Don’t just work with the same people you are comfortable with. Seek the people who are the best.
What would you say to someone who aspires to have a career like yours?
Prepare, have fun, encourage people, make awesome content.