Pre-Professional Clubs: Do They Prepare You For Undergrad?

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    During high school, it’s important to participate in clubs of interest, but you should also try to join pre-professional clubs to further boost your applications to colleges and universities. Pre-professional clubs include common honors societies, national service organizations, and career-specific clubs. Below is a list of some common pre-professional clubs that you could consider joining (or even starting) at your high school.  

    Honors Societies

    • National Honor Society (NHS) 
      • The purpose of NHS is to recognize high achieving high school students, where acceptance is based on four criteria: scholarship, leadership, service, and character  
      • Inducted students must maintain their membership by participating in service and leadership-based activities  
    • Mu Alpha Theta 
      • Mu Alpha Theta is a national math honor society for high school students  
      • Participation is usually based on attending math competitions or other events hosted by the high school  
    • National Honor Societies for Foreign Languages  
      • Most foreign languages taught in high schools have separate honor societies dedicated to the celebration and participation of that language  
      • National Spanish Honor Society and National French Honor Society are two common examples 
    • Other subject-specific societies include Science National Honor Society and National English Honor Society  

    Career-Based Organizations

    • SkillsUSA 
      • SkillsUSA is a career and technical organization for middle school through college students to take part in activities and competitions that improve their exposure to and skillset in various career fields  
      • The national competition is held annually in Kentucky, and winners of the national SkillsUSA competition go on to represent USA in the WorldSkills competition  
      • Topics include Health Knowledge Bowl, Engineering Technology, Entrepreneurship, Customer Service, and Medical Terminology among others
    • Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) 
      • FBLA is a business-based career organization that caters to middle school, high school, and university students and offers various competitive events  
      • Competitions are split into 70 different topics, and can be participated as Individual, Team, or Chapter based   events  
      • Helpful for future business majors 
    • Distributive Education Clubs of America (DECA) 
      • DECA events are geared toward preparing students interested in entrepreneurship, marketing, finance, hospitality, and management programs of study  
      • Much like FBLA, DECA includes various challenges and competitions at the high school and regional, and state levels  
      • Helpful for business majors 
    • Health Occupations Students of America (HOSA) 
      • HOSA is a national organization dedicated to serving students interested in health-related careers, and is endorsed by the U.S. Department of Education  
      • HOSA offers a variety of topics to compete in, as well as scholarships students can apply to  
      • Ideal of pre-health students  
    • Technology Students Association (TSA) 
      • TSA is a national career organization that strives to develop students’ skills in science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and business education 
      • TSA boasts a wide variety of different competitions for students to participate in, all directly related to careers in technology  
      • Great organization to join for pre-engineering or STEM students  

    Volunteer Organizations

    • Key Club International 
      • Key Club is an international service organization for high school students dedicated to engaging high school students in volunteer services in their communities in order to promote service and leadership 
      • great club to join in order to get more involved in your community and build service hours  
    • Community service is a component of most other honors societies such as NHS, so joining such honor societies would also help you expose to community service opportunities  
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    Sean Fowler

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    Aerospace Engineering at UMD, intending to specialize in aeronautics with a focus on aerospace structures and design.

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