I manage systems, tools and processes that support corporate employee giving and volunteer programs.
I spend most of my day solving problems. I help community relations practitioners by recommending the best technical solutions to help them achieve goals and implement new programs. My work requires me to be able to discern what the practitioner really needs and then communicate that to our technical resources. I spend a lot of time asking questions! I document what I hear, translate that into technical requirements, oversee system updates, train users and provide ongoing support.
Look for good volunteer opportunities. Often times, nonprofits are happy to have a student come in and help them make their processes/systems more efficient. It doesn't have to be a large well-known nonprofit in order to be a good learning experience. Volunteering is a great way to get relevant on-the-job training. It looks great on a resume, will expand your referral list, will help you be more confident in interviews, AND it is good for the community.
Here's the first step for high school students
Interested in IT work? Don't forget to hone your communication skills. Many people think that having top notch technical skills is the most important aspect of IT work. Technical skills are important for development work but for many IT roles, having superb communication skills is far more important. You must listen to the business, ask the right clarifying questions and document clearly. In my case, I also must provide training. Speech and journalism would be great electives to take.
"Your post-college job should be specifically related to your college major - otherwise, why did you get your degree in that field?"
I simply said that college equipped me with a variety of skills -- not only those specific to my major but life skills and competencies that are easily transferrable to many lines of work. The job that I accepted post-college was an excellent fit for MY skills; ones I learned in college and ones that were always there. At the end of the day, college is a learning experience and the available jobs related to the Major chosen aren't always the best fit for the person we are upon graduating.