I solve challenging operations problems with a combination of technology, people and process.
I meet with people all day to understand the root cause of problems, understand the nature of systems and how all of our processes are working to support our goals. If any of them are out of line, I work with the appropriate areas: engineering, operations, partners, etc. to ensure that we make the changes necessary in order to make our customers thrilled with our products. I also research outside systems to see if we can take anything from them to improve our own operations.
Here's the first step for high school students
First, learn what makes you tick. If you love solving challenging problems and communicating, this is your thing-- even if you're an introvert (yes, really). Shadow someone- a lot of it won't make sense, but you'll pick up on valuable work lingo. Take up a management role in a school organization and you'll start to learn some of how the role works too.
"You should be an engineer instead."