I would definitely choose mock interviews and networking with professionals over any routine day at school. Business Symposium was such a beneficial and fun experience at Independence High School. My favorite aspect of Business Symposium was the fact that I got to practice my introductions, greetings, and networking with actual professionals, while also meeting other ISM students. I love meeting new people, talking about my experiences in high school, and learning from the experts about building a career (integrity was highly stressed).
Unfortunately, I was not able to locate the one electrical engineer at Business Symposium, but I will be sure to contact him in the near future, as it has been harder to locate industry professionals in comparison to those in academia. On the same note, I got to know as many ISM students as I could, as I was quite curious to not only see what my competition might look like, but also connect with someone with a mutual interest. In the end, I could not find a single student who was also studying electrical engineering! Although this could be seen as less competition, I may not experience what the real job-searching world is like; still, I met many students and professionals not in engineering, but who still departed invaluable insight into the real world. For example, most of the professionals I met were involved in some aspect of business or management, and advised that I always stay well-rounded. One professional was originally a computer scientist, decided that she wanted to talk with people more often, pursued an MBA, and now successfully manages the business side of the same company. I will certainly keep my horizons open within the bounds of engineering, as I am passionate enough to be confident of my field of study.