BISMARCK, ND — If there were a crystal ball that helped high school students look into their future, or helped them better navigate where they are going, how to get there and what to expect when they get there, it would look a lot like the MREC (Missouri River Educational Cooperative) College Symposium.

This one-day event, Thursday, November 3, 2016, sponsored by the MREC, the University of Mary and Bismarck State College, and appropriately named Jump$tart Your Future, is an all-in-one tool, a modern-day Swiss army knife for high school students to help them plan and get ready for what’s ahead of them academically, financially and professionally.

“This is one of those events that make adults say, ‘I wish they would have had something like this when I was in high school,’” said Molly Olson, operations director at MREC and coordinator of this event being held at BSC’s Energy Center of Excellence in Room 415. “It is never too early for our students to begin thinking and planning for the next step of their lives, whether that pathway is college or career. We also believe that a community has a responsibility for guiding our youth as they transition from high school to their future.”

Students in grades nine through 12 have the opportunity to hear nationally recognized speaker and career expert Brooks Harper talk about discovering, developing and selling their talents, skills and abilities. His topics titled “7 Skills to Make Mills” (that’s dollar sign millions) and “Why Should We Hire You?” are sure to help set the stage for what students need to know before, during and after college.

Admissions, Student Affairs, Campus Life and students representing the University of Mary and BSC will lead panel discussions to talk about everything there is to know about getting ready for college.

What are things you wish you would have done in high school to prepare for college? Name some life lessons learned during your first weeks on campus? What do you wish you would have known before being on campus? How do you balance college with work and social life? Those are just some of the top of mind questions high school attendees will get answers from current college students.

Because of their popularity and value, the MREC in collaboration with the University of Mary, BSC and other local industries, will partner together to host a series of college and career readiness events throughout the 2016-2017 school year. The other two upcoming career symposiums, and identified as areas of need in North Dakota, include value added agriculture and tourism/hospitality.