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The student news site of Lake Forest Academy

The Spectator

The student news site of Lake Forest Academy

The Spectator

Student Summer Jobs: Personal vs Professorial Growth

Photo courtesy of Madison Rosen ’25

As the academic year winds down, high school students are shifting their focus towards securing summer employment opportunities. With a range of options available, students are faced with deciding between established chains, local community jobs, or educational internships tailored to their interests. This decision holds significance, offering valuable experiences for either personal and/or professional growth.

Navigating the job market can pose obstacles, particularly for teenagers. Many face obstacles such as limited access to transportation or the absence of a driver’s license, despite their eagerness to work. The accessibility of transportation to and from work becomes a crucial factor in their decision making process. Additionally, while teens earning their own income is exciting, it also comes with adult responsibilities such as a dedicated commitment to the schedule that your summer employer asks you to work. Taking on a job requires students to be responsible and consider any potential scheduling conflicts that may come up such as family vacations, commitments to any standardized test preparation, sports camps, and other summer activities. Another responsibility that comes with working is student’s tax obligations; a task that  is essential for their future, regardless of what profession they take on. Learning how to complete that task is essential and important for the future as it will eventually become part of their everyday lives. 

In the arena of retail, local high schoolers find employment in clothing stores or corporations like Target. Aadit Mantrow, a rising 11th grader at Lake Forest Academy, is devoting this summer to a paid position as a cashier at his hometown Target. Mantrow is fortunate to have a driver’s license as well as a car as his means of transportation to and from work this summer. Despite having multiple job offers, including a lifeguard position at his local country club, Mantrow ultimately chose the Target position due to factors such as higher pay and employee discount perks, viewing these as contributing factors to his personal and professional development. “As a cashier at Target this summer, I will gain experience in people skills and customer service which I will be able to apply to just about any future position I hold,” commented Mantrow, when asked what growth experience he hopes to gain out of this position.

While community-based positions are more accessible, only a fraction of high schoolers secure roles that significantly contribute to their professional development in their specific area of interest. Maddison Rosen, a rising 12th grader at Lake Forest Academy, exemplifies this trend. Enhancing her interest in politics, Rosen is dedicating a second consecutive summer to deepen her understanding of governmental operations through an internship with Congressman Brad Schneider’s campaign. Rosen’s journey to securing the internship involved a rigorous selection process, including referrals from friends and family and a formal interview. Despite facing competition from other interns, Rosen’s passion and dedication working a similar role last summer earned her an invitation back to the same office with a slightly enhanced role as an Intern Leader. While this position is unpaid, she is looking forward to this summer experience to increase her professional development. When asked how she thinks this position will help her in the future, Rosen commented “but in order to make those changes you have to get elected so being able to understand how that works and how politicians interact with constituents is crucial.” This demonstrates how targeted internships can provide invaluable insights and experiences that are pivotal for future career aspirations. 

As high school students make the transition to prepare for their jobs, they face an important decision that shapes their growth. Despite the challenges, these experiences offer valuable life skills for the future and desired career paths. Mantrow’s decision to work versus Rosen’s differs in many ways, but they both pave the way for shaping their futures personally or professionally.

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