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The news site of Glenbrook South High School.

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The news site of Glenbrook South High School.

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Students pursue various careers, use internships as means

Students pursue various careers, use internships as means

Many students see high school as a way to prepare themselves for the future. However, not all are sure about what they want to do with the rest of their lives.

What they also may not know is that a course exists at South for that very purpose: the Internship class instructed by Rosanna McManamon, Business Education teacher. It is a one semester class for juniors and seniors. The class does not meet on a day-to-day basis and most of the work is done outside the classroom in the form of an internship. In order to earn half of a credit for the class, a total of approximately 75 unpaid hours must be completed, according to McManamon.

McManamon said the learning experience and real life experience are two important parts of an internship.

“The internship does one of two things: it either solidifies and says ‘this is exactly what I want to do,’” McManamon said. “The other end is where they realize this is not the career they want for their future. I think [that] is just as valuable, because it’s better that they find out now in high school.”

Senior Sabrina Iqbal took Internship last year and is currently taking it again. Junior year she interned at Walgreen’s pharmacy, and decided that it wasn’t what she wanted to major in.

“I realized that [pharmaceuticals] wasn’t the field for me because I’m more of someone who needs to be talking to people and interacting with them,” Iqbal said. “[…] But I’m glad it happened because I was seriously considering pharmacy.”

Currently, Iqbal is interning at Pulmonary Heart Association in Northbrook and running the social media campaign. Iqbal said she prefers this internship, as she wants to pursue business.

“We plan out what we’re doing and then the different social events that are being planned for the year,” Iqbal said. “I’m assuming that I’ll be just attending those and doing social media and learning from [the director] about how to run a business because ultimately, I want to own my own business.”

While the internships class can be a great resource, other students used existing connections to find an internship over the summer.

One student was senior Anya Agrawal who interned at the Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago, where she worked with Dr. Jeffery Gosset.

“I spent about five weeks downtown at the children’s hospital working with one of the pediatric transplant doctors on one of his research projects,” Agrawal said.  “[My job was] basically to look retrospectively at the procedures that he had done.”

Agrawal said she looked through databases and analyzed patient information at her internship. Currently, she is writing a scientific paper with the doctor on what they researched and hopes to get it published in a medical journal. Overall, she enjoyed the internship and it definitely made her want to pursue a career in medicine.

“[The internship] was amazing,” Agrawal said. “Before, I glamorized the whole medical profession, but this really put me in their shoes and it was just a really eye-opening experience overall.”

Senior Rohan Shah, who also wants to pursue medicine in the future, has been volunteering at Glenbrook Hospital since the June after his sophomore year.

According to Shah, most of his family is made up of doctors, so he always felt he would become one. Shah recalled a specific time while volunteering at the hospital when he knew for sure he wanted to be a doctor.

“It was my first day working alone on the patient floor, and one of the patients asked me [to get them some blankets],” Shah said.  “I got him some blankets and he was just so happy to see me, and [how happy he was] really surprised me. I think that really sealed the deal for me.”

Another student who had an internship over the summer was junior Jane Brennan. She interned at the Cook County Offices and did research for the Assessor’s Office that was investigating people in Cook County.

“The goal of this sector was to ensure that [the people in the Assessor’s Office] weren’t discriminating against [employees] based on their political affiliations for non-political positions within the county,” Brennan said. “That means that the positions should not be dictated by your political beliefs. We were investigating to make sure they followed that protocol.”

Brennan one day hopes to join the world of politics. From her first days on student council at Pleasant Ridge to her continued involvement in South’s student council as junior treasurer, Brennan has felt politics is a great way to make a difference.

“Watching [Congress’] failure to do anything to change these pressing issues  that are affecting the competitiveness and innovativeness of the future generations just inspired me [to go and try and change],” Brennan said.

Other South students are pursuing careers in different fields. Two such students are junior Janie Kahan and senior Chloe Valtos, who are involved in South’s TV department. Kahan and Valtos strive to be a part of the TV industry in the future. They did not work with an internship program but have found their own means to be involved.

Over the summer, Kahan started a production company called 554 Collective with  South TV alumni. Kahan felt the production company prepared her for the TV industry.

“It’s a way for us to go out into the scary industry with friends, all holding each others’ hands,” Kahan said.

According to Kahan, she has wanted to go into television since junior high when she discovered the magic of iMovie. She has continued with it because she feels it is a good way to express herself. Kahan hopes to be a director or a producer.

“The way that I express myself, and the thing that makes me most happy is filmmaking,” Kahan said.

Like Kahan, Valtos also hopes to go into the TV industry. Valtos has been involved in the TV program her entire time at South. Valtos is the executive producer of the TV morning announcements, as well as the producer of this year’s homecoming video.

“I talk to my friends who are studying film now, and they said that [I] go to college so prepared [to study film] because other kids don’t have [a program like South’s],” Valtos said. “We have cameras we can use, all this equipment at our hands and a teacher who encourages us to do whatever we want.”

Valtos hopes to attend a film school that will help her reach her full potential.

“When I look at colleges, I look at where I can thrive the most, get more internships and put myself out there more,” Valtos said.

In addition to pre-med, TV, and politics, senior Carly Weinman adds variety to the types of careers pursued by South students. When Weinmann grows up, she hopes to be a police officer like her father.

According to Weinmann she has accompanied her dad Commander Paul Phillip Weinman to work since she was little. Carly also has done under-cover work in an investigation that’s purpose was to stop the sale of tobacco to minors.

Paul Phillip has served as Carly’s inspiration  for her future.

“One time there was this guy and he was going to kill himself in his kitchen,” Carly said. “He had this huge knife in his hand, and […] the guy wouldn’t put the knife down. My dad […] charged at the guy. He took the knife out of his hand, and he got it. It was cool and kind of scary. No one else would go up to him.”

Carly finds her dad’s life very interesting and is excited for her future because of it.

“My favorite part of his job, [is] when he solves the crimes and he gets the bad guy, it’s so cool,” Carly said.

All of these students have gotten a head start on their futures throughout high school. Brennan feels that by getting a head start now it can benefit students in their future.

“I think those qualities  [from high school] can transfer into the real world because you need to learn how to accomplish tasks you are not always familiar with,” Brennan said.

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