Open Doors Opens Doors


Nathaniel Martin

From the Naval Base to Grainger to Abbvie to Deer Path Middle School, LFHS students could be found all around Lake County over the long weekend to begin November. Each one of them was trailing a professional, learning the ins and outs of the working world.

All of these students were a part of the 2018 Open Doors program hosted by Lake Forest High School. Through Open Doors, students can investigate a potential career they may want to pursue in the future.

According to the LFHS website, Open Doors “provides students a first-hand experience in a professional setting to obtain practical knowledge in an area they may be considering as a future career.”

And it does just that.

Senior Katie Pierce went to a job shadow through Open Doors to Deer Path Middle School, where she shadowed band director Corey Ames.

“I want to be a band director,” she said. “Seeing him in the job doing and loving it … with such grace was really inspiring to me.”

“It gives me a better appreciation for teachers.”

All around Lake County students were having similar experiences. At the Great Lakes Naval Base, senior Jacob Phelps shadowed a naval engineer.

Phelps was most excited about the potential to use the visit as a springboard for career interests later in life.

“It really gives students a possibility to explore career paths,” he said. “It helps you make connections [with potential employers] before you get to college.”

Junior Susanna Noble took the Open Doors opportunity to travel to Grainger. Grainger is an international company that supplies other companies with products such as sump pumps or motorized materials.

“We got to see what machines [Grainger employees] work with, a couple of their products, and some of how their tests are run,” Noble said of her visit. She also described how during her shadow she was able to talk with recently hired employees who were fresh out of college. Noble and the other LFHS students on the tour were able to bounce questions of these employees about potential career paths they should take.

While the knowledge and the connections made at Grainger will serve her well later in life, Noble said that the most interesting thing she say that day was “a machine that told people exactly what material was being used in appliances.”

She described a situation where someone could have a zip tie scanned by the machine, and the exact materials used to manufacture it are identified.

“It was pretty crazy,” she said.

The consensus among the students who tried Open Doors is the same. It’s an opportunity that future students shouldn’t pass up. Pierce agreed “absolutely” with this sentiment.

“The experimentation as I grew older, of doing the same thing every year, reinforced what I want to do,” Pierce said. “It’s a good idea to try something. If you like it do it again. If you don’t try something new.”