Weather Forecast


Students shadow workers at area businesses

Connie Vandermay/FOCUS Hannah Solberg shadows her mom Helen at Seip Prescription Shoppe in Perham.1 / 2
Connie Vandermay/FOCUS Logan Vonderbruggth job shadowed his dad, Frank, owner of The Bean Mill in Perham. Afterward, Logan said, "There's a lot I didn't know about running a business."2 / 2

During Career Shadow Day last week, more than 60 Perham High School students from Sandra Wieser-Matthews' Public Speaking class shadowed friends and family members through their work days at area businesses.

In an interview at the high school the following day, Zack Pary, Keeghan Hurley, Luke Ellingson, Tanner Monson and Heidi Weber shared some of their experiences.

Ellingson said after watching his dad Tony Ellingson do some maintenance work at Perham Health, he realized that the job was harder then he thought: "He has to memorize a lot of things" when it comes to the boiler upkeep, he said.

Hurley, who shadowed his father Don Hurley at ShoreMaster in Fergus Falls, said he was surprised to see all the stress his dad went through dealing with different aspects of running a business.

After shadowing his dad Tad Pary, at Lund Boats, Pary said he was surprised to see how many people from within the company called him to ask simple questions - something Pary felt was both good and bad.

There were some careers that students said would have been fun to shadow, but company protocol didn't allow student observation. Mostly for confidentiality reasons, Weber said.

Weber's first choice was to shadow her dad, who is a pastor. After she was denied, she wanted to follow a doctor, but again confidentiality issues arose. She finally decided on an activities director at Lutheran Island Camp, where she goes every year. She found it interesting to see how much work was involved in making it fun for kids, she said.

Hurley said overall it was great to watch people in action and "get a little preview of what the real world is like."

Career Shadow day allowed the class to conduct a different kind of research. "We learned from experience instead of a computer," added Ellingson.

All the students used their new found knowledge from their working day to prepare a speech, and some used what they learned to help guide them down a future career path.

One such example is Monson. After following his dad Vern Monson at Astter Trucking, Monson said, "I found out I don't want to be a truck driver. It's really boring."