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Modern Languages and Literatures

Michael Peters

How did you explore your interests and decide on a major/majors? 

I grew up around French speaking people, and I could speak it to an extent, but I knew that I wanted to be proficient in speaking and writing in French so that I could use it for work, and I knew that I wanted to work in the medical field, so I decided to do what I could to combine the two.

Describe a moment or experience you had in college that helped define your career path (coursework, internship, study abroad, student organization, etc.)

I studied abroad in Senegal during my senior year, where I learned more about public health and did an internship in a rural village. This confirmed my interest in public health, particularly in developing francophone nations.

What steps did you take at Lake Forest College to prepare for your career?

I took all of the courses required to get into a Master’s of Science in Nursing program, and I participated in events like French table, where I could practice my language skills. I also took advantage of the diverse student body at Lake Forest College, and made friends that shared my interests, so that my ideas and ambitions grew.

What role did your internship or research experience (or study abroad) play in shaping your career path?

My study abroad experience in Senegal confirmed the huge need for healthcare, community health, public health. The city of Chicago has many of the same healthcare issues that many developing countries have, which I find fascinating.

What would you recommend Lake Forest College students considering a career in your field do to prepare?

Languages are always good to learn, as they open up new doors. Work hard but remember that networking is just as important in order to find jobs, get into grad schools, etc. once you graduate from Lake Forest College. Travel as much as you possibly can. You will learn more traveling than you could from any textbook.

How did the Department of Modern Languages, other department, Career Advancement Center and/or the Forester community give you an edge on taking your first steps after graduation?

The Department of Modern Languages recommended the MSID Senegal study abroad program to me, which for me was the most impactful experience of college. The Career Advancement Center helped me get internships in the healthcare area around Chicago, and they helped fund my efforts.

What have you found the most rewarding in your career and life after graduation?

Living in downtown Chicago feels like a great reward, as it is such a diverse and exciting city. I am really enjoying it and everything that it has to offer. I also feel like academically, LFC prepared me very well for graduate level academics, and that is a rewarding feeling.