Jobs & Internships: Lowell Finster (11)

Marina Kazarian and Hannah Hornfeld

Lowell Finster (11) spent his summer putting his lifeguard certification to use at the Pelham Country Club. Finster became certified last summer while at sleepaway camp in New Hampshire, as a nearby school, Colby-Sawyer College, offered the lifeguarding and CPR/AED/first aid courses necessary for an American Red Cross certification.

After that summer, Finster knew he wanted to find a summer job as a lifeguard, so he applied for a position at Pelham, he said.

Each morning at work, Finster “punched in” by typing his employee number into a screen, so that the time during which he worked was recorded for his payroll. While on duty, he rotated between supervising the deep end, shallow end, and baby pool. “It was usually fairly busy,” he said. “There was a camp for kids during the week, and it would get even more crowded on weekends.”

During his breaks, Finster would do chores around the pool, such as picking up trash and towels, putting up umbrellas, and emptying the dirty towel bin. Finster would also occasionally administer first aid, which consisted of caring for minor cuts and scrapes, such as disinfecting and bandaging skinned knees, he said.

A major part of the job was to always stay alert and expect the unexpected, Finster said. His most memorable experience was a day when an ambulance had to be called as a result of an injury, he said. “I had to go to one of the entrances to the club to direct the ambulance, and afterwards, they had me jump in the back and ride with them so that I could guide them from the entrance to the pool,” Finster said.

Overall, working as a lifeguard was an enjoyable learning experience, Finster said. “I have become more aware of the behind the scenes work done to keep places clean and orderly,” Finster said. “I’ve also become better able to focus for extended periods of time, even when what I’m focusing on isn’t the most interesting.” Finster thinks that his improved ability to focus will help him concentrate better in school and while studying this year, especially on tedious or time-consuming tasks, he said.