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Job Shadowing Program

The Job Shadowing Program expands students’ career thinking, supports their career exploration skills, and helps them consider what they could do with their degree. Both students and recent alumni (up to 2 years after graduation) are provided the opportunity to ‘shadow’ a professional for a minimum of a half-day, up to five days at the volunteer’s place of work. Students practice networking to hear unique career stories and learn about career non-linearity. They also tour the site to observe workplace culture and assess their interest. Finally, students participate in hands-on learning to understand their own transferable skills. This program is offered three times per year.

Division:

Career Exploration & Education, Student Life

Instructor / Program Coordinator

Erika Bailey, Lead Coordinator, Career Exploration, Career Exploration & Education

Typologies

Co-Curricular Simulated Work Experiences; Simulated Work Experience

Information for Interested Students

Learn more about the Job Shadowing Program, or you can start today with the online orientation.

Benefits to Students

Students gain a “behind-the-scenes” look into the workplace culture of an organization, industry, and profession, and they learn how their degree can be used in diverse careers. This gives them critical insight into how they might navigate their own careers in our changing world. It also normalizes career anxiety and increases comfort with ambiguity around their futures. They have the opportunity to practice skills like networking and professional communication.

Benefits to External Partners and the Community

Our co-educators (hosts) value providing advice to curious students and helping them navigate the world of work; many state they wished they had this available when they were leaving their studies. Co-educators gain insights on and connections with the next generation of colleagues joining the workforce. And finally, they appreciate the opportunity to reflect on their career pathway, workplace culture, and organization as a whole.

Benefits to the University

The Job Shadowing Program delivers on eight of Career Exploration & Education’s 16 learning objectives, which supports students’ transformational thinking about careers. Its experiential learning structure fosters profound personal and professional insights for job shadow participants. Further, it is an excellent referral point for our Career Educator and peer advisor colleagues. Finally, the program increases cross-divisional outreach, as the program is open to all students and recent graduate of up to two years.

Advice for Faculty and Staff Interested in Creating a Similar Experiential Learning Opportunity

The Job Shadowing Program has been running for over 30 years. The team at Career Exploration & Education are happy to share information, answer questions, and connect with colleagues across campus. Career Exploration & Education also offers a Faculty-Sponsored Job Shadowing Program that provides faculty members the chance to integrate job shadowing into their courses. To request job shadowing for your course, or to inquire about the program please submit a request form.