Job Shadowing gives students an opportunity to observe or shadow an employer completing their daily job responsibilities. The experience may be as short as one hour, or span over a few days. The student can explore specific career interests to help them solidify their path, or explore options within an industry. Job shadowing can assist employers in developing stronger relationships with college students, which can aid their overall recruitment efforts. Job Shadowing can be a good way to see if your organization would be interested in hosting students longer through externship program and/or internship. In addition, it allows a professional the opportunity to mentor and provide guidance to young professionals, which is great for their professional development. Job shadowing is designed to increase career awareness as well as and showcase the connection between classroom learning and various careers.
What do students do during shadowing?
Students can do a variety of things during the shadowing experience. They will likely spend time observing you, conduct an informational interview, sit in on meetings, view projects, and meeting other staff members. Sometimes employers may review a student’s resume to give them feedback. The experience will be unique to the host and student.
What should I expect from the student who is shadowing?
You can expect the student to reach out and coordinate details with you. They will be professional and be appropriately dressed for the atmosphere. They should come prepared with a list of questions they have about your profession.
Can I take more than one student at a time?
Yes, you are welcome to have more than one student visit while shadowing. It is all dependent on the host and their needs. However, do keep in mind the responsibilities of being a host before committing to a larger number of students. You will want to consider how you structure the job shadow day if you have more than one student in order to allow the best experience for all involved.
What are my expectations as a job shadow host?
As a host, your overall expectation is to give them a comprehensive overview of your profession/organization, and the daily workings of your position. Providing a tour is common, allowing the student to observe your daily tasks, explain/engage in your current projects/tasks and create time for an informational interview. Some hosts may even offer to review the resume of the student. Introducing them to other departments/co-workers is another great way to host your job shadow student.
How do I request to be a host?
The best place to submit your interest in being a host is through the form listed on this page. You may also contact Career & Professional Development at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Am I guaranteed a student?
While many students enjoy the opportunity to job shadow, we do not guarantee a direct match right away. We will keep you in our database of job shadow hosts and we will share the opportunities to shadow with students regularly. You will be contacted once a match is made.
How long does shadowing last?
We ask that you agree to host a job shadow student for one work day of at least six hours. This will allow them to get a feel for your industry and organization. However, some hosts choose to host a student for two-three days depending on the nature of their role, and the student’s schedule and desire.
Before your Job Shadow Day
Schedule & ensure the date/time of shadowing are confirmed with the student
Provide parking and direction information, as well as workplace dress expectations
Inform the student of any waivers or paperwork that needs to be filled out prior to job shadowing
Send the student a schedule of the day. Provide them any information that may be helpful for them to know before coming to your organization.
During your Job Shadow Day
Provide student with a tour, give them a detailed overview of your role and your organizations vision/mission, introduce them to staff members, engage them in your projects, let them interview you, review their resume, have them observe your meetings, reflect on your career journey!
After your Job Shadow Day
Connect with Career & Professional Development and tell us about your experience!
9:00-10:00 – Tour, introduction of department, discussion of mission, vision, and organization’s goals
10:00-10:30 – Describe your career journey and what your current position entails (Describe what you like and what can be challenging). Review your job description as a guide.
10:30–12:00– Observe projects/work tasks (could include showing computer programs your organization uses, etc.), allow student to engage in part of the project or task
1:00-2:00– Staff meeting
2:00-2:30 – Informational interview
2:30-3:00– Resume review
3:00-4:00– Final observations and/or more hands on tasks & closing reflection