Our New Job Shadow Experience: What is it and what can you get out of it?

September 24, 2019 - Adeyemi Adesina 

Picture of female student. Job Shadow ExperienceIn addition to the several resources already provided by Career Development and Experiential Learning (CDEL), the team has launched its first job shadowing program. If you are interested in this opportunity, you can visit the Job Shadow Experience website for more information about available opportunities. The deadline to submit an application is September 29th, 2019 and the shadowing will take place for a full day or half day over Reading Week.

What is Job Shadowing?

Job shadowing is an opportunity for students interested in a specific career option to observe a professional working in the position for a day. During this period, students have a chance to gain more understanding about the work environment and the daily activities of the position and industry their host works in.

Benefits of job shadowing

There are several benefits of participating in a job shadowing program – a few are discussed below:

  • Gain insight into the industry/profession: Participating in job shadowing allows participants to get first hand information and knowledge about an industry and profession. This program is also a great way to interact with professionals and inquire about skills, certifications, educational background, etc., required to get the job and hear other tips that can help someone to grow and learn on the job.
  • Experience how academic learning can be applied to the workplace: The academic environment has equipped us students with valuable knowledge and skills, however, it is essential to understand how academic learning can be applied in a professional working environment. Participating in a job shadowing enables students to observe and reflect on how things they have learned in the classroom can be applied when they start working.
  • Explore career options: Most students have a general idea of a profession they want to go into after graduation, however, there may be many more options out there for you. Job shadowing is a great way to explore alternative options, learn about the skills that are required, and explore if the profession or industry is the right fit for you.
  • Expand your professional network: As students; most of the people in our network are family or friends we met during our studies. Job shadowing creates an avenue to develop and/or expand your professional network which can be helpful as we work to achieve different career goals like securing an internship or  job.

Things to do during job shadowing

Whether you participate in this program or another job shadowing opportunity, it’s important to make the most of it and leave a great impression on your host. Here are some tips to make sure you do just that:

  • Be Professional: As where you will be shadowing is a professional environment, you should be professional in everything you do while you are visiting. Professionalism means arriving early to meet your host, dressing professionally, and communicating professionally with everyone you meet during the shadowing.
  • Take notes: Even though job shadowing is for a short period of time, the host can still divulge a huge amount of useful information. Be prepared to take notes of important information you don’t want to forget.
  • Ask questions: Job shadowing is a great opportunity to ask any specific questions you have related to the position, the company, and the industry your host works in. Therefore, students are encouraged to research the host they will be shadowing and prepare questions about the position in advance.
  • Say thank you: Don’t forget to thank your host for the time they spent with you and the opportunity they gave you to learn. Also ask them about the best way to stay in touch after the experience is over (LinkedIn, email, etc.).

Take a look at the Job Shadow Experience website and see if there is a role you're interested in shadowing this Reading Week!