For students, meeting with professionals in their field of interest can be incredibly valuable.
That’s what 39 students got to experience with Career Development & Experiential Learning’s fourth round of job shadowing during the Winter Reading Week, marking the second time the program was conducted completely online.
Students met online with host professionals for a question-and-answer period where they asked about careers in the sector, the labour market, important skills, etc. The hosts also provided virtual learning activities, such as experiencing online meetings, discussing case studies, and having mock interviews with human resources.
“I don't think I have ever had such great return on time spent than through this experience. It helped me recognize what I like and dislike about the career path that I am pursuing,” said Spencer Briguglio, a computer science student who met with a senior team leader at Rocket Innovation Studio.
“Most importantly, it helped me recognize what I am doing right and how I can grow to be a more competitive applicant in this industry. I am very happy for the program; it really helped me bridge the gap between my work on campus and this career. This to me is invaluable.”
During the reflection sessions, students spoke of the next steps they were going to take with the information they learned. They cited learning new technical and transferrable skills, gaining volunteering experiences, obtaining specific certifications, joining professional associations, adding to their portfolios, and more.
The program would not be successful without the support of hosts who gave of their time and insights.
Darlene Malcolm, project co-ordinator at Workforce WindsorEssex, met with two students and was excited to share her knowledge with them.
“What a great way to highlight your industry and all the different career pathways within,” she said. “Your insight and lived experience can shine a light on career opportunities that may not have had a chance to shine before.”
Christina Alcena, manager of equity and student life at Humber College, saw another benefit to the program.
“Through participating in this job shadow opportunity, diverse employers have the opportunity to do intentional outreach with equity-deserving student communities,” she said.
Nadia Scandale, a biology student who met with a dentist at Little River Dental, encourages other students to participate in the virtual Job Shadow Experience.
“I would definitely recommend partaking in the Virtual Job Shadow Experience,” Scandale said. “If you are unsure about the career path you want to take, this experience will allow you to get a feel for it and learn firsthand what the career is like from someone who is already pursuing it.”