How to Make the Most of Summer 2020: Suggestion #9

Suggestion #9: Participate in a Job Shadow

In case you’re not familiar with the term, job shadowing is an activity where you can “shadow”, observe, and follow someone in your potential field of interest while the professional is at work.  This is the time to observe the career’s culture, explore, and ask questions.  It is important to understand that job shadowing is different (and much shorter) than an internship.  You most likely will not be “hands on” and you won’t be gaining any career experience.  Job shadowing is solely to understand what the professional does in their day-to-day activities.

What are some of the benefits of job shadowing?  To name a few – it allows you to gain insight into the day-to-day responsibilities of a position and the company culture. Not to mention, job shadowing expands your network and helps you make additional professional contacts.

If you had secured an internship offer that was rescinded due to COVID-19, and if the employer returns to ‘business as usual’ over the summer, ask if they might be able to host you for a day for a job shadow opportunity.

Ask family, friends of the family, or other professionals that you’ve connected with if they’d be willing to let you spend a day or part of a day job shadowing them.

By MaryEllen Ryan
MaryEllen Ryan Senior Associate Director, Undergraduate Career Development, Pulsifer Career Development Center MaryEllen Ryan