Job shadowing is a school/community experience that allows students to observe people in the community as they perform their regular job duties. During a job shadow, students observe an employee for a short period of time to learn about the business, industry or profession of the employee. Job shadowing is a short-term, work-place learning opportunity, with an emphasis on exploration. The job shadow experience should be planned to provide the student with the opportunity to explore all aspect of the business or industry as well as the specifics of the job they are shadowing.
Since job shadowing is exploratory in nature, most students will benefit from several job shadowing experiences over the course of several years, until they become more focused on a career path.
One of my job shadow experiences through Pathway Partners was with Brian from The Vox (a business designed to bring big city music to small communities like Marshfield). One area of my career interest is to become a singer on stage. Since that is difficult to find in such a small community as Marshfield, I contacted Mrs. Sternweis in Pathway Partners to see if I could gain some type of experience to explore this idea further. She listened to my career interests and asked me if contacting Brian at The Vox sounded like a good idea. I thought I would give it a try, what did I have to lose? Job shadowing is not difficult at all, it’s simply like being in class – your mentor talks about how you become prepared in many different ways for a certain career, and what you really do in the career. Mostly, you get to see what it is like to be in that career, with firsthand experience - which is actually really cool. I had a full day of learning about every little thing in show business. I went there to learn more of what singers do, but in the end I learned what everyone did, from the band to the stage set-up and tear-down. I got to see Kyle Cook of Matchbox 20 and experience all the hard work of pulling it off. I also gained understanding of how hard it actually is to be in show business. We had a 3 man crew, including me, working to pull off such an awesome show. It is really astonishing and gave me a sense of pride knowing that I helped set-up this awesome show. Brian and I stay in contact every now and then and I decided to help him out in the future with shows. I think other students should get involved with Pathway Partners or at least some form of job shadowing because it is beyond beneficial. You get to have fun while learning about careers that interest you. It is also great because you get to connect with new people, and maybe one day teach others. Joining Pathway Partners can give you all of these benefits, if you just give it a shot. Pathway Partners has helped me considerably with both ideas for careers and learning about the careers themselves. -Derek E.
Job shadowing provides an opportunity for partnership between schools and businesses. Participating students have demonstrated heightened confidence in their potential to succeed, as they can “see themselves” in the workplaces and businesses have an opportunity to showcase their business as a potential employer for students.
Job Shadow Mentors
- an opportunity for students to experience “real life” work in a career field
- an opportunity for students to see a relationship between their educational experience and career choice
- motivating students to expand and meet their educational career goals
- well prepared and motivated future employees
Job Shadowing offers the opportunity to build positive relations between students and community businesses. If you are interested in becoming a job shadow mentor, but are unsure if job shadowing is right for your place of business because of confidentiality, safety or some other reason be sure to check out Informational Interviewing.
Additional benefits include:
- see first-hand what you like and don't like, both are equally important in determining the right career
- ask your job shadow mentor which classes might be helpful to take while still in high school - check out Transcripted Credit, Advanced Standing, Dual Credit or Advanced Placement options. Schedule an appointment with your Resource Counselor to discuss the best options for you.
- learn more about which of the 16 Career Clusters is right for you, take the interest inventory or check out the Career Pathways class.
Job Shadowing through Pathway Partners is open to all students, to get started complete the application below
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