While job shadowing is a shorter time commitment than an internship, this time allows the student to observe the career's culture, explore, and ask questions. The benefits of job shadowing can’t be understated. This period of time will give students a look into a career they're thinking of pursuing. It can be a great way to decide whether or not a student wants to pursue a particular career before applying for jobs or internships. Job shadowing also helps students develop contacts in their field of interest. Students may even meet other professionals who ultimately become mentors, advising them about a career choice or change, or advancement in their professional life.
Using your application, Community Groundwork staff will match you based on your location, interest and background. Working with the host and the student, we will arrange a day, time and location or schedule on your behalf.
1. Before your job shadow
- Coordinate the date and time of your visit with Community Groundwork.
- Confirm the expected dress code for your visit.
- Arrange for transportation/parking to and from the job shadow site.
- Reflect on your own career path. Your host is likely to be interested in what brought you into politics and where you hope to go.
- Research your host and the company you will be visiting (prepare at least 5 specific questions).
2. Day of your job shadow
- Be on time!
- Say hello, greet every person you meet, maintain eye contact and address them with their formal titles unless told otherwise.
- Thank every person for their time and ask for business cards.
- Listen carefully to directions and keep everything you see/hear confidential.
- Be prepared, professional and engaged.
- Stay positive.
- Take notes. You will get a lot of information that you may want to retain. Remember to bring a notepad and pen.
- Forget your phone. Turn off your phone when you arrive. If you have to keep it on, switch your phone to silent and resist the urge to use it.
- Ask plenty of questions! Don't be afraid to ask questions about their career path.
3. After your job shadow
- Send a personalized thank you email to your host and any other professionals who hosted you.
- Connect with your host and other professionals you met on LinkedIn.
- Complete your own page write-up and submit to Community Groundwork and complete your Job Shadow Survey.
Suggested Questions to Ask Your Job Shadowing Host:
- What types of skills do you need for this job?
- How has your training or education helped you with this career?
- What do you like most about the job?
- Has the job changed or evolved over time? If so, how?
- What presents the biggest challenges for you with this job?
- What is the career path? What are the advancement opportunities associated with this job?
- What are some of the most important things I need to know to succeed in this role?
- What helped you the most when you were starting this job?
- Can you describe your typical day at work?
- Is there anything you can tell me that someone might not know about this job?