We are looking for alumni and employer hosts for the University of Arizona Job Shadow Program. The Job Shadow Program allows UA students of any major to learn about and prepare for a diverse array of career paths, while enhancing their resume and building their professional network with UA alumni and employers.
The commitment is short: just one day. During this one-day experience, students follow a professional in their workplace sometime during winter break, spring break, or early summer, when students may be back home or traveling in different parts of the country.
Students who job shadow attend an orientation where they are briefed on professionalism, appropriate dress, and work etiquette. Students are guided to research the organization and ask thoughtful questions that give them valuable insight into their shadow assignment’s job function and workplace culture.
While the experience is short, the impact can be great for both students and alumni hosts.
“I wish I had this option when I was going to the UA,” said UA alumna Brenda Yanez (‘05, Communication), Public Information Officer at the City of Phoenix Public Works department.
She hosted current UA student Angela Martinez during Spring Break 2018.
“It was a pleasure to have someone job shadow me that was bright, motivated and had a genuine interest in a city government communications position. She was very respectful, gracious and receptive. All in all, it was a great experience!”
For the students, job shadowing – and the personal connection to UA alumni – can be beneficial in many ways: It can be a first exposure to a professional environment, a confirmation of what they do or do not want to do in their future career, or a way to identify more career paths and opportunities they didn’t previously consider, not to mention an introduction to possible mentors and the newest members of their professional network.
Angela applied for the Job Shadow Program because it was an opportunity to observe firsthand a career she could potentially pursue. She said, “Brenda did a wonderful job of showing me what she does as a Public Information Officer. She went out of her way to show me around, introduce me to wonderful people, and give me valuable advice. There was so much to learn at the City of Phoenix Public Works department that I wanted to stay one day longer. Brenda made it an experience that I will never forget.”
“I think the job shadow program is one of the best things you can do aside from an internship,” said Angela, who is graduating this December with a degree in Journalism and minors in Marketing and Spanish. “It gives you an opportunity to see what working in a certain career field is like and gives you a great way to make connections!”
While students can participate at any point in their college career, job shadowing can be especially valuable for a freshman or sophomore who is exploring career options, encouraging them to think more critically about their personal strengths and their professional goals.
Last spring’s job shadow host at Orion Health in Scottsdale agreed, “This is a very important experience that could change the thought process of some students about a certain industry or direction by just providing exposure, especially in the first year of a 4-year degree, when they are still able to make changes without too many consequences.”
If you want to make a big impact in the life of a UA student in a short period of time, be instrumental in their understanding of your company, industry, or job role, host a job shadow opportunity for a UA student!
If you can host a UA student at your organization for just one day to mentor and provide insight about your career field, consider participating this year. Find more information and sign up here: https://career.arizona.edu/host-a-wildcat