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Job Shadowing

What is Shadowing?

Shadowing is one way to learn more about a particular career. Shadowing is typically a half-day or one-day observational experience that offers a glimpse into a typical workday in a specific career field. You simply follow the professional for this time. Shadowing will help you define career interests, see what a certain job will be like, ask questions of the professional you are shadowing, and gain a better understanding of a particular work setting or business. You'll be surprised to find that though someone's job title may be the same, what they do on a day-to-day basis can be drastically different depending on the company for which they work. Professionals with a variety of majors often do the same job so be sure to ask a person's major when you shadow them.

No credit is received and no fee is charged for shadowing. It may be done as often as desired and at any time during the year. The career center encourages UK students of all majors and class levels to participate. Remember that most professionals are very busy and are volunteering their time to allow you to shadow them. Dress professionally and be respectful of the professional's time. Be sure to show your appreciation with a thank you card after the experience.

Find a Job Shadowing Site:

  1. Determing what type of experience that you would like to have and within what field or industry.
  2. Take note of what connections you might already have: 
    • Family friends
    • Co-workers of your parents 
    • Faculty and staff members at UK and their network 
    • Your current work place 
  3. Meet with a career counsueler at the Stuckert Career Center for more ideas or suggestions with employers that have a relationship with the center 
  4. Use tools like LinkedIn to find connections just outside of your network. 

Nature of the Experience: 

  • Determine what your objective for the expereince are 
  • Set up the job shadowing time and parameters with your host 
  • Have the experince 
  • Reflect on that experience and thank your host for their time
  • Determine what your next stesp should be:
    • Another job shadowing experience 
    • Major and Career Exploration workshop 
    • An internship 

Tips to make the Experience a Success:

  • Shadowing is a learning experience, rather than the chance to ask for a job.
  • Job Shadow hosts participate in this program on a completely volunteer basis.
  • It is up to you to make the initial contact and to follow-up with your host.
  • Do you homework. Read about your host's career field and company. Develop questions that you would like to ask.
  • Don't forget to thank the professional for their time!