Job shadowing allows you to get an up-close look at a career, an employer, or even an industry that interests you. You "shadow" a working professional as s/he goes through a normal day on the job. Job shadowing may last a couple of hours, a half day, or an entire day. Opportunities can be found informally through networking or more formally through informational interviews.
Career Services' Job Shadow Program
The Career Services Center assists students in their job shadow endeavors.We
- maintain a database of organizations that have demonstrated an interest in hiring Duquesne students.
- assist students in developing and writing their resumes as well as cover letters requesting an informational interview and a day to job shadow.
- provide assistance with informational interviews, such as questions to ask employers, and mock interviews.
- offer additional preparation suggestions such as researching the host employer's industry, company, and position.
If you would like to learn more about a career, company, or industry ...
- Identify a company within the field of which you would like to learn more. This can be done by talking with professors, family & friends, company representatives at job fairs, and the staff at Career Services.
- Identify the people with whom you would meet. This too can be done by speaking with professors, family & friends, and the staff at Career Services. Other options include reviewing the company web site or contacting the company directly to speak with a Human Resources staff member.
- Write a letter (email is fine) requesting a few hours of the person's time. Include who you are (i.e. a junior at Duquesne University majoring in ______) and why you are interested in the job shadow experience. Indicate how you identified this person (I received your name from Dr. John Smith; or Mary Devin spoke highly of your expertise and knowledge.). Explain what you are hoping to gain through this experience. Be sure to include an updated resume. Thank the person for his/her consideration. Follow up in two weeks or so if you do not receive an answer. Always be gracious and professional!
- Whether you receive a positive or negative response (a yes or no answer), thank the person for their time in considering your request. If your intended host agrees to provide you with a job shadow experience, collaborate with him/her to schedule a meeting that is mutually beneficial.
What can you expect when you job shadow?
- Your host will greet you as s/he would a business associate, with a handshake and a warm welcome.
- S/he will provide his/her business card (you should already know that person's name) and also why s/he volunteered to be a host.
- Your host will take you through a normal business day, which may include attending business meetings.
- You will most likely be introduced to others within the company. Do your best to remember names and do not be afraid to ask for business cards.
- Make note of who you meet and the the types of responsibilities they hold to maximize your job shadow experience.
- Feel free to ask questions but do so respectfully; never interrupt.
- Lunch - your host may or may not treat you to lunch, so come prepared to pay your own way!
- At the end of the day, be sure to thank your host. Follow up with a written note thanking your host and others for their hospitality and time.