Job Shadowing for UNH Students
- By participating in job shadowing, you can learn about potential careers by ‘shadowing’ professionals and observing their daily routines and activities for a few hours to a full work day.
- Through this program you will have the opportunity to observe professionals in diverse job-related functions, and ask questions to learn about and clarify your career interests. Job shadowing will help you achieve a better understanding of various careers by experiencing them first hand to gain direct insights into professions that can help you determine your own path.
- Like other ways to gain knowledge about potential career paths – informational interviews, and internships – the more you prepare for your job shadow experience, the greater the benefit to you. Research the company, job, and individual you are meeting with - use the employer website and other resources including Linkedin so you are prepared to ask good questions.
- It is a possibility that your job shadow host could also be a potential employer one day. Whether this becomes a reality or not, it is important to make a good impression and conduct yourself in a courteous and professional manner at all times during your shadowing experience. You are not only representing yourself, but the University of New Hampshire as well.
Tips to help make the most of your experience
Research the Company and the Job
- Information can be found on the company website, Linkedin, journal articles, and other forms of media.
- The questions you ask your host should indicate that you have already done your research and that you already have a knowledge foundation on which to build.
- Prepare your questions ahead of time and arrange them in the order that you hope to ask them – what is most important for you to learn?
- It’s best to have them written out and to take notes on the responses.
- You are entering a work environment, so professional attire is necessary to make a good first impression.
- Also - you are their “shadow” and should not stand out because you’re wearing inappropriate attire.
Arrival on Site
- Plan to arrive at the location early. If you are at all uncertain about the location, call ahead of time to get directions.
- Make sure you have your host’s name and phone number if you need to contact them if you get lost.
- Shake hands, smile, and be yourself!
- Remember that your job shadow hosts have volunteered to participate; they want to talk to you and help you.
During the Job Shadowing Experience
- Stay focused on your host’s job and industry.
- Show your interest and enthusiasm when speaking with your host.
- Don’t lose valuable time by asking questions that are not related to your career interests or can be more easily answered in another setting.
- Never ask for an internship during this process - this is not the goal of a job shadowing experience.
- Send a ‘thank you’ email to your job shadow host the same day or next day – appropriate professional etiquette that will leave them with a positive impression of you.