Job shadowing provides students a taste of the workplace

BHS students have the unique opportunity to explore potential careers through our own EXPLORE program. EXPLORE Coordinator Carrie Hermann works at the school’s career center to arrange job shadows based on student interest and availability.

“When students express interest in a job shadow, I do my best to set it up,” Hermann said. “We occasionally partner with organizations like Junior Achievement, which arranged a job shadow at Franklin Templeton Investments this past fall.”

Seven students participated in the Franklin Templeton Investments job shadow, including juniors Caitlyn Rusley, Steven Giammona, and Allison Su.

Rusley shadowed a Finance Rotational Accountant.

“After shadowing Franklin Templeton, I learned what exactly goes into being an accountant,” Rusley said. “Many of the employees came to Franklin right after graduating college, which was super motivating to hear. Additionally, the employees have many different types of majors ranging from art majors to specific science majors, which goes to show that you don't necessarily need to be an expert in business to be apart of such a large firm. After the job shadow, I realized that Franklin Templeton would be a really good fit for me. While I've always pictured myself having a job heavily surrounded by business, being able to shadow a place that met my criteria was very eye opening. With this job shadow, I am now a lot more motivated in exploring the general field of business even further.”

After shadowing, Giammona discovered the workings of a large investment company.

“I was able to understand what sort of positions are offered within a large company such as Franklin Templeton,” Giammona said.

Likewise, Su had the special chance to shadow the Director at Franklin Templeton Investments.

“Before I went to Franklin Templeton, I didn’t really know what an investment company was like or what it did,” Su said. “But after the job shadow, I know more about the company and understand what an investment company does and how they invest and make money. I am now more interested in exploring different companies and jobs positions. I can now differentiate what I want and what are the good opportunities for me after making comparisons of different companies and job positions.”

Hermann finds that many students are interested in job shadowing in the medical field, especially nursing. However, arranging job shadows in this sector is challenging due to the tight privacy regulations.

“To help provide information to students, we have invited speakers to address their questions. Last fall, we had a nurse and former graduate of USF nursing school speak with students.”

Senior Hannah de la Calle is one such student who is interested in a position in the medical sector and wants to be a veterinarian. She requested a job shadow at the Aragon Veterinary Clinic, which not only strengthened her understanding of the job duties, but also her love of the practice.

“I knew I wanted to go into animal sciences and so I was quite excited to do this job shadow,” de la Calle said. “I was able to see how a small veterinary clinic runs and the relationship the doctors have with their patients. I was also able to see some operations, which was so amazing. Because they let me have flexibility in what I wanted to do, I was really able to explore it all. Overall, it was an amazing opportunity.”

Meanwhile, senior Sean Saunders was one of two BHS students to be invited to a job shadow with the Central County Fire Department and was picked up by the team at the front of the school.

“I learned that all of the firemen serve us because they actually care about our community, and their main goal is to help and protect us,” Saunders said. “It is a career that I would really like to pursue.”

Students treasure their job shadow experiences because these experiences help them understand different work environments and job duties. They obtain a sense of what they want to do in their future.

“As you go on many job shadows, you can make comparisons of different companies and will be able to sort out what kind of company you want to work at or what kind of job position you want,” Su said. “You can also know more about the company, what their atmosphere is like or what their main goal is, and how the workers do their jobs effectively. You also get to talk to many people and gain a lot of useful information for your future career path by getting advice. The more you explore, the more choices you have and the better job you will find.”

With all the advantages that job shadows bring, students really appreciate the work that Ms. Hermann puts in to make them possible.

“It is truly a privilege to have Ms. Herman at our school because there is no one else like her in the district who plans and organizes job shadows,” Rusley said. “No other school has the opportunity to have such a wide range in job shadow opportunities and therefore we must take advantage of what we have.”

Posted on January 31, 2017 .