As students move into their junior and senior years of college, it is especially important that they start focusing on their futures and thinking about what type of career they might want to pursue after graduation. Luckily for them, Fairfield University offers a job shadow program through the Career Center, which has been quite popular among students.
Through this program, Fairfield juniors and seniors can sign up to be paired with a Fairfield alumnus who currently works in the industry that the participating student is interested in joining or learning more about as a potential career path. The student then ‘shadows’ the alumnus at their workplace for a day, or half of a day, to see what it is like and if it might be the right choice for them.
Before the COVID-19 pandemic hit, this program allowed current students and alumni to connect in-person, but this in-person interaction and experience is not possible this year. With the dangers of the pandemic, students completing the semester remotely and some people having to work from home, in-person job shadowing experiences were not really an option.
Despite not being able to provide in-person job shadowing experiences to students this year, the Career Center has transformed the program into a virtual experience where students can still connect with alumni in the workforce.
Students will be able to virtually connect with the alumnus that they are paired with and have career conversations with them regarding their experience in their current job. In addition, they can provide any other information that might assist the participating student in deciding if this is the kind of career path they want to seek out after graduation.
Deirdre Bennett, an employee engagement manager at the Career Center, expanded on the many benefits of engaging in this program, even in a virtual format.
“Through these career conversations, students can expand their professional network, learn about industries and jobs and determine what employers look for in candidates. Sometimes these connections even lead to job or internship offers,” Bennet said.
This year, over 100 alumni have signed up to participate in the job shadow program, all from a wide range of industries in which students might be interested.
This virtual job shadow experience with the career conversations will take place during winter break from Jan. 4 to Jan. 22 of 2021.
Fairfield juniors and seniors who are interested in participating in the job shadow program this coming winter break must register for a spot. Registration is open through Friday, Oct. 30, and you can register at this link: https://jobshadow.fairfield.edu.
Students will be notified of who their alumni match is in November. Once students have been matched, they must contact the alumni to schedule a video call so that they can connect and engage in their career conversation between Jan. 4 and Jan. 22.
For students who have registered for the job shadow program, there is a mandatory orientation that they must attend. There are two time slots that students can choose from: Wednesday, Dec. 9 at 5:00 p.m. or Monday, Dec. 14 at 5:00 p.m. An orientation session will provide participating students with tips on preparing for their virtual networking and career conversations. Students can R.S.V.P. to the orientation that they choose on Life@Fairfield.
Any juniors or seniors who have questions about the 2021 job shadow program should email firstname.lastname@example.org.