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Skidmore College
Career Development Center

Job Shadowing

What is Job Shadowing? 

Job Shadowing is an opportunity to explore a career field of interest by spending quality time with one or more professionals in the field. Students who participate in Job Shadowing will receive a firsthand look at the workplace and will be able to see what it’s like actually working in a career of their choice. Job Shadowing offers a chance for students to explore possible career fields through limited observation and discussions with professionals at selected job sites.  Job Shadowing is intended to assist students in the career planning process.  By participating in a job shadowing experience, students will gain a better understanding of what's involved in a particular career choice. This information will assist students in their career decision-making process and can help them to decide what industry or environment they may wish to further explore prior to graduating from Skidmore.

How does Job Shadowing benefit students?

Students who participate in Job Shadowing are able to:

  1. Get a firsthand look at what goes on behind the scenes when working in a specific career field or industry.
  2. Have a chance to make valuable networking connections.
  3. Get to observe how classroom learning can be applied to the real world.
  4. Have an opportunity to learn more about various career options which will help students to be able to make a more informed decision.
  5. Get a chance to act and dress professionally while speaking with professionals in the field.

Preparing for a Job Shadow:

  • Research potential career options and identify potential sponsors from Skidmore’s alumni, parents, or friends of the College
  • Prepare a professional resume to share with your sponsor (have reviewed in CDC)
  • Research sponsors’ profession as well as company, including information gained from  What Can I Do With This Major?, and other CDC resources
  • Contact sponsor and arrange date & time of visit
  • Dress professionally and arrive on time
  • Conduct an Informational Interview with sponsor about his/her chosen profession
  • Take the initiative to ask questions and verify information regarding visit
  • Reflect on what you learned and identify if this career is a viable career option for you (why or why not?) 
  • Send a thank you note to sponsor expressing your appreciation for the sponsor’s time and for sharing their expertise.

For more information on Job Shadowing:

For more information or to get assistance in completing a job shadowing experience, please contact the Career Development Center, (518) 580-5790, and make an appointment to meet with a career counselor.  Career Coaches are available each day between 10 am and 4 pm to assist with resumes.