Work Shadowing Program

What Is the Work Shadowing Program?

The Work Shadowing Program provides students with an opportunity to learn more about careers of interest. Through this program, students have the opportunity to spend up to one week in a relevant work setting in order to observe and question. Through learning more about job requirements, students can make more informed educational and career decisions.

The program gives work shadowing sponsors an opportunity to meet talented university students. Furthermore, sponsors are given the opportunity to provide career guidance that they may have wished they had received when they were starting their career plans.

For more information, contact Jayne Greene-Black, LDS Career Specialist, to discuss the above services in greater detail.

How Will Students Benefit?

Through this experience, students will have an opportunity to answer many important career planning questions such as:

  • What is the impact of technology on their career goal?
  • What is the best type of educational and work experience for the industry?
  • What are the entry level jobs and where do these jobs lead?
  • How will their learning disabilities affect their career path?

What Do Students Do?

The actual tasks that a student will perform will vary from setting to setting. The main task for the student is to actively observe the workplace and ask questions that only professionals in their career area of interest could answer effectively.

Actual activities may include:

  • shadowing a professional while that professional performs his or her job
  • attending meetings
  • getting involved in projects, according to the student's skill level and according to the needs of the organization
  • going to lunch with different workers in the organization to talk about different career options

When Does the Work Shadowing Occur?

Work shadowing can take place at any time in the year. If a full week of work shadowing is desired, this would usually occur during reading week, during exam period, or during the summer months. Approximately one month of notice is required to organize the work shadowing experience.

Who Can I Shadow?

Students need to think about whom they would like to shadow and why. An application form needs to be completed and an appointment with the Career Specialist needs to be set. People from a variety of career fields have been shadowed in the past, including lawyers, teachers, personnel workers, environmental specialists, and others. Students need to work together closely with the LDP's career specialist to organize a relevant experience.

Student Application

You can download and complete a copy of the Student Application in PDF Format and submit it to our office (N110, Bennett Centre for Student Services). Otherwise, please complete the online application form.

Why Become a Work Shadowing Sponsor?

With technology rapidly changing the face of the working world and with career and educational options becoming more competitive, today's students are faced with increasingly difficult decisions.

Obtaining realistic information about a career field is important for all students, but especially important for students with learning disabilities because their career planning is often more complicated. Reading about careers often does not provide the information that students with learning disabilities need to assess the suitability of career goals, considering their often complex patterns of strengths and weaknesses.

As a professional, you can provide students with detailed, up-to-date, relevant and individualized career information that can make an important difference in the students' career planning. Allowing students access to your work environment takes away the mystery of what really happens in the workplace.

Sponsoring a student for a work shadowing experience allows you to:

  • be a mentor to a student who is at the crossroads of making important career planning decisions
  • help a student to better understand the relationship between their education and the working world
  • evaluate the suitability of a potential full-time, part-time, summer, or contractual employee
  • help a student develop a more realistic picture of the stresses and challenges of their career interests
  • assist a student in developing a more suitable career development plans

What will you need to do as a sponsor?

  • speak with your student prior to the work shadowing time to discuss the student's expectations and needs, and to plan for a more structured and productive experience
  • consider involving the student in any structured projects
  • answer student's career questions
  • provide the student with some company or departmental literature that might orient the student to the goals, philosophies, services, and products of the company or the department

For More Information, contact Jayne Greene-Black (e-mail).