Graphic courtesy of the Career Center
Job Shadow Day, a Career Center event on Nov. 7, is designed for students to shadow people from the Pepperdine community in professional fields that interest them to gain real-life work experience.
Job shadowing allows the shadower the ability to make more informed decisions about future career choices through a hands-on experience, according to Career Vision, a website devoted to helping individuals make great career decisions based on each person’s unique potential. This is Pepperdine’s first official Job Shadow Day. This event is an opportunity for Pepperdine students to become involved in the community and start to make connections in fields that they are interested in for future careers.
Amy Adams, executive director for the Career Center, and Maile Hetherington, assistant director of Programs and Partnerships for the Career Center, are the main coordinators for this project.
“Students can use this event as a tool to explore potential career pathways and career options,” Hetherington said. “They can come prepared with questions and with a desire to learn about different career opportunities. We are really big on helping students find those experiential learning opportunities and getting out into the community or workplace and really getting to see what the big picture looks like versus just reading or learning about it in a book.”
The Career Center utilized a new program to find their hosts for this event called PeppConnect, a tool that allows students to connect with alumni and other members of the community, Hetherington said. The hosts are alumni, friends of the university, parents and even university board members.
“It really benefits our current students to have these kinds of hands-on learning experiences,” Hetherington said. “However, it also helps our community too because it gives them an opportunity to build their Pepperdine network and even connect them with potential job candidates for their organization, and so it is really mutually beneficial for both sides.”
Job Shadow Day is a great way to explore career options, Adams said.
“I love this event because students get up close to the world of work and expand their professional knowledge and networks,” Adams wrote in an email. “There is something about actually being physically in a work environment that spawns new questions and insights. I also appreciate the support of our many alumni and friends who want to help our students be successful.”
Senior Charmaine Chak was unaware of Job Shadowing Day but thinks it is a good way for students to connect with alumni and gain job experience that they may not have otherwise.
“I think this is pretty cool because I feel like a lot of students complain about not having career stuff going on,” Chak said. “You’re not necessarily able to intern at every place you want to but a job shadow is a small commitment and it gives you a feel for [a job].”
All current Pepperdine students could apply to be a part of this year’s Job Shadow Day. The application deadline was Oct. 24.
For students that did not apply for this semester’s Job Shadow Day event, Adams said there are many other opportunities.
“Other experiences like informational interviews, company tours/treks and internships are also great ways to identify different career options and possibilities.” Adams wrote. “These activities get students excited and energized about preparing for the future.”
Hetherington said the Career Center plans to host more events like this in the future and another Job Shadow Day in the spring semester.
“The Career Center gets really excited about these opportunities,” Hetherington said. “We hear from students that these events help them to discover something that they want to do or that it reaffirmed it or maybe they tried out a job that they thought they always wanted to do and learned that maybe it wasn’t for them. We really like to support students in ways that can help them to picture themselves working in those places.”
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