Created By: Texas GEAR UP
Grade Level: 11th
Introduction for Educators: Interviews are a great starting point, but can only go so far to give an accurate day-to-day picture of a job. Shadowing a potential job for a day will give the students very relevant on-the-ground information.
Introduction for Students: By now, there are probably some careers that you’ve become interested in or just curious about. Hopefully you’ve done some research or maybe even an interview or two. If you haven’t, no worries, but think about a job you’d like to learn a lot more about. The best way to really get to know a job is to shadow somebody doing it.
The Activity: Go on a job shadow with someone working in the field you're considering. Get the contact info either through a personal connection or an Internet search, and send an email asking for the opportunity to shadow. Here's an email template (or create your own):
Dear [person's name],
My name is [your name], and I'm a student at [your school]. With graduation right around the corner, I'm looking ahead at college and career possibilities, and I'm considering a career in [name of field]. If you're willing, I'd love the opportunity to shadow you for a day and get a feel for a regular day in the life of a [job title].
And afterwards, be sure to send a handwritten thank-you note to the busy professional person you shadowed.
Bonus Features: Have the students tell the class stories from their job-shadow experiences. What did they see that was surprising, challenging, or inspiring?