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Tips for a Meaningful Job Shadow

After Sean O'Sullivan '90 hosted Erin Strine '04 in the Job Shadow Program, they kept in touch. Following graduation from Juniata and a brief, unsatisfying stint at another company, Erin connected with Sean and decided to apply for a job with his employer. Erin got the job and the two shared their story with the Juniata community through the Juniata Newsgroup.

As a model for a meaningful job shadow, a portion of their comments follows. A set of instructions couldn't say it better than this story of success.

Sean O'Sullivan '90
"I tried very hard to make sure that Erin did more than simply follow me around. In fact, much of her time was spent with others in the company. She was invited as an observer into several team meetings. We even executed a non-disclosure agreement beforehand so she could attend meetings where client business was discussed. She had informational interviews that day with several senior managers, account staff, and managers of our in-house service areas (creative dept., call center, etc.). She also, if memory serves me, met with the woman who started the company 17 years ago in her dining room."

Erin Strine '04
"I first want to give credit to those who organized this event, as I truly feel it is an incredibly valuable experience, especially when the job host really takes the time to plan the day for the student.

Sean really went above and beyond the call when setting up my itinerary for the day, and I have to agree that being able to meet and converse with so many people within the company really gave me an edge when I went for my interview. I have no doubt in my mind that if other hosts take the same care in assuring that the student has such a positive and thorough day that we can expect many more job opportunities to come from the shadowing experience."

If you have questions about how to make the shadow experience meaningful, please contact David Meadows at 814-641-3445 or