Job shadowing seeing recent growth

“Job shadows are a great way to explore interests you may have …” — Counselor Chris Wood

The counseling department is partnering with Cedar Valley Career Connections to offer job shadowing opportunities to students fall semester.

Participating students would spend an allotted amount of time in a work environment with a qualified professional from the Cedar Valley. Sessions typically last a couple of hours, a half day, or a full day.

Opportunities are available in a variety of different career paths, including health sciences, education and communications.

Guidance counselor Chris Wood elaborated on why he felt this would be an impactful experience for students.

“I think the opportunity to explore careers and what it is like to be a professional in today’s society is critical to the success of all students. Many students simply do not know what is out there for careers. Job shadows are a great way to explore interests you might have. Even if you don’t know an exact job, we can work with Kelly Kobliska from CVCC to identify careers of interest.”

Senior Sylvia Brown participated in the career connections program last year. She shadowed nurses at both Allen Hospital and the Alternatives Pregnancy Center in Waterloo.

Brown was given the opportunity to follow her mentor around and ask questions, along with partaking in charting and visiting patients. While she was not placed in the type of nursing that she had hoped, she found that she still enjoyed the experience.

“Shadowing a nurse confirmed that I want to be a nurse and care for others. It also helped answer some of my questions I had about the nursing field, along with opening my eyes to all of the different paths nursing can take. Before my shadow, I had a very specific type of nursing that I wanted to do. However, in my shadowing experience I was on a surgery floor. I still would want to try to be a nurse in some sort of NICU or OB GYN area, but I have realized I’d enjoy working in surgery as well,” Brown said.

Brown’s shadowing experience at Allen has provided her with the opportunity to volunteer at the hospital, which she plans on doing later this fall.

In order to reserve a spot to meet with Cedar Valley Career Connections coordinator, Kelly Kobliska, students must fill out a form posted on Schoology. Students who sign up will receive a pass to meet with Kobliska.

“Kelly will discuss the expectations of being a professional in the work environment, contacting the business to set up the time and day of your shadow, and how to follow up with a thank you note,” Wood said.

The deadline to see Kobliska for a fall job shadow is Sept. 15. Those interested can attend of two power hour meetings on either Wednesday, Sept. 6 or 13. Opportunities to shadow will be offered again in the spring if students miss the fall deadline.

There is no fee to participate, however, students must find means of transportation in order to attend a shadow.

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