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Once you’ve established a date, it’s time to prepare for your actual job shadowing experience. 1. Research even further. Your initial search may have been enough to get your foot into the door, but you need to know more about the company and their role in the industry to last a full day on the job. Doing your research beforehand will give you context for conversations, processes and meetings you see, experience and attend throughout the day. This follow-up research is crucial. 2. Show up on time, and keep your appointment. A job shadow is a lot looser than a part-time job or internship. With that, you may feel that it’s ok to blow off your appointment for a day at the pool instead. Showing up late or having to reschedule won’t look good, and these impressions matters. This company cannot only serve as a reference for you down the line, but they may also offer you a job or internship in the near future. 3. Dress professionally. Guys, if you don’t own a suit, a button up shirt with a tie will work just fine. Ladies, dress modestly and avoid lots of flashy, bulky jewelry. 4. Speak up and ask questions. The day of, don’t act like a legitimate shadow – without word or thought. Soak up meetings in silence, but when you have one-on-one time with the professional you’re shadowing, ask questions and use this time to talk about your academic and career paths. 5. Say thank you. Follow up the day with a thank you note or email to the person you shadowed as well as the individual or department that got you in the door. It’s important to not only make a great first impression but to leave a lasting impression as well.
Admissions committees and future employers will love seeing job shadow experiences on your resume. Plus, it provides you with invaluable work experience that doesn’t typically require you to spend every day of your summer break on the job. It’s not too late to find a job shadow opportunity – start your research now!