George Little Rock
The job shadow program for George-Little Rock students, involving Northwest Iowa Community College’s intermediary coordinator Allie Mouw, and George-Little Rock Talented and Gifted teacher Tina Sherrill-Range, is an example of intensive preparation to get the most out of the job shadow experience. The skills students gain not only lays the groundwork for the job shadow but mimics much of the preparation prospective employees use in choosing among career options.
Early in the school year, students begin their job shadow experience by picking a career field they want to experience. Next, the students conduct intensive research during the fall semester that continues into the first few weeks of January. Soon after students finish their research, the work-based learning intermediary coordinator sets up specific job shadows. It’s a lengthy process, involving the intermediary coordinator, the TAG instructor, the business or organization offering the job shadow, and the student.
Beginning with the first day back from Christmas break, students participating in their first job shadow meet for a day of presentations, additional research, and intensive preparation. The presentations include job shadow etiquette, questions they might prepare to ask, job shadow apparel, additional career research the student could complete, what the student should strive to gain from the experience, and how to write thank-you notes after the job shadow.
Students also research the specific companies or professionals they will job shadow and have opportunities to ask additional questions of the intermediary and TAG instructor. Work during this time also includes writing resumes and preparing exit PowerPoint presentations.
After attending the two-day job shadows, students make presentations to their classmates about what they learned and whether, based on their experience, if they are still interested in the career field. They also finish their experience by handwriting a thank-you to the individuals who hosted their job shadow experience.
The second or third-year students are responsible for setting up their three-day job shadows, though both the intermediary and TAG instructor remain available to lend assistance. These students also present their job shadow experiences and compare experiences from previous years. The additional step of setting up their own job shadow encourages individual initiative and builds on the skills learned in the first year.
The George-Little Rock program coordinated by the Northwest Iowa Community work-based learning intermediary is an intensive experience for students that prepares them well for future career research and exploration. Students must meet the multiple challenges of understanding the career path their job shadow represents, being prepared for the job shadow itself, making a presentation to peers, and finishing the experience with a note to express appreciation for the opportunity they were given.
IT’S YOUR TURN TO EXPLORE WITH CONFIDENCE!
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