When I was in high school, I had to complete a senior project to graduate. That project was to be completed in a few parts, and one was a task known as job shadowing. Job shadowing, for those not familiar, is the act of following around someone in a field that you are interested in to better understand what they do and how they function.
At the time, I decided to shadow a friend of mine who owned his own business. So for a day I did everything he did. We looked at some of his financials and how he orders new products. I got to talk to some of his customers and see his interactions with them. Overall it was a very informative experience – one that led me away from entrepreneurship.
This past weekend was one of my favorite events as a tour guide: Knight with Scholars (KWS). It’s an event here at Gannon where prospective students come to campus on a Sunday and spend the night with current freshmen.
The following day the prospective students wake up and get to live a day in the life of a college student. They eat with current students, walk the campus with current students and go to class with current students. They get the full effect of what it is to be a Gannon student.
What I like most about this event is its similarity to job shadowing. Potential students get to see the ins and outs of college life, meeting their peers and experiencing the school hands on. Many of them said this was what reinforced their decision to attend.
Job shadowing, whether a good or bad experience, is always a learning experience. You walk into it with one perspective and hopefully walk out with a new one. To me, job shadowing is one of the best ways of deciding a career path. It showed me what I didn’t want, which sometimes is just as good as knowing what you want.