September 28, 2016 | By NACE Staff
Spotlight for Career Services Professionals
The DePaul University Career Center launched a job shadow program in 2014 to provide its students with a glimpse into the professional world and give employers an additional way to connect with students.
DePaul’s Professional Exploration Program (PEP) is manageable: It’s only available to students in the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences and the College of Science and Health.
“We wanted to show that within those majors, there are many different paths these graduates can take,” says Carrie McAteer, associate director of employer and internship development in the DePaul University Career Center. “The program introduces students to a professional work culture and career opportunities that relate to their interests and skills.”
The job shadowing is a one-day assignment, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The DePaul Career Center selects six dates on which students and employers can conduct their job shadowing. All of the dates occur during the December break, when there are no classes or exams.
Employers are encouraged to expose students to the various aspects of their businesses.
“We want our students to sit in on staff meetings and have informational interviews with people throughout these organizations, from CEOs to department managers if possible,” McAteer says.
Launched in 2014, 19 students and 11 employers participated that first year. The program grew last year, when 44 students and 24 employers took part.
At the end of the program, participants are surveyed to assess their satisfaction. Both years, all participating employers said they would participate again. Likewise, all participating students said they would recommend the program to a friend.
McAteer offered the following suggestions for developing a successful job shadow program:
Percent of staff time spent student-facing
Median number of students per professional staff member
Median number of FTE professional staff
Median number of FTE overall staff
Percent of career centers reporting cuts to personnel budget
Percent of career centers reporting cuts to non-personnel budget
Percent of career centers using third-party provider to collect student outcomes
2020-21 Career Services Benchmark Survey Report