Shadowing involves spending time (usually a full work day) with a professional in your field of interest. The purpose of shadowing is to help you make informed career decisions by offering the experience of a typical work day in a workplace very much like the one you may enter someday.
Of course, you should dress and behave as you would if you were going to your own workplace, that is, professionally. You are expected to be prompt, polite, and to respect confidentiality when appropriate. Shadowers should ask questions about the field and use this opportunity to gather as much information as possible. By all means send a thank-you letter to the employer within a day of the shadowing experience. You never know what kind of doors might be opened in the future by this kind of gesture.
We urge employers to allow you to see them in action in the workplace as much as possible. They should be ready to answer questions about the field and to encourage you, if possible. Employers may coordinate a tour of their facility and provide literature, and if time allows, employers may close the day with a short one-on-one meeting to answer any final questions you may have.
Schedule an appointment with the Center for Experiential Education by calling 814-871-7680. A counselor will discuss your career interests and connect you, if you qualify, with employers.
109 University Square • Erie, Pennsylvania 16541-00011-800 GANNON-U (1-800-426-6668) or 814-871-7000