2019–2020 Program Dates
March: December 16-20, 2019
Spring: March 23-27, 2020
The Alumni Board Job Shadowing Program gives you the opportunity to support UChicago students as they launch their careers. During a job shadowing experience, also known as an “externship”, undergraduate students shadow an alumni or parent host in their place of work for 1-5 days. This is a fantastic opportunity to mentor students interested in your career field and maybe even find your next intern!
Most student participants are in their 1st or 2nd years and as such will have varying levels of exposure to professional environments. Some will be very polished and some may be visiting a professional environment for the first time. The opportunity to learn from an industry expert like you is invaluable for students and has allowed past participants to be placed in internships at twice the rate of their peers.
Please note that students wish to shadow alumni and parents around the world in a variety of industries: you do not need to be based in or around Chicago to participate. Typically, we see the highest volume of applicants looking for positions in or around major metro areas. Job shadowing experiences are unpaid, and students are responsible for arranging and paying for their own travel, housing, meals, etc.
Want to sign up? Complete this brief questionnaire!
Check out our industry guides to learn more about how to set up a job shadowing experience in your industry:
Frequently Asked Questions
Do I need to host all 5 days?
No. Scheduling is at the host's discretion. We do ask that the experience be long enough for the student to get a substantive view of your career field, but the job shadowing experience can last anywhere from 1 to 5 days.
Do I have to provide housing or transportation?
Students are responsible for finding their own housing, transportation to the externship site, and for all costs related to the externship.
My work involves confidential information. How do you handle these situations?
If necessary, students can be required to sign a non-disclosure agreement. The job shadowing experience can also be designed so that it only involves non-confidential activities.
How is a student matched with me?
Students are matched to a host based on their indicated industry and location preferences, and they’re only offered one externship.
What should I have my student do?
The specific activities involved in a job shadowing experience vary between host sites, but some common ones include:
- Giving a tour of the facility
- Sharing your career history
- Discussing the student’s career interests and questions
- Providing an overview of your organization's operations and staff divisions
- Inviting the student to observe meetings, conference calls, and other events
- Reviewing the student’s resume, LinkedIn profile, and other professional development materials
- Arranging informational interviews with your colleagues
- Assigning small projects
Essentially, any activity that gives your student a tangible sense of daily life in your field is suitable for a job shadow.
Once I am assigned a student, how will I be put in touch with them?
We will send your student an e-mail with your preferred contact information. He or she will then contact you to begin discussing the logistics.
Can I arrange for my student to spend time with people other than me?
Absolutely! We encourage hosts to give a broad view of the professional roles available in their organization and industry. Students also appreciate the opportunity to expand their professional network.
For more information, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.