By: CSB/SJU Career Services
Winter break is an ideal time for career exploration and building a professional network. Informational interviews and job shadow experiences provide the opportunity to do just that. With only a few weeks of break, these can require a short time commitment, yet yield significant results.
What is an information interview or job shadow?
Informational interviews are a way to obtain information about careers by talking with a person currently working in that field. Many information interviews are conducted in person, but the conversation may also be over the phone. A typical information interview lasts between 30 and 60 minutes.
A job shadow can be done on its own or as a next step after an information interview. A job shadow will allow your student to observe the work environment and job duties of a particular career. Shadow experiences can range from one day, to a few days, to a week or longer, depending on the individual and the occupation being explored.
Why are these valuable?
First and second year students generally pursue information interviews and job shadow experiences to learn more about careers and to determine if the career is a good fit for them. Some students will also use this information to help decide on a major field of study. Third and fourth year students can certainly receive the same benefits as younger students, but also use these opportunities to network and make connections within the career field of their choice. It is not uncommon for students to learn of internship or full-time job opportunities through information interviews and job shadow experiences.
How can your student find people to interview or shadow?
Here are three good tactics your student can use:
What can students do to prepare?