Career Discovery in Practice: Information for Students
The Career Discovery in Practice (CDIP) job shadow program provides students with opportunities to experience and observe first-hand what it may be like to work in a specific role and work environment. Bates alumni, parents, and local employers from a diverse range of industries sign up to sponsor one to two day job shadows across the country. Students from all four class years may apply for and be matched with up to three CDIPs that can take place anytime between November and May.
Student CDIP Timeline
|Sept. 18:||CDIP information sessions with past CDIP participants|
|Sept. 20:||Students may log on to JobCat to view and apply for CDIPs|
|Oct. 8:||CDIP application deadline|
|Oct. 30:||Students notified of matches|
|Nov. 3-5:||Student CDIP orientations|
|Nov. 10:||Deadline to apply for College Key travel reimbursement funding|
|Nov. 14:||Students notified of reimbursement funding decisions|
|Nov. 20:||Deadline for students to contact sponsors to arrange shadow dates|
Click on the questions below to learn more about the CDIP job shadow program:
Where do I find a list of employers offering CDIPs and how do I apply?+ CDIP sponsor information and job shadow descriptions are accessible through JobCat. The CDIP application process requires uploading your resume and a one-paragraph statement of interest for a specific job shadow. Please refer to the CDIP Student Application Instructions for details on how to apply. If you need assistance with logging into JobCat, please call 207-786-6232. To seek guidance in preparing the required documents, please come to BCDC walk in hours. In order to increase your chances for being selected, we strongly recommend that you bring your documents to the BCDC for feedback well in advance of the application deadline. The quality of your resume and statement of interest — along with the availability of the sponsor that you select — may likely influence the sponsor’s ranking of applicants. The sponsor is encouraged to select the candidate that is the best fit for the opportunity, and not necessarily the applicant with the most experience.
Why should I participate in a CDIP?+ A job shadow provides an essential opportunity to test drive a career path or occupation. It also can help you get a foot in the door in a competitive field. A job shadow experience can be added to a resume as a way of demonstrating genuine interest in a specific field or employer. Students from all class years are encouraged to apply. Students that secure job shadows as first years and sophomores most likely will be better prepared to apply for internships and jobs in the future.
What do students do during a job shadow?+ It depends upon the sponsor and field of work. Examples of activities may include taking a tour; conducting informational interviews with people in various specialties and roles; learning about the industry, culture of the organization, training, coursework and career paths; exploring the organization’s various resources; sitting in on meetings; or assisting with tasks and actual projects (e.g., conduct research, write reports).
What is the best way to prepare my resume?+ If your resume has not been reviewed by a BCDC staff member or a Career Development Fellow, we strongly recommend that you come to walk in hours to seek feedback — no appointment needed! Click here for a schedule of hours. You can also schedule an appointment with a counselor by calling 207-786-6232. If you do not have a resume, download the BCDC Resume Writing Guide to get started.
What is a statement of interest?+ A statement of interest is brief — one or two paragraphs— and tells the sponsor why you are interested in the particular CDIP. Click here for a sample statement of interest. It is helpful to mention why you are interested in the field, what experience or coursework you have had in the subject area, and how you would benefit from the CDIP. Please read the job shadow description carefully. Look closely not only at the specific industry, but at the actual occupation of the sponsor. Though a sponsor may work in the field of education, this does not necessarily mean that the job shadow offered has to do with teaching — it may be related to human resources, fundraising, communications, etc. It is essential that your statement does not have any grammatical or spelling errors.
How long is a CDIP?+ It will last one or two days. Occasionally, a CDIP may be of longer duration at the sponsor’s discretion. CDIPs must be completed between November and May.
Will housing, transportation or meals be provided?+ No. You are responsible for arranging and paying for your own expenses. Sometimes sponsors generously offer to house a student during the CDIP and will indicate this information on the job shadow description; however, in general you must be prepared to find your own housing. A limited amount of funding is available to reimburse the travel costs for students who otherwise would not be able to participate. If you are matched to a CDIP, you will receive an application for College Key Fund travel reimbursement with your notification.
How do I apply for reimbursement for travel costs?+ Information about applying for reimbursement through the College Key Fund will be emailed to students along with their match information in October. Any applications received after the deadline will only be considered if funding is still available.
Will I get paid for doing a CDIP?+ No, it is unpaid. There is no academic credit associated with the CDIP.
Can I apply to more than one CDIP?+ Yes. You may apply for (and potentially be matched with) up to three CDIP offerings. Please note that if you apply to and get matched with more than one CDIP, you will be expected to complete all of them.
What happens after I apply?+ Once you have applied through JobCat, your sponsor will review the applications received and rank them in order of preference. If a match is made, we will notify you and provide you with your sponsor’s contact information at a CDIP orientation session. It is your responsibility to contact your sponsor in November to set up a date for your CDIP after reviewing the guidelines that will be provided to you at the orientation session.
Will the sponsor offer me a job?+ Keep in mind that CDIP is not about getting a job or internship out of your experience (though that has happened in the past!). It is permissible to express interest in internship opportunities that the organization may offer in the future. If your sponsor asks about your interest and/or inquires about your plans, feel free to share such information.
What happens if I am not matched?+ If you are not matched, there are still many opportunities for you to connect with Bates alumni, parents, and local employers. Join the Bates Online Community to connect with alumni and parents who want to share their career knowledge and expertise. In addition, please visit the BCDC for information on student resources, events, and career opportunities.
Questions? Contact us at email@example.com or 207-786-6232.