Job Shadow Program: Information for Students

The Purposeful Work Job Shadow Program provides students with opportunities to experience and observe firsthand 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 job shadows that can take place anytime between November and May.

2018-19 Student Job Shadow Timeline

Sept. 28 & 29: Job Shadow information session with past participants

9/28 @ 12 noon in Commons 226

10/3 @ 12 noon in Commons 221

Oct. 1: Students may apply for job shadows – in Handshake
Oct. 22-26: SPECIAL Extended Walk in hours for Resume and Statement of Interest review.

Mon 10/22: Chase Hall 10am- 4pm

Tues 10/23: Chase Hall 10am- 4pm, Fireplace Lounge 7-9pm

Wed 10/24: Chase Hall 10am- 4pm, Fireplace Lounge 7-9pm

Thurs 10/25: Chase Hall 10am- 4pm, Fireplace Lounge 7-9pm

Fri 10/26: Chase Hall 10am- 4pm

Oct. 30: Job shadow application deadline by midnight
Nov. 9: Students notified of matches
Nov. 14-16: Job Shadow Program orientations for students – by invitation
Nov. 30: Deadline to apply for College Key travel reimbursement funding
Dec. 7: Students notified of College Key reimbursement funding decisions
Dec. 19: Deadline for students to contact sponsors to arrange shadow dates
Nov. 17-May 26: Job shadows take place, arranged by student and sponsor

Below are lists of job shadow sponsors:

Click on the questions below to learn more about the Purposeful Work Job Shadow Program:

About the program

Why should I participate in a Job Shadow?+ 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).

How long is a job shadow?+ It will last one or two days. Occasionally, a job shadow may be of longer duration at the sponsor’s discretion. Job shadows must be completed between November and May.

Will I get paid for doing a job shadow?+ No, job shadows are unpaid experiences. Nor is there academic credit associated with the job shadow program.

Applying to the program

Where do I find a list of employers offering job shadows and how do I apply?+ Job shadow sponsor information and job shadow descriptions are accessible through Handshake. The job shadow application process requires uploading your resume and a statement of interest for a specific job shadow. Please refer to the Job Shadow Student Application Instructions for details on how to applyIf you need assistance with logging into Handshake, please call 207-786-6232. To seek guidance in preparing the required documents, please come to Bates Center for Purposeful Work during walk in hoursIn order to increase your chances of being selected, we strongly recommend that you bring your documents to the Bates Center for Purposeful Work 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.

What is the best way to prepare my resume?+ If your resume has not been reviewed by a Bates Center for Purposeful Wok 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 Resume 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 job shadow. Click here to see 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 job shadow. 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.

Can I apply to more than one job shadow?+ Yes. You may apply for (and potentially be matched with) up to three job shadow offerings. Please note that if you apply to and get matched with more than one job shadow, you will be expected to complete all of them. If you apply to more than one job shadow, please rank the sponsors in order of preference and email this information to by the application deadline.

What happens after I apply?+ Once you have applied through Handshake, your sponsor will review the applications received. If a match is made, we will notify you and provide you with your sponsor’s contact information at a job shadow orientation session. It is your responsibility to contact your sponsor to set up a date for your job shadow after reviewing the guidelines that will be provided to you at the orientation session.

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 Bates Center for Purposeful Work for information on student resources, events, and career opportunities.

Potential costs and reimbursements

Will the sponsor offer me a job?+ Keep in mind that a job shadow 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.

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 job shadow and will indicate this information on the job shadow description; however, in general, you must be prepared to find your own housing. We encourage you to consider carpooling and coordinating with local alumni to offset costs. A limited amount of funding is available to reimburse the travel costs for students who otherwise would not be able to participate.

How do I apply for reimbursement for travel costs?+ Information about applying for reimbursement through the College Key Fund will be shared with students along with their match information in November. Awards will only be made to students demonstrating financial need in the application. Any applications received after the deadline will only be considered if funding is still available.


Questions? Contact us at or 207-786-6232.