Purposeful Work Job Shadow Program

Taylor Wilson’19 and Mike Mulach ’17 host Adama Diaby ‘22 at Morningstar in February, 2020

Through the Purposeful Work Job Shadow Program, students connect with Bates alumni and parents to learn about professional options, personal perspectives, and how others have navigated pathways toward purposeful work. This is a smart first step in the exploration process, allowing students to test the waters in roles, industries, and organizations they might want to explore. The Purposeful Work Job Shadow Program can also build lasting bridges to professional contacts for Bates students, regardless of their inherited family networks, and create important connections around work experience and identity.

In 2020-21, the Purposeful Work Job Shadow Program will be entirely virtual. Although the students will miss the in-person experience traditionally associated with the program, we believe that a virtual format is best for the public health of our community and will allow us to be inclusive of our remote students. 

In the new virtual version, sponsors will design their own job shadow agenda, offering the student anywhere between two hours and two days, depending on availability and situation. Students from all four class years may apply for up to three job shadows each that can take place anytime between November and May.

The virtual job shadow experience will support the following goals for students:

  • Explore and clarify potential career preferences
  • Gain insight into a “day in the life” of a specific occupation and culture within an organization
  • Identify skills and competencies needed to succeed in a particular job
  • Develop contacts that may facilitate the search for internships and permanent employment opportunities

The Purposeful Work Job Shadow Program, formerly known as CDIP or Career Discovery in Practice, has been connecting Bates students to alumni since 1978. With the help of generous alumni and parents, we believe the essence of the program will remain in this new virtual format.

For Sponsors For Students

Job Shadow Program Timeline

September: Sponsors register online
October: Students submit applications
November: Review of applications; Sponsors and students notified of matches
November – May: Job shadows take place (scheduled by student and sponsor)


“I volunteered for this because I also took part in the [job shadow] program while at Bates, and I wanted to give back. The [job shadow] I did really gave me a look into how that career worked day-to-day, and it was especially useful, because I was considering a field that does not offer internships. I really enjoyed meeting a fellow Batesie who was unsure of her future path, much like I was at that time…the feeling that you have helped someone, even in just a small way, to understand what they are meant to do, is a powerful one.” – Job Shadow Sponsor

“It was great to meet with so many people, all in different positions…it allowed me a full understanding of the work that is done…and to ask a bunch of different questions. I left the office that afternoon with more information than I could remember!” – Job Shadow Student

Examples of Past Job Shadow Sponsors:

  • Accenture –  Boston, MA
  • A + E Television Networks – New York, NY
  • Bigelow Laboratory – Boothbay, ME
  • Bloomingdale’s – New York, NY
  • Boston Children’s Hospital – Boston, MA
  • CBS Productions – Los Angeles, CA
  • Columbia Sportswear – Portland, OR
  • Converse – Boston, MA
  • Decision Economics, Inc. – New York, NY
  • Department of State – Washington, D.C.
  • ESPN – Bristol, CT
  • EF Education First – Cambridge, MA
  • Food52.com – New York, NY
  • Genentech – San Francisco, CA
  • Hope Animal Hospital – Brooklyn, NY
  • Heywood Hospital – Gardner, MA
  • IBM – Washington, D.C.
  • ImmunoGen, Inc. – Waltham, MA
  • JMA Ventures, LLC – San Francisco, CA
  • John Snow, Inc. – Boston, MA
  • Maine Coast Waldorf School – Freeport, ME
  • Maine Office of the Attorney General – Augusta, ME
  • Maine Red Claws – Portland, ME
  • MaineToday Media, Inc. – Portland, ME
  • Mercy Corps – Washington, D.C.
  • Morning Glory Farm – Edgartown, MA
  • National Aquarium – Baltimore, MD
  • National Institutes of Health – Bethesda, MD
  • National Safety Council – Itasca, IL
  • NOAA Fisheries – Seattle, WA
  • Plimoth Plantation – Plymouth, MA
  • Ransom Consulting – Portsmouth, NH
  • Rippleffect – Portland, ME
  • Sports Illustrated – New York, NY
  • TJX Companies – Framingham, MA
  • Triumvirate Environmental – Somerville, MA
  • UBS Financial Services – Boston, MA
  • Under Armour – Baltimore, MD
  • U.S. Attorney’s Office – Detroit, MI

Questions? Contact us at jobshadow@bates.edu or 207-786-6232.