by Teewhy Dojutelegan
The fourth annual Take an Aggie to Work Day was Feb. 2.
Jacob Johnson, the Career Services Coordinator at the Office of Student Development, said that the day is set aside for students to “Job Shadow,” going to work with professionals in their field of interest.
“Job Shadowing is a time when a student will go to work with someone in a profession they are interested in,” he said. “The student will ‘shadow’ the professional to experience what a day in the life of that person is like.”
This year, about 20 students applied to shadow professionals in fields such as Health, Financial, Higher Education and Law Enforcement.
Johnson said students have been excited about the opportunity to participate in the event.
“Students have really been pleased with the event and were very glad to have the opportunity,” he said. “It has even opened up doors for many students.”
Temitope Buraimoh, a 17-year-old sophomore Biology major, found her experience informative.
“I had an enlightening experience,” she said. “I was thinking about changing my major, but then the opportunity to check out life in another career presented itself and I took it.”
Buraimoh said the experience is one that she will hold on to.
“Meeting Lucy Laird at the Chamber of Commerce was great. She is exactly the kind of person I want to be like in the future,” she said. “Meeting her was an honor and I will always cherish the memories of that day.”
According to Johnson, employers generally are thrilled at the prospect of being a part of the event.
“Employers are usually very excited to be a part of it,” he said. “This year one particular employer agreed to hosting a shadow and said, ‘If it weren’t for people helping me open doors, I wouldn’t be where I am today.’”
Johnson also said that impressing the professionals being shadowed could be beneficial.
“I actually did find out that this year we had a student who shadowed a place, went back to apply for a job and was hired,” he said. “All because they made an impression on the manager during the job shadow event.”
Cameron University is interested in student learning both inside and outside of the classroom, and events such as this help students confirm that they are making the right career choice.
According to Johnson, the university does not want a student to go all the way through school, only to realize on the job that they had made a wrong career choice.
Johnson said to get into the Job Shadow program, students have to apply and write a short essay to verify serious applicants.
“They are required to write a one page short essay explaining why they want to shadow and what they expect to get out of it,” he said. “We have to let the students know they are representing Cameron University, and the essay process usually verifies that students who apply are serious about the opportunity and understand how they need to act on the jobsite.”
Johnson said that, in addition to Take an Aggie to Work Day, CU also helps students get internships. Both programs help students get a look into what interests them.
“We do offer internships here at Cameron University,” he said. “The way I compare job shadow versus internship is that they both give you a glimpse of what it is like to work in your field of study, but an internship is much more intensive.”
For information about available opportunities, students are encouraged to contact Jacob Johnson through the Office of Student Development, North Shepler room 313, or call 580.581.2512.