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Internship and Job Shadowing

Internships and Job Shadowing

What are Internships and Job Shadowing?

An internship is a professional learning experience that offers meaningful and practical work, related to a student field of study or career interests. An internship gives a student the opportunity for career exploration and development by imparting professional skills.

It also offers the employer an opportunity to introduce new ideas and energy into the workplace while simultaneously developing talent and potentially building a pipeline of full- time employees in the future. Therefore, it is a mutually beneficial arrangement providing student’s a chance to experience office environments alongside or after their education. A quality internship:

  • Consists of a part-time or full-time work schedule that includes no more than 25% clerical or administrative duties.
  • Provides a clear job or project description for work experience.
  • Orients the student to the organization, its culture and proposed work assignment(s).
  • Helps the student develop and achieve learning goals.
  • Offers regular feedback to the student intern.

What Is Job Shadowing?

Job shadowing involves spending time following a professional as they work. By observing the professional for a few hours to several weeks, one can get a better understanding of their particular career of choice.

Job shadowing is a useful way to garner in depth knowledge about the roles and responsibilities about a certain position and can go a long way in moulding professional interests and aims.

Each job-shadowing experience can be different. However, you typically will follow an employee and observe them partaking in their day-to-day work. They might ask you to help with certain tasks as well to keep you engaged.

Depending on how long you shadow an employee, you might even learn skills critical to the job. Some employees will give you opportunities to ask questions throughout the day or at the end of the experience.

What is the importance of both?

Experiential learning is the process of learning by doing and plays a crucial role in the development of young students. By engaging students in hands-on experiences and reflection, they are better able to connect and apply theories and knowledge learned in the classroom to real-world situations.

Experiential learning opportunities exist in a variety of course and non-course based forms and may include community service, service-learning, undergraduate research, overseas education and culminating in experiences such as internships, student teaching and capstone projects, to name a few.


When students participate in experiential education opportunities, they gain:

  • A better understanding of course material
  • A broader view of the world and an appreciation of community
  • Insight into their own skills, interests, passions, and values
  • Opportunities to collaborate with diverse organizations and people
  • Positive professional practices and skill sets
  • The gratification of assisting in meeting community needs
  • Self-confidence and leadership skills

Therefore, both internships and job shadowing provide a distinct opportunity to students in grasping concepts such as career trajectory and timelines, professional enhancement, workplace etiquette and relevant industry experience.