Host a Job Shadow
Job shadow students come into the workplace and spend part of a day, a minimum of two hours learning as much as they can about what you do. Students will observe and interact with you to see if this career is a good fit for them. This experiential learning helps them better understand available local careers, as well as make a connection between what they’re learning in high school and what will be required of them as employees. Students are covered through their school's Worker's Compensation policy for school-to-work activities.
See Iowa Code Chapter 85.2 as amended by Senate File 361
Host an Internship
One of the best ways to show young people that there are many career opportunities right here in the Corridor is to host an internship: 86 percent of Workplace Learning Connection student interns said their experiences increased their awareness of local careers! You'll work with students to give them a head start on their careers through hands-on academic career exploration. Internships are 45 to 90 hours of on-site learning for students starting the summer before their junior year through the spring term of their senior year. In turn, employers have the opportunity to meet and understand their future workforce, and nurture the relationships necessary to fill critical positions with homegrown talent.
Give a Worksite Tour
Lead students on a tour of your facilities to show them the various career opportunities available across all aspects of your business. Here are some suggestions for a successful worksite tour:
Part 1: The Tour
Share your typical day on the job. Show where different people work in your business and what they do.
Point out the various careers available within your company, i.e. administrative, accounting, sales, manufacturing, technical, human resources, and so on and the education they require.
Stress the importance of employability skills such as attire, attendance, punctuality and workplace etiquette.
Discuss what you look for in a potential employee.
Part 2: Talk to the Team
Discuss your background and why your chose your career, and have other members of your team meet briefly with the students.
Address what people in your office enjoy most and least about their careers.
Explain what education and training is required to get started on this career path and to continue to develop professionally.
Part 3: Questions
Remember that the students are just beginning to think about their future and are looking at your profession as a possible career choice. Teachers are trying to connect what students are learning in the classroom with what they will use in the workplace. Students receive guidelines and suggested questions for use during the tours, but may still feel overwhelmed. Please do not be offended if they are quiet! Sometimes, rewarding students for asking questions with candy or other small prizes helps to encourage discussion.
Volunteer at a Financial Literacy Fair
The Financial Literacy Fair is the culmination of a year's worth of financial study and career exploration for area middle school students. During the year, students will learn how to keep a check registry, how to make a budget and the importance of saving money. They will also explore careers based on their skills and interests. From there, they will choose a career and receive a monthly paycheck for that career to use at the Financial Literacy Fair.
During the Financial Literacy Fair students will make a series of decisions about how to spend their money. Transportation, Housing, Insurance, Food are just a few of the booths they will visit. Just like in real life, students will experience unexpected bills or windfalls at the Wheel of Reality. At the end of the fair they will meet with a financial counselor to see how they put their financial knowledge to work at the fair.
Find which Financial Literacy Fair you want to volunteer for.
Be a Classroom Career Speaker
Share your career path and experience with a small group or an entire classroom. Career speakers open students’ minds to opportunities they may never have considered, as well as inform them about educational and experiential requirements for your particular career field. You’ll enhance your company’s reputation by positioning yourself high in the minds of local teachers, students and parents, and you will have a positive influence on the link between education and employment.
Tips for a Successful Career Presentation
- Explain how you developed an interest in your career.
- Give examples of how students may prepare now for their future careers.
- Describe your job responsibilities, and what personality types fit well with your specific job.
- Bring examples of your work or important tools you use to perform your job.
- List the qualifications or training skills necessary for your career.
- Stress the importance of education and training as a means to obtain goals.
- Use as many personal anecdotes as possible. Students identify with stories.
- Emphasize the importance of teamwork in today's business environment.
- Describe your workplace, work hours, and responsibilities of your job.
- Talk about the impact that technology has had on your career and how it will continue to impact the future.
- Share the advantages/challenges of your job.
- Discuss the importance of and strategies for problem solving.
- Discuss the future growth of your profession. What will your job be like in ten years from now?