Job shadows are a free opportunity for high school sophomores, juniors, and seniors to leave school for a few hours on one day during the school year to explore a career of their choice.
The online application is brief and requires parent/guardian and school approval. Most students who complete the application will receive a job shadow placement.
Hear from students who have participated in a job shadow:
Why Job Shadow?Show More
Explore your likes and dislikes and satisfy your curiosity about the career of your choice.
Discover first-hand what a job is really like, get advice and ask questions to find out the skills, training, and/or education needed. This can save you time and money after high school!
Get connected to local career professionals who might help you get a job someday.
Be ahead of the game- find out what you can be doing now to prepare for this career.
Venture out of your school and have fun!
Is a job shadow the same as an internship?Show More
No, a job shadow is NOT the same as an internship.
A job shadow is a one-time, 2-6 hour experience, whereas an internship meets multiple times for a total of between 45 and 90 hours.
Students are encouraged to complete a job shadow prior to applying for an internship.
What is an internship?Show More
An internship provides high school juniors and seniors a free opportunity to explore a career more in-depth. It is a class where students receive between 45 and 90 hours of planned career experience, and develop important skills through intern career development meetings.
Internships are available year-round, beginning with the summer after sophomore year and ending the spring of senior year.
The online application process requires recommendations, school approval and an interview. Not all students who apply will receive an internship placement.
Speak with your school counselor if you are interested in an internship.
Which students are eligible to apply for a job shadow?Show More
High school sophomores, juniors, and seniors in Benton, Cedar, Iowa, Johnson, Jones, Linn, and Washington counties are eligible to explore a career of their choice through the Workplace Learning Connection job shadow program beginning August 1st.
What can I expect on my job shadow?Show More
Your job shadow host is excited to meet you and share their career with you! They will do their best to put you at ease and make you feel welcome. This could be your host’s first job shadow experience as well.
Generally speaking, there will be at least one other student, either from your school or from another high school, attending the job shadow with you. Depending on the job shadow, there might be several students attending.
You will have an opportunity to ask questions so take advantage and come prepared with a list of things you’d like to know. Click here for a list of suggested questions to ask during your job shadow. Click here for tips on how to get the most from your job shadow.
There are a variety of ways to learn about a career which might include observing, going on a tour, listening to a presentation, and in some cases hands-on activities. Each job shadow is different, so it would be best to plan on listening and asking questions.
Click here to read quotes from area high school students about their job shadow experiences.
What is the time commitment for a job shadow?Show More
Job shadows are a one-day, one-time experience, typically a 2-6 hour excused absence from the school day.
Which career fields are available?Show More
There are opportunities for nearly every career field and level of education available in the region.
Click here to take a look at all of the options available for job shadows; options are updated during the summer.
I'm not sure about which job shadow to choose, what would you recommend?Show More
Choose a career that you have been considering to learn more about it.
We would encourage any student who has not completed a job shadow or who is unsure of their career path to choose a Group Job Shadow. The Group Job Shadow Opportunities allow students to explore several careers in one job shadow whereas the Career Choices are specific to one career.
What is the difference between a Group Job Shadow and choosing a specific career for your job shadow?Show More
Group Job Shadows allow you to learn about a variety of careers within a career field. You are more likely to experience hands-on activities, but this is not guaranteed.
If you choose a specific career for your job shadow, you are more likely to see the actual work environment and day-to-day routine of that career, but less likely to experience hands-on activities.
When can I apply for a job shadow?Show More
You may access the online portal system from August 1st to a date in September determined by your school, generally around the second Friday of September.
How do I access the online portal to apply?Show More
Click here to explore career choices available and apply for ONE job shadow
Click on a photo, look through the choices, then click Apply.
Once I have accessed the online portal, how do I apply?Show More
Click here for job shadow application instructions.
What should I do after I apply?Show More
Log in periodically and check your dashboard to make sure you have received parent/guardian approval. Your application is not considered complete until your parent/guardian and school contact have submitted their approval.
Once your application has been approved, watch for emails from WLC- check spam.
Tell parents to check for emails from WLC- check spam.
Once the parent or guardian approval has been submitted, the school must approve the application electronically as well for your application to be considered complete.
Is transportation provided to/from the job shadow?Show More
Generally speaking, transportation is NOT provided and must be arranged by the student. If it is not possible for you to drive yourself or to arrange for someone such as a parent or guardian to take you, check with your school to see if transportation is available.
In most cases, you will receive a minimum of 2-week’s notice before the date of your job shadow to allow time for transportation arrangements to be made.
When will I be placed in a job shadow once my application has been approved?Show More
Due to the volume of job shadow applications received, you will be placed as soon as October and as late as May depending on job shadow host availability.
On the job shadow application, indicate any conflicts (days/times/specific dates) that should be avoided when scheduling.
You will receive an email from the person who will be coordinating your job shadow in early October. Any questions you have about your job shadow can be directed to that person, as well as any new conflicts that have come up to avoid when scheduling.
How will I find out about my job shadow placement?Show More
Information will be sent anytime between October and May via email to you, your parent/guardian, and your school, in most cases at least two weeks before the job shadow is scheduled. A text will be sent to alert you to check your email. Check your spam/junk mail folder!
Information will also be sent via postal mail to you in a white envelope stamped with “Job Shadow Information” in red.
If school is canceled due to bad weather, the job shadow is canceled. We will contact you about rescheduling. If it is delayed, please use discretion on whether travel is advised, and call the Workplace Learning Connection and the business host if you cannot attend.
What is the reschedule policy?Show More
If you have a conflict and cannot attend your Job Shadow, you must call Workplace Learning Connection to cancel. It is the responsibility of the student to ask to be rescheduled. A second placement depends on timing and host availability. There is no guarantee a job shadow can be rescheduled.