My Job Shadow Experience

Written by Adam Bailey, a first-year marketing student, who participated in the Fisher Undergraduate Job Shadow Program over Spring Break 2017

Walking into the office building on the day of my job shadow program, I had no idea what to expect.  I had never participated in any sort of job program before, so it was a brand-new experience for me and I was both excited and a little bit nervous at the same time.  Thankfully, I realized I had nothing to worry about the whole time, because I am happy to say that it was a great experience and something I would recommend to any OSU student looking for a rewarding experience to do over spring break.  Now, I feel as though the best way to describe my experience and everything I learned from it is to first describe what my day was like, in chronological order from when I first stepped foot into the office.  So, lets get right into it!

8:00 am- Bright and early in the morning, fueled by my morning coffee, I arrived in the office and was introduced to all the employees.  The first thing I noticed was the size of the company; in this office location there were only five employees working.  After meeting everyone, we went straight into a meeting with one of their clients.

8:30 am- The company owners and myself then went off to visit another client and to get a tour of their warehouse and talk about details.  This would be a good time to mention that Employment Solutions specializes in providing temporary staff to different manufacturing and distribution companies.  They match employment-seeking individuals with employee-seeking companies that best match their skill sets and preferences.  At the client site, I sat in as they discussed details regarding employee needs and how much they were paying their employees.

10:00 am- I had the pleasure of meeting the Director of Sales for the company.  We chatted for a good while and discussed things ranging from what working in sales is like, what it takes to succeed in sales, and what it is like working for a small, rapidly growing company.  It was very interesting and insightful, and was one of the highlights of my time there.

12:00 pm- The President and I attended a monthly Delaware County Safety Meeting.  Going to this meeting helps the company receive insurance deductions.  It was a neat experience and they even provided us with food.  It was tacos and they were delicious!

1:00 pm- I then accompanied the President as he did a weekly check-in with their satellite corporate office, located in Groveport.  I got to meet and talk to some more awesome employees.

2:00 pm- We then headed to go visit some other client warehouses located next to Rickenbacker Airport.  We toured some facilities and I sat in as they discussed client employee needs and how things were going.  He visits these client sites frequently because it is important to build these face-to-face connections with clients and to build a sense of trust.  Visiting the clients also allows the President to check in on how employees that they have supplied the client with are doing.

3:30 pm- Back at the main office, I was able to watch as people would come in and go through an interview, drug test, and background check at the office.  If they successfully passed these steps, they were then matched with an employer.  It was cool to see how the Employment Solutions team interacted with job-seekers, either over the phone or in person.  Working in the staffing industry can be both stressful and rewarding and I saw both first-hand while I was shadowing.

5:00 pm- After a long, but rewarding, day it was time to head home.  I made sure to say goodbye to everyone in the office and thanked them for letting me shadow them for the day!

Overall, the job shadow program was a great experience and one I would highly recommend to any student looking for a worthwhile experience over spring break.  I look forward to hopefully participating in it next year as I feel I not only gained important advice and insights but also made some great connections as well.  The most important thing to remember when during a job shadow, no matter where it is at, is that it is what you make of it.  What I mean by this is that you get out of the job shadow what you put into it; if you actively participate, ask questions, and have an open mind this will be a very rewarding experience.  For all those students reading this, I have below a list of a few pieces of advice that will help make your job shadow a success:

  1. ASK QUESTIONS- Nothing is worse than that awkward silence, especially when you are at a job shadow. If the conversation stalls, make sure you ask thoughtful questions to get the conversation started again.  Obviously, there does not have to be a conversation going on at every minute of the shadow, but it is important to keep engaged and to be asking questions that show you are interested and want to learn more.  The questions do not have to overly complicated either, just something to get the ball rolling.
  2. REFRAIN FROM PHONE USE- Unless it is necessary or you are requested to use your phone, it can wait! It is disrespectful to the person you are shadowing, as it is their generous choice to let you come in and shadow.  Never take it out when you are in a conversation, or if you are in a group.  Instead, talk and engage.
  3. MEET AS MANY PEOPLE AS POSSIBLE- Always be open to meeting new people at the job shadow, and be sure to introduce yourself with a firm handshake. Also, if possible get business cards or other contact information from the people you meet; this expands your network and allows you to be able to contact this people later.
  4. HAVE FUN- These job shadows should be an enjoyable experience, and one that you look forward to doing. Always keep a smile on your face and be positive, no matter what happens.  Remember, nobody likes a grouch!

Thank you for taking the time to read about my experience at my job shadow program!  I hope it was both informative and interesting to read.  I hope you consider doing the job shadow program and if you have any further questions feel free to contact me!

– Adam at bailey.1251@buckeyemail.osu.edu

 

Katie Passen

Katie Passen is the Assistant Director of Undergraduate Student Career Development in the Office of Career Management at Fisher College of Business.

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