Thursday, March 15, 2012

Testimonials and Success Stories from L&S Career Services Winter Break Job Shadow Program

By Greg Iaccarino, Career & Internship Advisor, Job Shadow Program Coordinator

The L&S Career Services Winter Break Job Shadow Program, which occurred during Winter Break (January 3 to 20, 2012) was a very successful opportunity for approximately 93 students to visit 14 employers in major geographical regions of the U.S. The goal of the program was for students to explore their career interests and goals, learn about various types of job functions at an employer, and build a network of professionals and mentors. In turn, students were able to identify internship and full-time opportunities available at the employers.

Most of the employer hosts were UW alumni that either worked directly with L&S Career Services or with other UW affiliated programs. The alumni hosts provided opportunities for
students to observe meetings, go on informational interviews, do case studies, and get some hands-in practice with various job functions.

As a Part 2 to our February Blog entry about the program, we are pleased to share some testimonials and success stories from both the student and employer hosts. These were drawn from the results of a survey sent to the participants and hosts. We are pleased to share some testimonials and success stories from the winter break program, from both student and employers.

Spring Break Job Shadow Program
Looking ahead to Spring Break, L&S Career Services will be conducting a job shadow program at employers such as Covance, Her Exchange, Kohler Arts Center, Rockwell Automation (Human Resources), Teach for America, UW Credit Union, and Wisconsin Trails Magazine.
For more information and to register, contact Greg Iaccarino at

Meanwhile, please enjoy these testimonials!

RESPONSES TO THE FOLLOWING QUESTION ASKED OF STUDENTS: Do you have a better understanding of the types of jobs at the employers? What did you learn? Were there parts of your visits that you enjoyed very much?

Yes I understood a lot more about how some typical corporate companies work, like Summit Finance, as well as some atypical ones like Direct Supply which has a very relaxed working environment. I also enjoyed visiting the Milwaukee Public Library and the Children’s Museum in Madison as they are so unique

I have a better understanding of the types of jobs at the employers I visited. And I enjoyed most of the parts I visited. I learned that networking is very important, and what the departments do in a non-profit organization.

I learned about two very different aspects of the strategic communications industry. (GRAEF - corporate marketing for a science related company, Starcom - media planning) I enjoyed learning about day-to-day tasks and being able to talk and ask questions one on one.

After visiting Summit Commercial Finance and talking to Jeff Hayes I gained a greater understanding about what it means to work in the sales department of the business. He was very helpful and provided great insight to the various different aspects of the job. Visiting the Madison Children's Museum and talking with Erik made me want to look more into working non-profit organization. I greatly benefitted from both experience and my favorite part of each job shadow was the opportunity to talk to the employers and learn more about what the job entails.

Yes, I learned that when looking for a position I want a more relaxed, youthful environment. I really enjoyed the visit to Coyote (the mayor was even there that day!!).

Yes I enjoyed a presentation at Google about the jobs they have available following graduation and Josh was very helpful explaining careers that would fall into my interests. I also enjoyed the tour of the Google campus because it is a unique work environment that was interesting to experience.

I was really happy to have had the opportunity to network at Coyote because I am very interested in working there. Being able to make connections there and learn about the jobs/culture will greatly help me in the hiring process. I didn't know much about the logistics industry before I got there and I learned a lot. It was a ton of information but it was presented in a thoughtful way that included one-on-one time with current employees out on the floor.

Yes, I have a better understanding of the City Year program and was able to talk with City Year members about the application process as well as life as a teacher and mentor at the school where they worked.

I was able to see what happened every day in a striving dental practice. I was able to see a wide range of procedures,including an implant and a crown preparation. I enjoyed seeing how they interacted with patients.

I just wanted to say thank you for providing me with the resources to partake in a job shadow this winter break. I truly enjoyed the time I spent at Madison No Fear Dentistry. Sometime as a student you can get lost in a textbook and forget why you were inspired to pursue the field you are pursuing. Shadow days like these bring that inspiration back to life and reassure me that a medical field is worth the pursuing.


RESPONSES TO THE FOLLOWING QUESTION ASKED OF EMPLOYERS: What were some positive aspects about your visits with the students? Did you find your time to be positive and productive with the students? Did you sense that the students felt that they had a quality experience at your organization?

The students were most gracious and interested in the various topics at hand.

They truly appreciated the experience and asked wonderful questions. One of the students hassubsequently contacted me to inquire about volunteer opportunities at the library for the summer time.

Overall it was a very positive experience. I solicited feedback from the students following the event and they said they enjoyed it. There was snowfall the day of our job shadow, so as a result a few of the students were slightly delayed. The students asked good questions and wanted to learn more about our business. A few of the students had majors outside of the scope of what we do (molecular biology and biochemistry). Even those students seemed to enjoy their time here. As long as students understand and accept the experience we intend to provide, I am fine with anyone attending.

My visitors came to my classroom for an entire school day which I believe gave them a more accurate understanding of the Teach for America experience. Staying the whole day allowed me to talk tothem more in depth about my experience and my advice for those interested in teaching.

I think it's great for the students to make connections for their own networking. I also think that visiting Google is naturally fun, given the campus, the lunch, the experience. The four students all seemed to have a fun time here.

The students were very engaged.

I felt that we shared as much as possible, with a busy schedule, and we were very open to questions from the students. I think that the students felt they had a positive experience, but we did not ask that question specifically.

I think reviewing the recruiting deck is a great way to start an open dialogue with the students. I think providing a tour for them also gives them a true sense of our work environment.

I recently transitioned accounts so I got to talk to the shadows about the process of going from one team to another as well as showing them how different the experience at SMG can be from desk to desk. I walked them over what we were currently doing on my account and they got to listen in on a call with our creative agency. It gave them a glimpse of all the different roles we play and people we work at. I hope the students had a good experience. One of them seemed particularly interested in sports and I used to work on a sports desk so I was able to give him some insight there.

Absolutely, both of my students came prepared to ask questions and were really engaged, which was really encouraging for both me, and I assume them.

Overall, we had a nice time hosting UW-Badgers at Starcom. They were kind and respectful in the presentation, large group Q&A and individual shadow time. From the few thank you letters I received, it seemed many of them had a nice time and found the visit informational and exciting.

It was quite interesting to hear the student's perspective on international education, although she was much more aware of exchange on a college level. The experience would have been much more rewarding on both sides had there been other students during the day.

No comments:

Post a Comment