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Career Center

 @HCCareerCtr

Career Center
315-859-4346
315-859-4332 (fax)

HamiltonExplore

Expectations for a successful shadowing experience

BEFORE YOU SHADOW:
  1. Send an e-mail to your sponsor (between Wednesday, November 13 and Friday, December 6) to arrange a mutually convenient day and time for your shadowing experience. You may use or modify the e-mail template we have provided.
  2. Get directions from your shadow sponsor and make sure you know how to get there. HopStop is a great resource for finding out the best way to get from point A to point B in and around the cities including NYC, Boston, and Philadelphia.
  3. Make sure you have appropriate attire to wear on your shadowing day.
  4. Research the field and organization of your shadow sponsor before you shadow him/her. Resources for learning about career fields are listed on the Explore Careers page of our website. Review the organization's website, including their mission, services, clients, etc. to gain a basic understanding of the organization.
  5. Prepare questions to ask your sponsor  in order to learn as much as you can about the nature of his/her work and to get input and advice on preparing for this career field. Refer to our Networking Guide for sample informational interview questions and information about networking.
     
ON THE DAY OF YOUR SHADOWING:

Conduct yourself professionally at all times and make a good impression. Remember that you are not only representing yourself but also Hamilton College. Treat everyone you encounter with courtesy.

  1. Dress appropriately for your shadowing experience, as advised by your shadow sponsor. In most cases, this will mean business casual.
  2. Plan to arrive 15-20 minutes early and allow extra time to get to the site. Bring photo identification in case it is needed at the security desk; money for transportation and/or lunch; a portfolio or legal pad and a pen.
  3. Greet your shadow sponsor professionally: look him/her directly and the eye, give a firm handshake, and introduce yourself as you would like to be called.
  4. Sit back, observe, and pay attention! Respect the fact that your shadow sponsor has work to do and cannot engage with you constantly. Take your cues from him/her as to when it might be appropriate to ask questions.
  5. Ask for business cards of those you meet. This will be helpful for writing thank you notes as well as for networking purposes.
  6. At the conclusion of the shadow experience, thank your sponsor and anyone else that was helpful to you for taking time out of their day to assist you.
 
AFTER SHADOWING:
  1. Send a thank you note to your shadow sponsor and anyone at the work site who was particularly helpful to you during the day. It may be hand-written or sent by e-mail and you may modify the thank you note template we have provided.
  2. Complete a program evaluation which will be sent to you shortly after your shadowing experience. This is mandatory for you and essential for us to be able to make any improvements to the program!
  3. Plan to follow up/stay in touch with your shadow sponsor as he/she is now in your "network" of professional contacts. A good time to do this is once you have established plans for the summer or if you have any follow-up questions. You might let him/her know in what way(s) the shadow experience was helpful to you.