Internships & Job Shadowing
Most employers value on-the-job experience as much as they value your formal education.
Job-shadowing is a great way for anyone to explore careers and to see what a career is really like first-hand. Job-shadowing means following a professional for a day or part of a day as they go about their normal business. You’ll watch them perform normal tasks, attend meetings, handle problems and use their specific skills. You’ll also have the opportunity to ask questions, such as “What is your favorite part of your job?” or “What classes prepared you for your position?”
Since job-shadowing is relatively informal, setting up the experience is up to you (or your parent or teacher, if you’re younger). Contact friends, neighbors or family members in a career that interests you, and ask whether they would allow you to shadow them. Don’t forget to send a thank-you note afterwards, even if you discover it’s not the career for you.
Unlike job-shadowing, an internship allows you to perform tasks for the organization and experience the work on a daily basis. Internships usually last for a set period of time, often a semester or a summer. You may work full-time or just a few hours a week. Some internships are paid and some are unpaid. Even if you won’t be getting a paycheck, however, an internship can pay off in terms of networking and experience that may land you a job later.
IndianaINTERN.net lists internships statewide for high school students, college students at any level and even non-degree-seeking individuals. You may also find internships through local businesses or college career offices.
Although your experiences and education may match up perfectly with a job, you also need to make a good first impression. Career Ready's tools can help you make a great resume and learn about interviewing.