You are here

Why You Should Job Shadow: An Engineering Student's Perspective

Are you looking for a chance to meet with top OSU employers and learn more about being an engineer? If so, consider signing up for the 2016 Job Shadow Program! The Job Shadow Program is a one day commitment over Spring Break (March 14-18). You can sign up for more than one shadow if you’d like. Below you’ll find Matt Glasgow’s (ISE student) insight into his job shadow experience during the 2015 program.

Where did you job shadow last year?

I attended a job shadow at LuK USA located in Wooster, Ohio. LuK is a German based company from the parent company Schaeffler, and they make torque converters for cars and trucks.

How was the event structured?

Upon arrival, a few members of the HR Department delivered a presentation that provided an overview of the company. The topics included information about LuK’s history, culture, and customer base. After the presentation, a panel of recent engineering graduates discussed the co-op program at LuK and their work as co-ops and full time employees.

Once the panel concluded, the employees gave us a tour around the facility and described the general manufacturing processes at work. After lunch, the group of job shadow students split into smaller groups based on major for the afternoon session. During this time, engineers showed us the day-to-day tasks that they perform and answered questions. This was very beneficial as there were several departments represented, so it was easy to learn about the variety of tasks a particular engineer does.

What were the benefits from participating in the program?

Since I was new to my major at the time, I didn’t know exactly what Industrial Engineers did and where they worked. In participating in the job shadow program, I learned about the tasks that an Industrial Engineer can do first-hand. The engineers often times gave you advice as well. This experience allowed me to see if I would potentially enjoy a career in Industrial Engineering as well as gave me insight on how to approach my education.

What did you take away from your job shadow?

After participating in the job shadow program, I felt comfortable with my choice to pursue Industrial Engineering as a degree. The engineers I met were awesome people and their work seemed very interesting. Participating in the job shadow program allowed me to observe and interact with Industrial Engineers in the field. I also learned about company culture and how work is done in the real world. LuK has a great culture and is a very successful company. As I was very interested in the company, I communicated with some of the HR Representatives about my desire to work there as a co-op. Ultimately, expressing my interest at the job shadow program eventually led to my co-op rotations at LuK.

Do you have any other advice for students considering the 2016 program?

I would definitely recommend the job shadow program to any engineering student. While the education at Ohio State is great, it is always a good idea to see engineering done in the real world. By participating in the program, you’ll be able to determine if the work being done is something that you could see yourself doing for the rest of your life. Even if you know exactly what you want to do, the job shadow program enables you to talk engineers in the field that can offer some good advice as they were in your shoes once. It is also good opportunity to network with companies that recruit Ohio State students.

How to sign up for Job Shadow:

  1. STEP 1-->APPLY: Identify job shadow opportunities within your CareerEngine account from Thursday, January 28-Thursday, February 11 by keyword searching “ecs job shadow” in the “Jobs” tab.  Apply to all opportunities you are interested in.  NOTE:  Applying does NOT guarantee your spot!
  2. STEP 2-->SECURE YOUR SPOT(S): Visit ECS from 9AM-4PM anytime between Thursday, January 28 and Thursday, February 11 to meet with an ECS advisor.  You will lock down your opportunity, receive full company job shadow details, and sign the participant liability form.  

Visit the ECS site to learn more information about the 2016 Job Shadow Program and to view the full list of this year's companies!  Opportunities are also searchable in your CareerEngine account in the "Jobs for OSU Students" tab.  Enter keyword "ECS Job Shadow" to learn more!

"Your big opportunity may be right where you are now."
-Napoleon Hill

About the author

Kaitlin Schafer

Kaitlin Schafer is a Career Counselor at Engineering Career Services.