Job shadowing is an ideal way to gain some hands-on experience in a field that interests you. This simply means finding an individual who would allow you to “tag along” as they engage in their usual work. It may include some time set aside to ask questions as well. To set up a Job Shadowing experience, use your networking skills. Talk to people you know like relatives, professors, or former employers; they (or someone they know) might be willing to have you job shadow. You can always start by conducting an informational interview, which can lead to a shadowing experience.
An internship is an even more in-depth way of exploring a potential occupation. Doing an internship should give you a really good taste of what it would be like to actually work in a given field, and of course, an internship provides you with invaluable experience to add to your resume. In the current economy, one of the best things a student can do is to complete an internship before graduating; you’ll add to your professional network and gain numerous transferable skills!
Like internships, part-time jobs are a great way to explore a particular job that you find interesting. You can find on-campus part-time jobs in anything from research labs to university dining here; check Handshake for part-time opportunities off-campus!
Not enough time for a part-time job or internship? Don’t underestimate the power of a volunteer experience! Volunteer opportunities are a great way to network and get a taste of a particular job field or setting. Ask about volunteer opportunities at a place that interests you.