The Career Development Center invites you to participate in the Job Shadow Program, where students have the opportunity to explore career paths by shadowing someone in their place of work. Job shadows provide students the chance to gain a realistic experience of a potential career path or field outside of the classroom. The Career Development Center facilitates the job shadowing process by matching students and hosting companies through the Job Shadow Program.

*Due to COVID-19, all job shadows will be conducted virtually through informational interviews. 

Host Information

What is a Job Shadow?

This is your chance to explore an industry, organization or specific position during a full or half-day experience. Job shadows will take place during summer break.

In a job shadow, you will follow your host(s) through their daily activities and learn what it’s like to work in that field. When working with your host to create a job shadow experience that will benefit both of you, refer to our sample schedules for ideas.

This is a free but unpaid experience. Students are responsible for their own transportation to and from the host site.

Job Shadow Hosts

2020 Job Shadow host sites 

Important Dates and Deadlines

March 9, 2020 Job shadow application opens in Handshake
May 1, 2020*

*Job shadow application deadline has been extended to May 20, 2020

May 4–7, 2020

Career Development Center review and matching period

May 8, 2020

Students are notified of their host match

May 26–June 5, 2020

Deadline for students to contact hosts to arrange shadow date(s)

June 15–July 17, 2020 Job shadows take place (exact date arranged by student and host)

Frequently Asked Questions About the Job Shadow Program

  • Come to the Career Development Center during drop-in hours to have your materials reviewed.
  • Read through all the listings before you apply; there are many opportunities and you never know what might match your interests.
  • Keep an open mind — this is a learning experience!
  • Ask questions! Prepare several ahead of time, and ask any questions that come up in the course of your job shadow.
  • Ask for contact information so that you can follow up with your host when you complete your job shadow.

Depending on the host, activities can include an observation of daily work, informational interviews, meetings within the organization, coffee/lunch at the office or worksite, a tour of the organization, hands-on experience and meet-and-greets with current interns and/or college hires. Students will have the opportunity to communicate with their sponsor about what they want out of the job shadow in order to make it as beneficial as possible for both parties.

After you’ve applied and the application period closes on May 1, 2020, the Career Development Center staff will review all applications and match each student with a host. Students will then be notified by May 8, 2020.

Job shadows will take place from June 15–July 17, 2020. They will range from a half day to a full day depending on the host.

The 2020 Job Shadow Program is open to all students and an application link will be available on March 9, 2020.

Job shadow opportunities are onsite at the employer location and primarily available in the Willamette Valley (Portland, Salem, Corvallis and Eugene), with some in Seattle, Vancouver (Washington) and Northern California.

​​​​​​Sponsors include Oregon State University alumni and partners who have graciously donated their time and expertise in order to support the Beaver community.

​​​​​​The student is responsible for all expenses.

A job shadow is a way to gain valuable information about a prospective career. Through observation of an individual employee’s activities during their workday, students can gain exposure to career paths, strengthen their job application for internships and employment opportunities and build professional skills pertinent to the workforce.

No, job shadows are unpaid experiences.

Additional questions? Contact us at career@oregonstate.edu or 541-737-4085.