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Job Shadowing: New Perspectives, New Ideas, New Interest


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Presented by: Susannah Howe, Mary Moriarty

Published in: Engineering, Business, Technology
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Job Shadowing: New Perspectives, New Ideas, New Interest

  1. 1. Job Shadowing New Perspectives, New Ideas, New Interest Susannah Howe, Smith College Mary Moriarty, Smith College/NSF 8 November 2012
  2. 2. Context • Engineering at Smith • Liberal arts college • B.S. Engineering Science • 25-35 majors/year • Motivation/Objectives • Provide students window into engineering workplace • Increase awareness about opportunities for women in engineering
  3. 3. Logistics • Recruited potential workplace hosts and engineering students • Matched 14 selected students (across class years) with hosts based on location & interests • Ensured students coordinated and completed one-day shadow visit with assigned host • Implemented shadow assignments/assessments • Provided student shadows a small stipend
  4. 4. Timeline Pre-Visit Report and Survey Shadow Visits Host Survey MayJanDecNovOctSepAug Mar AprFeb Focus Group Panel Presentations Post-Visit Report Post-Visit Survey Shadow Recruitment Host/Shadow Matching Host Recruitment
  5. 5. Shadow Hosts and Locations Shadow Locations
  6. 6. Knowledge + Confidence 3 8 1 2 1 1 3 9 Pre-Visit Post-Visit 1 7 6 1 3 4 6 Pre-Visit Post-Visit None Slight Some Moderate Substantial How much knowledge do you have about a day in the life of an engineer? (# in circle = # of responses) How much confidence do you have in your own potential for success in engineering? (# in circle = # of responses)
  7. 7. Shadow Goals (Pre-Visit) n=38
  8. 8. Shadow Goal Achievement n=32
  9. 9. Shadow Takeaways n=42
  10. 10. Shadow Observations • Tasks/Responsibilities • Communication/Collaboration • Work Schedule/Balance • Work Environment • Gender Issues • Self-Confidence • Future Engineering Plans Shadow Observations: • The gender balance in engineering workplaces is generally more male than female • Women engineers are sometimes faced with sexism, but it is not a big issue in engineering workplaces “It really helped me to see that it is possible to succeed as a woman in engineering regardless of the path.”
  11. 11. Benefits For Shadows: •Experience a day in the life of an engineer •See how the technical skills and knowledge from class are applied by engineers •Network with practicing engineers For Hosts: •Connect with and support a future woman engineer •Share experiences and knowledge about engineering work with your shadow
  12. 12. What Shadows and Hosts Say “[Hosting] was incredibly rewarding.” “I think it is invaluable. I think that a combination of classroom and ‘real world’ experience is very important to prepare for an engineering career.” “Beforehand, I imagined the engineering workplace to be one way, and now I realize there are so many different options. I am looking forward to finding the option that works for and excites me.” “The shadow experience made me more interested and excited about engineering because I was able to see things that I had learned in class applied to real life problems in the workplace.”
  13. 13. Contact Us! For more information, for shadow program materials, or to become a potential host or sponsor: Prof. Susannah Howe 413.585.3626