Career Center job shadow program: Exploring paths in education

The School of Education’s Career Center launched a new job shadowing program in January for our undergraduate students majoring in Education Studies and Health Promotion and Health Equity.

In all, 26 students took advantage of the opportunity to take part in a one-day experience that was designed to help them gain a better understanding of the jobs and roles that are available in the field, broaden their knowledge of the sector, and network with professionals.

These students were hosted by 11 campus employers in health and education fields. In the future, there are plans to expand the program off campus.

To learn what students gained from their time with the job shadowing program — and to hear from the professionals what they enjoyed about hosting students — the School of Education’s communications team checked in with participants to conduct a Q&A about their experiences.

Following is an edited transcript with UW–Madison student Sabella Maas, who as a junior participated in a job shadowing experience with UW–Madison’s Center for Teaching, Learning & Mentoring. Maas is pursuing a major in education studies with the School of Education’s Department of Educational Policy Studies (EPS). 


How did you decide to pursue a degree in this field? After taking an EPS course here, I realized the intersectionalities that exist within education and everything around us and how important it is to improve education in order to improve other aspects of our society. I want to be a changemaker, and I believe that education is one of the best ways to do so.

What was a highlight of the job shadowing experience for you? The highlight of my job shadowing experience was all of the honest and insightful conversations I had with many different people. 

What did you learn about different roles or jobs in higher education that might be available for students majoring in Education Studies? I learned that because of the ever-changing nature of education itself, that can be directly seen in the educational job market. It showed me that there may be careers out there for me that don’t even exist right now! It definitely expanded my perspective on what I could pursue with my degree.

What, if any, effect did this experience have on how you view your major and what you might want to do after earning your undergraduate degree? It emphasized to me how education can be used in so many different ways and why it holds importance in all fields. I also think it boosted my confidence in pursuing my major and a future career in the field of education.

If a friend or classmate was considering doing the job shadow program in the future, would you urge them to participate? I would definitely urge them to participate. All the time I hear that our connections can be one of our greatest assets, so having the opportunity to network with people in your field that you otherwise wouldn’t have had the opportunity to is not something to pass up on.

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