Student Success Centre

Information for Hosts

Thank you for considering hosting a job shadow student. The information below will give you many details about the goals and function of the Job Shadow program.

If you have any questions or would like to be added to our contact list for the next cycle please email us at

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a job shadow?

Job Shadow is a specific model of experiential learning that gives students a first-hand look at a work environment within a chosen field. Job Shadow offers a chance for students to engage with professionals who can aid in their academic decision-making and post-graduate career planning.

Imagine if you could have test-driven your current position to see if it was a good fit for your skills, interests and career plans? Imagine if you could have talked to an individual in your ‘dream job’ and made a connection that helped define your future? Job shadow connects students with future employers in informal, but meaningful, ways and provides a ‘sneak peek’ into a work world that lies just beyond graduation.

What kinds of career paths are Western students interested in?

  • Business (Finance & Administration; Human Resources)
  • Communications (Marketing; Public Relations) 
  • Education (Advocacy/Outreach, Teaching, Administration) 
  • Government (Immigration; Research; Policy) 
  • International Development 
  • Non-profit (Activism; Community Development; Fundraising) 
  • Social Work (Corrections; Counselling; Support Services) 
  • Healthcare (Clinical; Community; Hospital)
  • Physical Rehabilitation (physiotherapy, chiropractic, massage therapy)
  • Manufacturing (Mechanical, Chemical, and Civil Engineering)
  • Performance Arts (Composition; Music Therapy)
  • Research and Development

Why should I participate in Job Shadow?

Job Shadow has benefits for students AND hosts!
Hosting Western's students at your organization means you will:

  • Have the opportunity to engage with young minds interested in your field
  • Solidify your brand among Western’s best and brightest
  • Get an up-close look at the skill set of Western’s emerging talent
  • Be able to showcase upcoming volunteer or employment opportunities
  • Make connections with staff at Western to build future partnerships

How do I host a Job Shadow student?

We have created a streamlined process to help you participate in the Job Shadow program:

  • January 23 to February 10, 2017
    • Students submit applications and Western staff will assign students to job shadow hosts
  • February 16-28 2017
    • Job Shadow hosts are introduced (by coordinators via email) to their student(s),
    • Students contact hosts to schedule/confirm the date & time of their visit
  • March 1- 31, 2017
    • Job Shadow experiences take place (only one day during this period)

Note: All students participating in Job Shadow are required to attend a two-hour prep session that covers topics including expectations, professionalism, and appropriate questions to ask an employer in an informational setting.

What does a Job Shadow experience look like?

You are welcome to design a Job Shadow experience that is appropriate for the function, pace and needs of your organization. We want our student(s) to have a realistic understanding of what it is like to work in your organization.

It is our hope that the opportunity has at least 3 components:

  1. An introduction to your organization
  2. Interaction with some of your colleagues or employees
  3. A chance for questions about your work, education and career path

Example of a half-day program:

  • 8:30 am Orientation to the organization (mission, vision, values)
  • 9:00 am Tour of your facilities
  • 9:30 am Team meeting
  • 10:30 am 30 minutes with 2 different employees (observing, brainstorming about new projects, asking questions)
  • 11:30 am Meeting with HR representative to discuss recruitment, hiring and interview practices

What kind of student will be matched with our organization?

The program is targeted to upper year students (have completed their first year of undergraduate studies) from all faculties at Western University.  The emphasis of Job Shadow is career exploration. Students accepted into the program may be at varying stages of career exploration; some may already know their desired career paths, others are discovering the variety of possibilities available.

Do we choose which students come to our organization?

Western staff will evaluate applications and assign students to hosts.

Are the students covered under WSIB?

No, students are visiting your workplace as guests; therefore they are not covered under WSIB.

Our organization deals with a lot of client confidentiality. Can we have students sign confidentiality agreements?

You should proceed with any policies or documentation your organization requires for the student’s visit. You may wish to plan the student’s visit accordingly so they do not interfere with the operations but are still able to experience the workplace.
We also highlight the importance of respecting confidentiality in our student prep sessions.

Do we need to provide lunch? Transportation? Parking?

These are the responsibility of the participating student(s). However if you wish to provide assistance with these items this can be communicated directly with the student while planning their visit.