Job Shadows Program
Theory of Connectivity: Job Shadows Program
Melanie Tramontina '16 is one of the Career Center’s biggest fans, thanks in no small part to her Job Shadow opportunity. Her alumni mentor had a great experience as well; Melanie has been invited back to come back over the summer to earn observation hours on her path to become a veterinarian.
The Job Shadows program at Muhlenberg is a partnership between Alumni Relations and the Career Center to match alumni in a variety of industries with students looking to learn more about a possible career path.
Over the course of two days during her semester break, she worked closely with Dr. Shelly Epstein ’81 at Wilmington Animal Hospital in Delaware. She observed both animal surgeries and the standard office visits between practitioners and their clients.
Sarah Bollinger, assistant director of the career center, believes the benefits go far beyond the obvious - students gain more than just learning proper industry etiquette or seeing how an office operates, though those skills are no-doubt vital.
“When students come to our office, they’re often confused or unsure,” says Bollinger. “ Meeting with an alumnus or alumna who is supportive of them, who supports Muhlenberg, who is a success story themselves - they can really connect with each other.”
The program isn’t limited to junior or senior students. The Career Center notes that a number of students apply for shadow opportunities every year due to an overwhelming positive experience that leaves them with a hunger for further insight into a possible field or industry.
“Alumni are interested in helping out, and the students want to connect with alumni,” says Patrick Fligge ’10, associate director of alumni/student connections. “This is a great vehicle to make that happen. Each year, we look to increase alumni participation and provide opportunities for our students for additional shadow experiences.”
And Fligge notices that the partnership between student and employer doesn't end when a shadow opportunity or internship concludes. Many companies begin to exhibit a pleasant trend soon after a Muhlenberg student is hired.
“We find that a company will hire one Mule and say, ‘Oh my goodness, you’re wonderful. Give me more of you,’” says Fligge. “And that’s what we want to accomplish: create tangible programs to help feed those opportunities.”
Current Muhlenberg students are encouraged to visit Muhlenberg’s Career Center to learn more about the Job Shadows program, Career Connections, development workshops and other professional development opportunities.