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Job Shadowing

Student FAQ

General Information

What are the aims of the Washington College Externship/Job Shadowing Program?

  • Helps 1st and 2nd year students integrate curriculum development with career development information
  • Links and customizes the Washington College 1st year career awareness program to experiential learning opportunities
  • Creates first step in a 4 year plan for outside the classroom learning to include internships, international experiences, undergraduate research, and/or fellowships.
  • Aids 3rd and 4th year students to professionally network
  • Prepares upper level students for first destination job searches
  • Provides opportunities for securing internships and potential senior thesis-related research

What opportunities does the Washington College externship program provide?

  • Students can see a career opportunity “up close and personally”
  • Students have the chance to observe in  industries, government agencies, and non-profits and learn about 21st century workplace issues and challenges
  • Students are introduced to practical strategies for linking ideas and concepts from inside and outside the classroom
  • Students explore applications of career and professional skills in a workplace
  • Students begin the life long process of employment networking and career mentoring
  • Students use the externship opportunity as a building block for identifying other formalized, outside the classroom  experiences that they choose to pursue in subsequent years.

When will externships be available?

  • Externships are available to be scheduled during fall, winter, and spring breaks. However, Freshmen are only matched during Winter or Spring break of their first year to ensure that the GPA requirement is met

How long will the externship last?

  • Each externship will include at least one full business day on site at the host organization  and perhaps another one to two days depending on the host site’s preference and availability

How is a successfully completed externship tracked/recorded by the college?

  • While externships are not academic credit bearing activities and therefore do not  appear on academic transcripts, all completed externships are recorded by the registrar’s office and  become part of the student’s 4 year experiential learning plan.
  • Students are also encouraged to include externships on their personal resumes

What is the difference between an internship and an externship?

  • Internships tend to be longer (usually weeks and months) than externships and require the student to work full-time or part-time on specific projects and/or  tasks within the organization, sometimes for academic credit.

What is the difference between service learning and an externship?

  • In service learning, students volunteer their time usually over a long duration to accomplish a mission or task of the organization whereas an externship involves shadowing persons associated with the organization to gain a general perspective on the career field.

Are externships paid or unpaid?

  • Externships are unpaid. Students are responsible for transportation, housing, and meals.
  • In some instances, the host organization may provide a transportation subsidy or meal assistance during the day the student is at that site.

Is Washington College funding available for externships?

  • On a case by case basis, some assistance may be available to some students.

Who hosts externships?

  • Externship hosts are either Washington College alumni, parents, or associates/affiliates.
  • All potential hosts enter into an agreement with the college to offer 1,2 or 3 day externship experiences.

What career fields for externships are available?

  • Arts
  • Business
  • Communications/Marketing
  • Education
  • Environmental Studies
  • Government
  • Health Professions
  • International Studies
  • Law and Justice
  • Science and Technology
  • Social Services/Human Rights

What types of activities could an extern expect to participate in?

  • Possible activities include: attending business meetings, observing organizational tasks; meeting officials and staff members; touring facilities; getting acquainted with the organization’s missions and goals; learning how professional or technical skills are applied in that specific workplace; meeting other industry or government partners; rotating through special units/divisions within the organization: seeing how research is conducted; observing client interactions or being assigned a small project to learn about the work environment and its culture.

Can a student participate in more than one externship?

  • Yes students may participate as often as they wish, provided they meet the GPA eligibility criterion of a 3.0 GPA from the prior semester.
Eligibility, the Application Process, and other Requirements for Student Application

What are the eligilibity criteria for application?

  • Student must be registered as a full time student and be in good academic and social standing.
  • Applicants must have maintained a GPA of B or above in the semester prior to conducting the externship.

What is involved in the application process?

  • Applicants will apply using the form available from the externship website.
  • Applicants will also submit in hard copy a current resume and a short 300 word or less statement explaining their interest in the externship career field.
  • All interested applicants will be interviewed briefly by the Washington College Assistant Dean.

How are student interests matched with available host sites?

  • When students submit their applications, they will be asked to prioritize their site preferences.
  • All matches are dependent upon host availability for a specific time and date. Since students prioritize their choices, the office of Assistant Dean works with the host and student to determine a final selection that works for both parties.

How will students be notified of their acceptance as an extern?

  • All accepted candidates receive a formal letter from the Office of Assistant Dean via email. This letter provides relevant contact and location information for the site visit as well as date.
  • All accepted candidates’ custodial parents receive a formal letter from the Office of Assistant Dean which is sent to the students’ home addresses. This letter provides relevant contact and location information for the site visit as well as date.
  • All hosts receive a letter from the Office of Assistant Dean with the student extern’s contact information ( cell and email) and other relevant information (time and date of site visit).
  • The hosts then provide the students and the Assistant Dean with agendas for the shadow day visits.
Accepted Externs

What will an accepted extern be required to do before the externship starts?

  • Formally agree to accept the match/placement that is provided.
  • Sign the Waiver of Liability Form.
  • Attend and participate in a Career Center orientation workshop to be held several weeks before the student goes on site.
  • Contact the host organization to confirm the final details for their externship (i.e. start times and dates; directions to the host location; transportation options; security requirements to enter the facility; contact information for the host, and other pertinent information).
  • Notify the Assistant Dean of Academic Initiatives via email that this contact with the host has been made.

What will an accepted extern need to do during the externship?

  • Be prompt arriving at the host site.
  • Be prepared to sign confidentiality and or privacy documents if the organization requires these.
  • Participate in all the activities that are planned for that day.
  • If there are breaks in the planned schedule, use the Sample Questions to Use on Your Externship Site Visit to obtain more information about the organization.
  • Be professional, courteous, and enthusiastic about this opportunity.

What will a student be required to do at the completion of the externship?

  • Write a thank you note to the host(s)
  • Complete the Student/Externship Evaluation Form (PDF) on the externship experience and the Externship Reporting Form and either scan and email completed PDF to the Office of the Assistant Dean or provide hard copies.
  • Submit a 300 word reflection essay on the externship to the office of the Assistant Dean