From a pre-college program to job shadowing

After participating in a pre-college program, students can continue to explore their career interests through job shadowing.

Students who participate in pre-college programs, like those at Michigan State University, can gain valuable insight for future post-secondary and job or career plans. During their time in the program, students get a sense of how it is to live in the residence halls and go to class. Some programs might have sessions to give the students tips on taking the ACT or SAT test. A presentation from college admissions with information on financial aid and scholarships may also be part of the program. For content-based pre-college programs (programs that are based on majors in college departments), students have the opportunity to learn about a career and the type of classes they need to take to prepare for their potential career.

If the students are interested in the majors or career fields they were exploring during the pre-college program, how can they continue their experience throughout the school year? One idea is to get involved in a service activity and write about their experience and other items like the skills they learned.

From another career preparation perspective, students can look into participating in a job shadowing program. Job shadowing allows students to spend time experiencing the work of a professional in their field of interest. If students have an idea of the type of career they are interested in after participating in a pre-college program, they can participate in a job shadow experience to continue learning about that job or career.

For safety purposes, students should participate in job shadow programs related to their school, career tech center or some type of workforce preparation agency like Michigan Works!. For volunteer-driven-type programs that offer job shadowing, make sure the agency conducts background checks on the volunteers.

When the student is participating in a job shadow, they can share with the professional about their experience in the pre-college program and how it has led to their interest in job shadowing. Students should also ask questions to find out everything they would like to know about their potential career. One thing students would want to observe during their job shadow is the work environment and how it applies to them.

Participating in a pre-college program will assist students to learn about the college and major they would like to pursue. Job shadowing after a pre-college program will give students a chance to learn more and confirm their interests in a career field. Student can take advantage of both activities to help lead them to their major or specialization in college and to their future career.

Michigan State University Extension and Michigan 4-H Youth Development help to prepare young people for successful futures. As a result of career exploration and workforce preparation activities, thousands of Michigan youth are better equipped to make important decisions about their professional future, ready to contribute to the workforce and able to take fiscal responsibility in their personal lives.

To learn about the positive impact of Michigan 4-H youth career preparation, money management and entrepreneurship programs, read the 2016 Impact Report: “Preparing Michigan Youth for Future Employment.”

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