By: Yeskanisayka Urbina/Staff Writer
The University is giving students a chance to experience a real day in the life of their aspired jobs through a shadowing program.
The Panther Shadows Programs gives students the opportunity to shadow a professional for one day during the week of spring break from Monday, March 11 until Thursday, March 14.
“It’s one day. Think of it as they’re sort of interviewing you, but at the same time, you’re interviewing them,” said Elery Rojas, the assistant director of internships and coordinator of the Panther Shadow Program. “You’re checking them out to see if you really want to work in that company and if you could see yourself there.”
The University partners with companies and invite students to observe a professional in the industry and what their work consists of throughout the day.
Some of the companies and agencies offering shadow experience include Christian Dior, the Florida Department of Transportation and Enterprise Rent-A-Car.
Students can search for shadowing postings and apply through Handshake.
Once applicants upload their resume and cover letters to the job posting, the University will decide who is qualified before sending applications to the employer. There is no interview process before being accepted.
“Employers don’t choose. We match them based on the criteria, the GPA, and the degree so that it’s as fair as possible,” said Rojas.
As early as freshman year, students have the chance to get a glimpse of their chosen career and see if their major is right for them.
“Every student is at a different stage of their academic career and their professional career goals. We want the students to be exposed to what they’re interested in and really figure out if that’s what they want to continue,” Rojas said.
One of the students who participated in the program, Jenna Mustafa, a senior majoring in marketing, received her one-day experience in the human resources department at the Fontainebleau Miami Beach hotel.
Mustafa said to Student Media that the shadowing experience was important to reassure that her future career path was something she would realistically like to do.
“You can also try out different things, even if it’s not specific to the major you’re studying,” Mustafa said. “You get real hands-on experience.”
The program is available to all students, including graduate students and alumni.
“There’s no cap on how many shadows you can do [or apply to],” said Rojas. “There’s a great number of students that have been able to take advantage of it and, depending on what the employer is looking for, you’re even able to get a position at the end of it.”
Students who are selected to shadow the company will receive an outline explaining the description of the position they will be shadowing, who they will be meeting with, what they are going to do and will receive a tour of the company’s facility, according to Rojas.
“We had 10 employers with 115 opportunities and 185 applicants [during fall 2018]. But that doesn’t mean they all get filled,” said Rojas. “You have students that qualify and they tell you they can’t do it because it’s during winter or spring break.”
The program hopes to partner with other companies to open up more spots for students by fall 2019, according to Rojas.
Rojas will be presenting information sessions about Panther Shadows this semester to the University public to discuss what the program is about, its deadlines and requirements to apply, and making sure students interested are registered on Handshake.
Information sessions for the program will be available on Tuesday, Jan. 29 at 1:30 p.m. at the Biscayne Bay Campus in the Wolfe University Center Room 255 and on Thursday, Jan. 31 at 2 p.m. in the Modesto Maidique Campus’ Student Academic Success Center Room 339.
Students interested in participating in the Panther Shadows program can submit their applications by Monday, Feb. 18, through fiu.joinhandshake.com.
Featured image retrieved from Unsplash