The Cahill Center is looking to implement a new job shadow program, which will give students the opportunity to learn more about their career of interest.
"We are hoping that students will gain exposure to an industry or field that they may not have known otherwise, and we want them to begin cultivating contacts," said Debra Stark, assistant director of employer relations and alumni career advisor at the Cahill Center.
The program, which will allow students to visit a host employer for a few hours or a full day, is set to take place over spring break, March 17 to 21. The theory behind the job shadow program is to allow students to learn more about a specific career or industry that they are interested in and potentially apply and gain an internship with that company in the future.
The Cahill Center has had host employers apply on a volunteer basis, and 25 companies have already been accepted to work with over spring break. The companies are from a wide range of industries, including marketing, investment, nonprofit management, information technology, graphic design, higher education, financial planning, law enforcement and e-commerce, among others.
On their visits, students may participate in company tours, informational interviews with professionals, attend staff meetings, receive an overview of projects they are engaged in, and other activities depending on the company and the industry.
"We know that students need exposure, and we know that they need opportunities to gain skills," Stark said.
The Cahill Center has posted the job shadow opportunities by industry on The Archway as ad hocs, and students can easily search for them. After finding the company they are interested in shadowing, students must submit a resume to apply, and then they can sign up.
Some of the 25 companies being represented in the program include KPMG, an information systems company, Bergen County Superior Court, Teaneck Police Department, Eastwick College, Vcorp services, a marketing firm, Northwestern Mutual and Girl Scouts of Northern New Jersey, as well as many others. Stark noted that five of the companies employ Ramapo alumni.
Students are also encouraged to apply for more than one opportunity.
The Cahill Center hopes the new program will entice students in their earlier years of college to begin considering career options and trying out different industries to see their best fit. The program will become annual, and Stark also hopes to run it over winter break as well.
Nicholas Calabrese, a sophomore, has applied to multiple job shadowing opportunities, including Marcus and Millichap, International Planning Alliance LLC, Cynergy Data and Wurth USA Inc. While he is not sure exactly what he wants to do as a career yet, he is a business administration major with a concentration in finance and wants to experience different industries, as well as network.
"I look forward to getting real business experience and learning about different areas of business and finance," said Calabrese.
Dave Robinson, a senior, just heard about the program and said he wishes he could have taken advantage of it in his earlier college years.
"I put off getting an internship until the summer last year because I knew it would take up a lot of my time. It would have been great to try different industries out in a shorter span of time to see what I like," Robinson said.
While the program already offers a broad spectrum of companies, the Cahill Center and Stark are looking forward to expanding it in the future.
"For us, it's career exploration, this should open their [students'] eyes to new fields, give them more information about fields they're interested in, give them inside information about internships and learn skills they may not have already," said Stark.
Students are encouraged to stop by the Cahill Center in C-209, as well as look at job opportunities on the Archway. Stark can be reached at email@example.com.