Students Connect With Alumni from Boston to Florida, Thanks to Virtual Job Shadow

Students Connect With Alumni from Boston to Florida, Thanks to Virtual Job Shadow

Screen shot of the virtual job shadow on Zoom

One of the University's most valuable annual events, the Alumni Job Shadow Program helps students forge strong career connections.

"Being connected with Ms. Hannequin proved to me yet again that Fairfield University has great alumni willing to give back to fellow Stags.”

— Delaney Hall ’22, sociology and anthropology student

Each winter break, Fairfield University’s Alumni Job Shadow program pairs career-driven students with alumni in various industries. With Job Shadow opportunities moving virtual again this year, students were able to work with alumni from all over the country. Undergraduate students from the School of Engineering, Charles F. Dolan School of Business, College of Arts & Sciences, and Marion Peckham Egan School of Nursing made valuable connections and gained insight into alumni and parent job roles and career fields.

Since its inception, Alumni Job Shadow has consistently experienced strong participation. This year 223 students and 187 industry professionals registered to participate.

Traditionally, students spend a day with alumni professionals at the offices of prestigious organizations in a wide variety of industries. This year, Covid-19 restrictions again moved the Alumni Job Shadow program to a virtual format, with alumni volunteers hosting groups of Stag undergrads in Zoom discussions about their industries, their career trajectories, and how their Fairfield experience equipped them for their professional endeavors.

Engineering student Laura Zaccardi ’23 shadowed with Mckenzie Armington ’19, a mechanical engineer with Consulting Engineering Services in Hartford. “It is always fun getting to know students from the junior and senior engineering classes at Fairfield and helping them maneuver through the job process,” said Armington. “I remember how stressful it was to begin the process and always found it super beneficial to get advice from people who have gone through it.”

Alumni Job Shadow 2022 boasted alumni at companies including Amazon, Cartier, Conde Nast, ESPN, Facebook, Fidelity, The Hartford, IBM, Skillsoft, Inspira, Linkedin, MasterCard, Northwell Health, PepsiCo, Pfizer, Save the Children, and Xerox — plus many schools and medical and law offices. Based on the information provided when registering for the Job Shadow experience, students were assigned to one of more than almost 200 possible job shadow matches, based on career interests and location. Career conversations took place with one to five students in each session, sometimes with multiple alumni at the same company.

Kathy Selby ’81, director of emergency services and stroke coordinator at Raulerson Hospital in Florida, said that she takes advantage of any opportunity to mentor and teach younger nurses, “jumping on the chance to brag about the profession,” and all the wonderful opportunities that nursing has provided over the years.

“This year I virtually met with Melissa Hannequin ‘13, who gave me insight for the rest of my time as an undergraduate, as well as advice on how to enter the labor force in just a few short months,” said sociology and anthropology student Delaney Hall ’22. “Our meeting was professional yet personable, and being connected with Ms. Hannequin proved to me yet again that Fairfield University has great alumni willing to give back to fellow Stags.”

Sessions were held mostly in January during winter break, but thanks to the flexibility of the virtual format, many of the undergrad students continue to keep in touch with alumni. Eric Ryan, a Fairfield parent and director at Pegasystems in Boston, MA, said that he is excited to “one day shake the hand of his new LinkedIn connection” and “hopes all Fairfield students take advantage of this valuable program.” Ryan worked with Taeo Johnston-Manby ’23, a marketing and finance student, who said the experience with his mentor gave him a unique “insight into what it’s like to do his job.”

For more information about the Job Shadow Program, please visit fairfield.edu/jobshadow.

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Last modified: 02-10-22 11:00 PM

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