Making Connections: Job Shadow 2016
Each year during winter break, Fairfield University’s Job Shadow program pairs students with alumni professionals across the country for a day of career exploration. In January, Fairfield University hosted its fifth annual Alumni Job Shadow week where 259 students shadowed 172 alumni in businesses and organizations across many industries.This year students were able to spend the day at Madison Square Garden, Gartner, Colgate Palmolive, PepsiCo, National Basketball Association, Facebook, and The Wall Street Journal.
“The program helps students learn the importance of having a career network of alumni, gain first-hand information on different careers, and learn what a day is like in a specific job function or industry,” said Julie Tuozzoli ’85, manager of Employee Relations and Alumni Services, and Kim Nickolenko, director of Internships and Student Support.
Rob Penwell ’06, a product marketing manager at Facebook, hosted two Fairfield students in New York City. The students spent the day touring the facility and speaking to Penwell and other employees about their positions at Facebook and the different marketing career paths they could take after graduation.
“It was a really valuable networking opportunity and allowed me to gain a lot of advice from someone who was in my shoes not so long ago,” stated Cristina Esmiol ’16. “I was able to see the office of one of the most well-known companies in the world and learn so much about what a career in marketing could be like.”
Penwell graduated from Fairfield in 2006 with a degree in Marketing and became interested in the online marketing field after working in advertising operations at Forbes.com. At Facebook, Penwell joined the advertising operations team before transitioning over to the product marketing team.
“I remember being in their shoes and not really knowing what options were available in the job world, it's a daunting experience! It was fun walking them around and talking through life at Facebook,” Penwell said. “Marketing and social media are big industries right now so I was excited to talk with them about classes they were taking and how it applies in a place like Facebook.”
Once again, alumni reported that they got more than they gave from visits with the students, which makes this program a successful venture for everyone involved.
For more information about the Job Shadow program, please visit https://www.fairfield.edu/jobshadow.