Alumni Job Shadow Program

On This Page

Overview

Job Shadow Connects Students and Alumni for Career Exploration

 

Why should alumni participate?

  • Fairfield alumni can make a big difference in helping our students get on the right career path!
  • Traditionally, Fairfield’s Job Shadow program, held during winter break, pairs students with alumni professionals for a day or half-day of rewarding career exploration.
  • Fairfield’s Alumni Job Shadow program gives students a chance to begin planning for life after Fairfield by accompanying alumni through a typical workday during winter break.
  • In 2022, students and alumni can choose to spend time in a way that is most convenient: virtual or in person with a full, half-day or lunch format.

Alumni Hosts/Mentors

Fairfield alumni have so much to offer today’s students! We hope that alumni from all industries will volunteer as mentors so we can match all students who register for this rewarding, impactful program.

Whatever your field, you’ll have the opportunity to introduce careers, industries, and share your own personal career experiences.

Students are interested in learning about:

  • Advertising
  • Counseling/Psychology
  • Engineering
  • Finance* (investment banking, corporate, financial services)
  • Marketing*
  • Media Production
  • Medical Professions
  • Nonprofit
  • Nursing*
  • Public Relations
  • Publishing
  • Sports Management/Marketing

*Fairfield especially requests alumni career mentors in engineering, finance, marketing, and nursing. If you work in those fields, please consider participating this year.

Alumni Timeline

September Alumni will receive an e-mail with a link to the online registration page.
October Complete a profile form and register to host one, two, three, or more students at your organization.
November Matched alumni mentors will be notified of the student(s) who will shadow them. (Alumni who are not matched will also be notified. Matches are based on students’ choices of location and industry).
December Alumni and students make arrangements to connect.
January Job Shadow

Typical Shadow Day

To help ensure a successful Job Shadow experience, we recommend alumni share in advance an itinerary of what you anticipate the Shadow Day to be like. You may choose to have the student(s) for a full day, half-day, or virtual meeting. Students can spend the entire time with you and/or spend time with colleagues.

  • Talk about your career path since graduating from Fairfield. Discuss potential career paths within the organization and the industry
  • Schedule brief (15-minute) informational interviews with the student and Fairfield alumni and other employees within your organization
  • Schedule time with Human Resources to talk about future opportunities and hiring trends
  • Have the student join you for client and internal meetings
  • Tour your organization’s facility
  • Review the student's resume
  • Assign a brief project relevant to their career interests or major
  • Schedule time for Q&A

Juniors & Seniors

Job Shadow is an opportunity for juniors and seniors to observe first-hand a typical day on the job by accompanying Fairfield alumni through their workday. Students begin to understand the skills and attributes necessary to succeed in a particular field and gain a realistic picture of the everyday aspects of a workplace. 

Students from all majors participate in Job Shadow, including marketing, finance, psychology, biology, communication, engineering, nursing, media and film production, information systems, and international studies—to name a few.

Typical Job Shadow Day

The format and schedule varies, but a typical Job Shadow day may include:

  • In person or virtual opportunities to learn about employees’ activities during their workday
  • Informational interviews with the Fairfield alumna/nus host and other employees
  • A tour of the workplace
  • An opportunity for a resume review with the alumna/nua

Participating Organizations

Companies participating in Fairfield’s Job Shadow program have included:

  • Albany Medical Center
  • Amazon
  • Bank of America
  • Baystate Health
  • Boston Children’s Hospital
  • Boston College
  • Citigroup
  • Daversa
  • ESPN
  • Facebook
  • Fairfield University
  • GE Digital
  • Godiva Chocolatier
  • Hasbro
  • IBM
  • Inspira Marketing
  • Medtronic
  • NBC Sports Group
  • Novartis
  • Northwell Health
  • Omnicom Health Group
  • Pfizer
  • SMBC
  • Travelers
  • WebMD
  • WFSB TV

Student Timeline

  September Juniors and seniors will receive an e-mail from the Career Center with a link to the online registration.
October Complete the online application that will assist in matching students to an opportunity based on career interest and location.
November Students must participate in a mandatory Orientation Workshop to learn about the program goals and procedures, and how to prepare for the Job Shadow experience.
December Contact the alumni mentor directly to arrange for your Shadow Day experience.
January Job Shadow!

Student Expectations

There is a mandatory Orientation. There will be a “returner” Orientation for students who participated last year. Here are some tips for a successful in person or vritual Job Shadow:

Prior to the Job Shadow visit...

  • If students are matched, they are expected to participate in the program. If, for any reason, students cannot participate after being matched, notify the Career Center immediately so we can match another student.
  • Contact the alumni mentor to schedule a convenient Job Shadow date.
  • Research the organization and prepare a list of questions to ask the alumni host.
  • Be sure to respond to all correspondence from the alumni mentor in a timely manner.
  • Plan transportation and allow plenty of time for traffic, etc.

During the Job Shadow visit...

  • Bring a padfolio with a notebook, pen, and copies of your resume.
  • Dress and speak professionally.
  • Arrive on time (or 5 minutes early).
  • Spend the day actively listening, learning, asking relevant questions, and taking notes.
  • Ask for business cards of anyone you meet with during the day so you can follow up with them.
  • Take some photos of you and your alumni host in front of a company sign and during other activities.

After the Job Shadow Day

  • Send thank you notes to your alumni host and anyone else you met during the Job Shadow day.
  • E-mail photos to careers@fairfield.edu so we can create an online album.

Student Job Shadow Experiences

Kathryn Harrington headshot

Kathryn Harrington

Class of '22

Read Kathryn's Testimonial
Kathryn Harrington '22 headshot
"I was able to gain a significant amount of knowledge about an industry and possible career paths in what I am interested in. I was happy with how approachable my match was and how he was very engaged in leading the conversation. I think the program was well adapted to the current environment."

— Kathryn Harrington ’22
Accounting

Samantha Gutch headshot

Samantha Gutch

Class of '21

Read Samantha's Testimonial
Samantha Gutch '21 headshot
"It was beneficial to have real-world exposure to a business and to learn about how each job in the company functions. I enjoyed hearing from different people in the company (alumni, marketing team, customer success, analytics). It was also nice being able to make new connections. The most valuable thing that I learned from the Job Shadow experience was how there are many different paths each person took, so not knowing exactly what and where you want to work does not mean you cannot be successful."

— Samantha Gutch ’21
Marketing

Matthew Marcelo headshot

Matthew Marcelo

Class of '21

Read Matthew's Testimonial
Matthew Marcelo '21 headshot
"My mentor provided me with valuable advice about the finance industry, and provided me with information on how I can succeed in the industry as I start looking for jobs and internships in finance. My mentor answered all of my questions and told me what employers usually look for in resumés. He also told me what employers look for when they conduct interviews and how I can make myself stand out against the competition."

— Matthew Marcelo ’21
Finance Major, Health Studies Minor

Kaitlyn Hanley headshot

Kaitlyn Hanley

Class of '21

Read Kaitlyn's Testimonial
Kaitlyn Hanley '21 headshot
"The most valuable thing was the advice that was given to me. My alumni mentor gave me tips on how to improve my resume, which seemed so little, but from a potential employer's eyes, made a big impact. Another piece of advice that was given to me is to try to stay positive no matter what since it can impact how an individual performs and thinks in their work environment."

— Kaitlyn Hanley ’21
Accounting Major, Business Analytics Minor

Kiersten Bjork headshot

Kiersten Bjork

Class of '21

Read Kiersten's Testimonial
bjork-kiersten_719467402_07092021.jpg
"My mentor gave me a lot of advice about how to navigate the postcollege process, which was great! I also learned a lot about the industry he works in. We had a really great chat about Marvel. My mentor writes for a sci-fi tv show, so this was an interest that we bonded over and it provided a great way to set the tone for our meeting."
  • Kiersten Bjork ‘21
    Theatre and English/Creative Writing Major
    Classical Studies and Environmental Studies Minor
Dante Gizzo headshot

Dante Gizzo

Class of '22

Read Dante's Testimonial
"I learned the importance of routinely reacting to people's posts on LinkedIn and using interpersonal skills in the workplace. I had learned of these two tools through different channels, but Tom reinforced them and I believe they will be beneficial for me later on in my professional career. I enjoyed Tom’s eagerness to reply to our questions and the questions my fellow participant asked too."

- Dante Gizzo ‘22
Information Systems & Operations Management Major, Business Analytics Minor

Alumni Job Shadow Experiences

Shauna Dresel headshot

Shauna Dresel

Class of '17

Read Shauna's Testimonial
Shauna Dresel '17 headshot
"I always enjoying meeting other Stags and helping future nurses prepare for their roles. I enjoy giving back and I hope to inspire these student nurses, the same way I was inspired when I was in their shoes. Job Shadow was a meaningful experience for me. I greatly enjoyed hosting the students virtually and I look forward to participating again next year."

— Shauna Dresel ’17
Staff Nurse II
Medical/Surgical Float Pool

Sarah Markham headshot

Sarah Markham

Class of '15

Read Sarah's Testimonial
Sarah Markham '15 headshot
"I really enjoyed talking with my advisee. He was a great fit for me and had many of the same issues and questions I had when I was at the same stage in my career. My student was very prepared, had a list of written questions, and was a good conversationalist. It was clear that he had thought about what he wanted to get from the meeting."

— Sarah Markham ’15
BA in English Literature
Law Clerk

Joe McConville headshot

Joe McConville

Class of ’14

Account Manager at Inspira Marketing

Read Joe's Testimonial
Joe McConville '14 headshot
"I enjoyed hearing about their Fairfield experience, what their big takeaways were, and what resonated most with them. It's always fun reminiscing and hearing what's changed. I personally enjoyed creating a day where I could give as much exposure as possible, both in the sense of what I do at a marketing company, as well as showing how a business comes together. Teaching and mentoring individuals (especially Fairfield students) has always been something I'm passionate about so it was a pleasure to be involved."

— Joe McConville ’14

Marybeth McManus headshot

Marybeth McManus

Class of ‘78, MPA, BSN, RN-BC

Read Marybeth's Testimonial
Marybeth McManus ‘78, MPA, BSN, RN-BC headshot
"I have been involved in the Fairfield Alumni Job Shadow initiative for several years and believe it benefits both the student nurse and myself. The students receive an overview of job opportunities throughout Northwell Health, exposure to a behavioral health hospital from the Chief Nursing Officer's perspective, and advice on how to start their career with opportunities at Northwell. In exchange, I see it as a recruitment opportunity and the chance to observe a student nurse's reaction to a specialty area such as inpatient behavioral health nursing.

At my son's graduation ceremony at Fairfield I was proud to see that my Alumni Job Shadow students and nurse externs were recipients of Magna Cum Laude and Sum Laude degrees!"

— Marybeth McManus ‘78, MPA, BSN, RN-BC
Chief Nursing Officer, Associate Executive Director of Patient Care Services
Zucker Hillside Hospital

John Iannarone headshot

John Iannarone

Class of ‘77

Read John's Testimonial
Johh Iannarone '77 headshot
"I had an absolutely wonderful experience over three different days with Emilse, Rami and Abdul. They were attentive and enthusiastic as we saw a variety of patients who presented with anything from routine problems to true medical emergencies. The patients enjoyed speaking and interacting with the students. Their interest and enthusiasm were contagious. All three of them are clearly motivated, smart, and so appreciative of their Fairfield Jesuit education and Ignatian values.

Spending time with these future physicians rekindled my enthusiasm for my medical career which spans 37 years. I enjoyed reminiscing about my time at Fairfield, what motivated me to pursue a medical career, and how my Fairfield Jesuit education continues to serve me well, especially in difficult situations.

I would highly recommend this program to classmates and colleagues, both as a great personal growth experience, as well as a way to give back to Fairfield University. Please sign me up for next year."

— John Iannarone '77
Urgent Care Physician
St. Vincent's Medical Center

Mary Buckholtz headshot

Mary Buckholtz

Parent of Class of ’24

Read Mary's Testimonial
"My student was extremely prepared and educated about a couple of different professions she is pursuing. Being able to share my role in the workforce with a comparison to the other profession of her interest gave her insight that she might not have found elsewhere. My match was extremely prepared. She asked good questions and it was obvious she had spent considerable time researching the professions that she is interested in pursuing."

- Mary Buckholtz
Parent of Class of ’24 master’s degree student

Katherine Goodfellow headshot

Katherine Goodfellow

Class of '18

Read Katherine's Testimonial
"Our conversation flowed easily, and I felt like they were extremely engaged and ready to learn. Both students were prepared and asked so many questions. One of my coworkers joined our call since she is another Fairfield alum and it was great to bounce off each other."

- Katherine Goodfellow ‘18
HR Generalist

Media

Search Results