Alumni Job Shadow Program

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Job Shadow Connects Students and Alumni for Career Exploration

Alumni Job Shadow is going virtual in 2021!

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 2021, students will have a chance to learn more about various professions, receive career-related advice, and reflect on the ways in which their education can prepare them for life after college by conducting a 1:1 virtual information interview with alumni.

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

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 so we can create an online album.

Student Job Shadow Experiences

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

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

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

Alumni Job Shadow Experiences

Joe McConville' 14

Account Manager at Inspira Marketing

Read Joe's Testimonial
Joe McConville '21 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

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

Johh 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."

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


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