What is an Informational Interview?
An informational interview is an opportunity for students to meet with professionals to learn more about a particular career, industry, or company. Students typically prepare questions to ask the professional that give insight into what a profession is really like.
*Informational interviews are not job interviews, but can be used to build relationships with professionals that may benefit future job searches.
Why Conduct an Informational Interview?
Informational interviews allow students to learn more about a profession in a personal, question-answer setting. Students learn from the personal experiences of the professional and have the opportunity to clarify questions or concerns about a career that are often unresolved through other methods of job exploration. Students can also receive advice about the industry and how to set appropriate goals.
Informational interviews are valuable networking tools as they establish the foundation for a professional relationship with professionals. Because the interaction is driven by the student, the setting is less pressured or stressful and can help students gain confidence in interacting with professionals.
Who Should Pursue an Informational Interview?
Informational interviews are beneficial for both students in the career exploration stage and those with clear career goals. Any student interested in building relationships with professionals or learning about a specific job or company should participate in informational interviews. Even established professionals can benefit from the career advice gained while conducting an informational interview.
How to Get Started
Career Counselors at Career Development Center specialize in developing professional contacts within each school's area of interest. Professionals who are willing to offer informational interviews, and students who are seeking these opportunities, can contact the appropriate Career Counselor.
What is Job Shadowing?
Job shadowing allows students to observe the typical daily activities of professionals in the field they wish to learn more about. Job shadowing can be one or two hours of observation, a full-day, or a regular commitment involving up to hundreds of hours.
Why Job Shadow?
Job shadowing is a career exploration tool for students who seek clarity and understanding about a particular career. It allows students to interact with professionals, ask questions, and understand how theory and ideal roles actually apply to daily tasks and operations. Job shadowing helps students gain realistic expectations about a career without the pressure of actually working in the field.
Job shadowing is also another way to develop relationships and expand professional networks.
Who Can Job Shadow?
Any student, regardless of major or year status, can benefit from job shadowing. Students in career exploration stages can use job shadowing to narrow career options, while students with clear major decisions can refine emphases or gain references from professionals in their field. Many students solidify, or re-think, their career goals after learning what a career is really like during a job shadow.
Many professional schools, particularly in healthcare, require extensive job shadowing as a prerequisite for admission. Students in these fields should speak with an advisor to determine admission requirements.
How to Get Started
Career Counselors at Career Development Center specialize in developing professional contacts within each school's area of interest. Professionals who are willing to offer job shadowing experiences, and students who are seeking these opportunities, can contact the appropriate Career Counselor.