Students introduced to professional opportunities through job shadowing
Recently Skaneateles High School Juniors were introduced to the district’s Job Shadowing Program, which provides students an opportunity to meet, connect with, and shadow different members of the community to increase career awareness.
Part of the introduction included a student assembly, coordinated by Job Shadowing Director Lori Ruhlman, featuring a dozen Skaneateles High School seniors who had previously participated in the program, as well as Skaneateles Central School District Superintendent, Ken Slentz.
“Take the risk to try everything. Learn what you like and what you really don’t like,” Slentz told students. “Take the risk to learn.”
In under five minutes, Slentz took students through his 30-year journey, which included several different career paths. Slentz considered careers in landscape architecture, law, and political science before finding his passion in education.
“Since 2002, I have yet to go to work,” said Slentz. “I love what I do and it wouldn’t have happened if I took a linear path. I took risks.”
Joining Slentz in the job shadowing presentation were Seniors Tyler Atwater, Natalie Condon, Madison Dubach, Brady Isles, Will Johnson, James Leubner, Nieve Morse, Zoe Osborne, Luke Rathgeb, Sierra Sander, and Liz Williams.
Each student presented their personal experiences in the Job Shadowing Program which included internships, camps, field trips, and in-school sessions with professionals.
Atwater, who used the Job Shadowing Program to land a job as a voice actor, says it takes effort to achieve your goals.
“If there’s anything I can tell you, it’s that you aren’t going to make your dreams come true by just sitting around and expecting people to notice that you’re great,” said Atwater. “It takes a lot of hard work and dedication, and sometimes you’ll want to give up. You have to be prepared to fail, in order to succeed.”
Williams shadowed in healthcare with the goal of one day being a Physician Assistant.
The job shadowing Program helped Williams realize what she does want to do, and what she does not want to do after having shadowed an integrative medicine practitioner, an anesthesiologist, and a physician assistant.
“The shadowing experiences you think aren’t helpful, are the most helpful,” said Williams. “The best thing you can do at this point in your life is to explore what you want to do.”
The job shadowing program is always interested in bringing in new members of the community to be shadowed. If you are interested in having a student shadow you, or coming into school to talk to students with interests in your career, please contact Lori Ruhlman at firstname.lastname@example.org.