The Cal Job Shadow Program connects enrolled students with a Cal alum to explore a career field during spring break. This program is offered through a partnership between the Career Center and the Cal Alumni Association.
The Cal Job Shadow program pairs students with alumni to get an insider view of their workplace. Students gain insight to professional environments, have the chance to explore a career area to which they might otherwise not have exposure, and build their professional network in their chosen career area.
This is your opportunity to see what it’s really like to be a public defender, doctor, architect, engineer, teacher, social worker, writer, scientist, consultant, IT analyst, professor, youth center director, financial advisor, and more.
Register on the Berkeley Career Network, where you can connect with UC Berkeley alumni. Check Handshake for details on attending an information session to learn more about the program.
Advantages of Participating in a Job Shadow Program
- Explore a career field
- Gain real-world workplace experience
- Learn how to apply your academic major through discussions with a professional who has a similar background
- Assess your “fit” for a particular position or organization
- Make career connections and begin establishing your alumni network
Who Can Participate?
Open to all currently enrolled undergraduate students including undocumented and international students. Priority is given to freshmen and sophomores with special consideration in the matching process for Education Opportunity Program (EOP), Student Support Services (SSS), Transfer students, and Pell grant recipients. Students graduating in December of the current year are not eligible.
Where To Start
Watch this video with tips on how you can get started. You can access the Cal Job Shadow Program page on the Cal Alumni Association website here.
A Job shadow experience is an opportunity that can last from one day to two weeks. It can be virtual or in-person. Opportunities are available in a wide variety of career fields in the San Francisco Bay Area, Los Angeles, New York, Washington, DC, and other domestic and international locations. Through this experience, you can:
- Observe the workday and workplace of your Alumni host; attend meetings alongside them, observe work-related activities, and participate in other learning opportunities.
- Talk to the Alumni host about their career journey and the field
- Provide limited assistance with projects or tasks to help you get acquainted with the organization and the profession
Job Shadow Externship Timeline
|TIMELINE||PERIOD OPENS||PERIOD CLOSES|
|Externship Opens to Student||TBD||TBD|
|Student Selection Period||TBD||TBD|
|Externship Period||Spring Break||Spring Break|
Application and Matching Process
- Participants will be selected based on responses to the registration questions.
- Along with location, matching will be based on a combination of factors including preferences selected by students and overlap in interests and background identified in program registration questions.
- You will receive an email notification once you are matched to your Alumni Host.
- Students will favorite alumni who are in career paths they are interested in and the Cal Job Shadow Program Staff will match Alumni Hosts and students based on the student’s career interests and availability.
- View this video to see how you can favorite Alumni Hosts.
- Who Pays For Expenses?
Students are responsible for all expenses related to the externship, including travel, local transportation, accommodations (if any), meals, etc.
However, Pell grant recipients and students with disabilities may be eligible for a travel stipend upon completion of the externship; applications for these stipends will be sent to all participants at that time.
- What if I apply but change my mind or cannot complete the job shadow externship?Once a student is matched, he/she/they must follow through with the externship. Students must also be able to commit to the length and dates indicated on the web or agreed upon with the Extern Host. Students who decline or cancel an externship offer that they applied for will not will not be rematched to another opportunity during that year's program. If an emergency arises and you absolutely cannot participate in the externship, please email the Cal Externship Program Office.
- Are there externships during the summer?Not at this time, as we are piloting a new system. Maybe in the future we will add a summer option.
- Can we do multiple externships?Students can only do one externship. This is to ensure that more students have access to this experience.
- Is it possible not to be matched?Yes, it is possible for a student to not be matched with an Extern Host. If you are not matched, please make an appointment with a Career Counselor on Handshake to discuss how you can connect with alumni for an informational interview or job shadowing opportunity.