Job Shadows May Be the Answer for Student Success

by Angela Niesz

Figuring out which professional direction to take may be hard task, but Co-op Ed 119 is there to help.

Co-op Ed 119 is a job shadow experience freshmen and sophomores may participate in during May term at Simpson College.

Jennifer del Pino, director of career services, explained how Co-op Ed 119 works.

“Co-op Ed 119 is only for May term, and we work with students for the three weeks,” del Pino said. “The first week involves preparing resumes, cover letters, looking at interviewing skills as well as information interviewing skills for the job shadow experience.”

Steve Griffith, senior vice president and dean for academic affairs, encourages students to take advantage of the job shadowing experience.

“Co-op Ed 119 is really best for first and second year students as they’re starting to explore potential areas,” Griffith said. “We are pushing 119 because students need to get out and explore their vocation; their potential job.”

In order to participate in the course, students have to find their own company and research it.

“The actual job shadow location is up to the student and is determined before the May term starts,” del Pino said. “This year we do need students on campus, and the job shadows will most likely be more in the Des Moines area or central Iowa area.”

Griffith also has high hopes for the future of Co-op Ed 119 and other experiential programs at Simpson College.

“The plan all along is to encourage more and more students to do Co-op 119, internships, study abroad and get off campus to do exciting and interesting things,” Griffith said. “What we would like to do over the next few years [is] increase the number of students who are doing experiential education in may term.”

Sophomore Arron Bodine was interested in Co-op Ed 119 at first, but after he found out it was a job shadow rather than an internship he changed his mind. Bodine reflected on the importance of completing a job shadow.

“It seems like the really important thing to do in order to get a job out in the real world,” Bodine said.

Co-op Ed 119 counts as three credits on a student transcript when the job shadow is completed, similar to any other May term course.