Nearly every high school student faces the same dilemma come senior year: what to study in college. It's an expensive and highly impactful decision. Unfortunately, according to a national survey in 2015, while the vast majority of students want to go to college, few feel prepared to do so. Only 46 percent said their school helped them figure out which careers matched their interests and abilities and only 49 percent said their school helped them understand the steps they need to take in order to have the career they want.1 These numbers paint a sobering picture of the state of career readiness in America.
To figure it all out, some students choose to job shadow, which is a great idea. Not only do admissions committees and future employers love seeing job shadow experiences on resumes, but job shadowing also provides students with invaluable work experience without requiring them to spend every day of summer break on the job.2 Unfortunately, when it comes to conventional job shadowing, very few online resources exist to connect students to professionals and those that do, typically a local career resource center or college, often present the information in an unhelpful, non-intuitive manner. Typically, these shadowing opportunities focus almost exclusively on traditional, academic-based careers such as a lab technician or nurse and rarely dive into the creative arts.
Conventional job shadowing is a daunting experience. Cold-calling businesses to set up a shadowing appointment is not only awkward but highly inefficient, requiring constant communication and coordination. On top of that, the professional does not receive much benefit for giving up his or her time. In general, job shadowing follows this format: research industries of interest, create a list of companies, find one you think might work, cold-call or cold-email a specific employee, know what to ask, talk logistics, do more research in preparation, show up and pray you learn something. What a hassle.
Shadower minimizes or eliminates that process altogether: no more nervous cold calling, no more unanswered emails, no more digging around the web lost and confused. With Shadower, high school students can research career paths across a range of fields on a clean, organized and intuitive platform. They'll find people who truly want to be shadowed, people who want to share their passions with a wider audience. On top of all that, they'll be able to job shadow far more frequently. Before Shadower, shadowing someone new each day would not be logistically possible.
For parents, it is a fantastic opportunity and one that could save them from spending a massive amount of money supporting a child unable to find the right major in college. Inside the U.S., 67 precent of parents have paid or would consider paying for tutoring for their child, according to HSBC, so there is certainly a market for Shadower among parents looking to supplement their child's education.3