Job Shadow Day at Charlestown High School
Students spent time recently with members of the Boston police and fire departments, a software development company, law firm and other local businesses.
Recently, 33 students from Charlestown High School participated in Job Shadow Day. These students spent the day alongside local professionals, learning about the world of work and understanding what it takes to stand out in today’s competitive job market.
“It was a really good experience,“ said CHS senior Sarah Williams, who spent the day at the Charlestown Substance Abuse Coalition.
Williams wants to pursue a career in social work, and Job Shadow Day gave her the chance to see the day-to-day realities of such a job.
“You don’t want to go to college and study something you don’t really know anything about,” Williams said.
Thanks to Job Shadow Day, she’ll be able to make more informed decisions about her future and about what she’ll study in college.
Job Shadow Day was organized by the Boston Private Industry Council (PIC), a nonprofit organization that makes professional experience a priority for high school students. Along with Job Shadow Day, the PIC also helps students find jobs, research career fields, develop interview skills, and write résumés.
“It’s our goal to prepare students for the real world,” said PIC Career Specialist Julia di Bonaventura who works at Charlestown High School. “Students can benefit from learning more about the 21st-century workplace where everything moves at a break-neck pace.”
While much of what students learn in school is important for their intellectual and academic advancement, it’s not always relevant to the real-life workplace. By participating in Job Shadow Day, students see for themselves the kinds of skills they’ll need to succeed. This means sitting in on client meetings, talking to business executives, and becoming familiar with the latest technology.
“It’s important for students get a taste of what these actual career fields look as they prepare for college,” said Sarah Coughlin.
Coughlin is the youth prevention director at the Charlestown Substance Abuse Coalition. She had three students with her on Job Shadow Day. They spent the day learning about the role of social work within the community of Charlestown and also visited Area A, the downtown police station that covers Charlestown.
Along with the Charlestown Substance Abuse Coalition, CHS students spent Job Shadow Day with the Boston Fire Department, a software development company, a law firm, small art start-up and other local businesses. These destinations were coordinated to align with the students’ professional interests.
CHS ninth grader and Charlestown resident Selena Rizzo went to the Museum of Science.
“It was fun,” she said. “I learned about marketing and how people talk on the job. It was cool.”
Job Shadow Day is part of a broader effort going on in high schools today. In the competitive job market, there’s an increased demand for tech savvy employees who have already mastered the skills they’ll need to be successful in the workplace. At Charlestown High School, teaching these skills starts early and continues throughout students’ high school careers.
Job Shadow Day is an annual PIC-sponsored event. If you’d like to sign-up to be a part of this great learning experience for next year, please contact Julia di Bonaventura at email@example.com. To learn more about the Boston Private Industry Council, check out this recent PBS special or visit the PIC website at www.bostonpic.org.