Job Shadow Week is a Great Way to Help Students This Summer

Author: Leilani Brown
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By Leilani M. Brown

We are most certainly living in unprecedented times. As parents, educators, and leaders we are trying to manage our health and well-being during COVID-19 as well as promote and ensure equity for all people and reflect on what more we can do to ensure equity for all people, navigating an uncertain future is a different kind of challenge.

Our teens are challenged differently in this crisis, with
classes and summer camps canceled, graduations going virtual and their futures
more uncertain than ever before. And, the loss of independence and social
interaction should not be under-estimated.   It is almost impossible
to imagine life returning to normal, but that is exactly the reason we need help
our kids continue to dream and pursue their passions for the future.

At K12, we are striving to do that in a number of ways.
We’re hosting tuition-free,
virtual summer camps
to help kids explore new careers in a fun, engaging
way. And from July 13-17, we are taking that one step further by hosting a
virtual Job Shadow Week in partnership
with Tallo and Nepris.

We’re focused on using this time for career exploration
because even before this pandemic, it was clear that the traditional K-12
school system alone wasn’t providing students with the career preparation they
need. In fact, in a recent survey, more
than half
of college students said they changed
their major at least once, which should come as no surprise considering only
49% were confident in their career path when they first enrolled.

Educating our kids about the abundance of career
opportunities that are out there is the first step to ensuring their success.
After all, how can anyone be expected to choose a job that they’ll love and
will suit their interests, if they don’t know it exists or what it will entail?

Still, we recognize that classroom learning can only go so
far. Students need on-the-job insights and experience with professionals
working in the industry to really know if that job is something they want to
do. And just because they can’t get that in-person right now, doesn’t mean that
they shouldn’t get that chance at all. 

So, as part of Job
Shadow Week
, students from across the country will get to explore companies
from diverse industries – with presenters from Google, Salesforce, Nokia, NASA,
and more – all without stepping outside their front door. They’ll get to
network with the professionals in live meetings, use our Career Explorer tool
to learn more if one industry really piques their interest. And what’s more,
they’ll experience Nepris, a place where they can continue to interact with
seasoned professionals.

Speaking of seasoned professionals, there are benefits to their participation as well. Since this is a virtual event, employers can interact with students from all over the place, resulting in a substantially wider pool of connections. Building a large and diverse talent pipeline is important, especially considering almost three-quarters of employers have a hard time finding skilled candidates, and 45% are already concerned about finding employees with the necessary talents. Bridging the gap between students and potential employers through events like Job Shadow Week is a chance to educate the next generation of job-seekers about the fundamental skills and requirements for their chosen career, and ultimately to improve employers’ chances of creating a competent and desirable workforce for the future.

When it comes to our children, all we want is to ensure that every possible opportunity is available to them, but these days that’s easier said than done – the pandemic is disrupting life in ways that are discouraging to say the least. However, there is a way to support and encourage them to develop their passions this summer. Provide them with the resources they need to plan for the future by signing them up for this year’s Job Shadow Week.

To learn more about Job Shadow Week, visit

Job Shadow Week is a Great Way to Help Students This Summer
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