Exploring Diverse Careers in Academia

An Experiential Job Shadow Program

Are you pursuing a PhD and wondering what comes next? There are many meaningful roles on campus for you to explore, and the Centre for Career Action has partnered with university staff to create a structured job shadow program for PhD students.

Application information - Winter 2020

Applications are now closed for the Winter 2020 term.

Applicants list their top 3 host choices and may indicate a specific person, role, department or area of interest from the list of Job Shadow Program Hosts. Spaces in the shadow program are limited, and therefore not all applicants may be selected to participate.

Application deadline: Monday, December 2, 2019 at 4:00 p.m.


About the Job Shadow Program

The program is designed to link PhD students with staff members on campus who hold advanced degrees in order learn more about the variety of careers in academia. Through first-hand learning, participants will:

  • Discover what different roles on campus entail
  • Learn how individuals in specific campus roles are using their advanced degrees
  • Build  a personal network on campus
  • Identify potential career paths that one might enjoy

Job shadow experiences vary in length and structure, from 1-half day, to 1-full day, to a multi-day experience (for example, two 3-hour time blocks), which will be determined by the job shadow host. All experiences must:

  • Equal a minimum combined total of 4 hours in length (not necessarily consecutive)
  • Provide a tour of department and an informational interview with the job shadow host
  • Provide the student with an opportunity to explore and reflect on a case study related to the department

Successful applicants will be notified by Wednesday, January 8, and asked to attend a preparation session on Monday, January 13.


Student testimonials

The Job Shadowing Program was a unique opportunity to get hands-on experience and observe the incredible work done by university staff. My host was absolutely fantastic; he went out of his way to ensure that I would have the best experience possible, and I am very grateful for his support and guidance. If you are a PhD student who is considering a career in university administration and/or student services, this program is for you!

This was a really good experience to get a clearer perspective on alternative careers after Ph.D. I would definitely recommend this to my colleagues.

Participating in this program gave me knowledge and skills on how to approach a job shadowing experience and on how to navigate a professional setting. The shadow experience itself allowed me to see the types of staff jobs that are available to PhDs, and I am excited to include these positions in my job search. The program itself was carefully thought out and designed to help us get the most out of the experience. We were given tips and best practices, and encouraged to reflect on our experience. In addition to learning about the position that I shadowed for, I also learned about many other staff positions on campus which sounded interesting and which I will do more research about.