Current student and past Project CLOSE-UP participant Jocelyn Davis describes her career shadowing experience and invites you to learn more about the program.
I remember my first year at the Valley; the shock of graduating high school had just worn off when I woke up in my dorm room in Mary Green Hall. I was surrounded by more people, more opportunities, and even more questions. I asked, “What am I doing here?” How was I, just a freshman, supposed to decide what to study, or even harder, what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. Students in my hall seemed to have their lives figured out; I overheard plans of becoming physical therapists, teachers, and business owners. I still had no idea. That’s when I got involved with Career Services and Project CLOSE-UP—a career shadowing program just for freshmen.
Looking back, Project CLOSE-UP has been the most influential experience of my college career; not only in career planning, but overall. I have many reasons for saying this but I’ll sum it up with these three points: 1) It was an opportunity to learn about myself. When do we as students ever have the time to sit down and think, “What am I good at?” or “What skills should I try to improve?” Project CLOSE-UP made me make time—and I left with answers. 2) This was the first time I was venturing into the professional world and I was pretty clueless. Letter of introduction? Informational interview? Job shadowing? We covered all of this, and each component helped me receive great feedback from my mentor. 3) Even after my day of shadowing, the experience is not over. I am still in contact with my mentor; he provides me with advice, encouragement, and opportunities—he even offered me an internship for summer 2013.
That was 2011, now I am a junior. I have declared a major (even a minor) and have had multiple experiences with career shadowing, internships, and job offers. Have I mentioned that I was hired as a student assistant in the Career Services office as a result of my shadowing experience? With every new adventure I pursue, I find myself turning back to the skills I learned from Project CLOSE-UP and I believe they have made all the difference.
Find out more about Project CLOSE-UP. Plan to attend the information sessions about the program on October 16th (11am or 4pm in the Career Services Office) where you can see the digital story I produced for the program.