Since its inception about 15 years ago, 751 area students have gained insights into their career possibilities with help from the Lynnfield Business Coalition's job shadowing program.
This year, 35 students participated in the annual job shadowing program, which matched them up with area companies from industries they may someday want to work in.
Broad Range Of Career Possibilities
Participating companies and institutions ranged from Mass. General and Children's Hospital to the Summer Street and Huckleberry Hill Schools in Lynnfield, the Massachusetts State Police, the Boston Breakers (women's soccer team) and others in fields including law, hospitality and physical therapy.
The latest program ran on May 17-18 this year.
This year saw one likely anomaly where only four of the 35 students were boys, although most recent years have seen girls outnumbering the boys in the program by about a 2-1 margin. In 2010, there were 52 participants, and 44 in 2009. This year's program also had 20 sponsors to work with, compared to 23 in 2010 and 29 in 2006.
Job Shadowing Program Looks Ahead
Last night at the Lynnfield School Committee meeting, Wally McKenzie of the Lynnfield Business Coalition reported that some recent challenges to the program have included tighter security policies at computer software companies, and certain restrictions in healthcare institutions associated with the HIPAA patient privacy law. He also cited a lingering bad economy that has left companies without the time and resources they may have had before the recession to get involved.
Still, the program continues to offer area students the chance to have a valuable learning experience and to get a better idea of what career paths may be for them, and McKenzie said that participating companies tend to want to stay involved. At the meeting, McKenzie described how one's student had headed to Middlesex Community College on her job shadowing day and had the opportunity to interact with some French-speaking Morrocans.
Career Goals Changing With The Times
In fact, McKenzie noted that four students had expressed a strong interest in international relations this year, and that they had been matched up to companies involved in international business. Another student even expressed interest in heart surgery.
Other innovations in next year's program may include using texting more to communicate with students, and including parents on program emails to ensure more rapid responses. With a two-week window for registration, the program still got about 45 percent of its registrations in the final two days.
Many participating students have also apparently expressed the desire to have a longer day spent in the job shadowing program - of course inviting joking speculation as to whether they would still feel that way after six months in the workforce.