Every now and then a high school student from the local community asks if I would allow them to “job shadow” me. I try to go out of my way to make the experience a positive one for these students and I have learned a lot in the process. When I plan to host a job shadower it forces me to think about why I have chosen to pursue a career in history and the amount of work, usually performed outside the classroom, that goes into an average work day.
This is why I think the Architectural Conservancy of Ontario‘s NextGen’s job shadowing program designed to connect student and emerging professionals in public history to practitioners in the field is a wonderful idea. I know that job shadowing events are quite common among career center professionals, but as more and more history departments begin to think about how to train students for jobs in a variety of fields these kinds of events should be considered at the department level as well. Read more about this program here. Here is a link to a post on the program as HISTPRES.com.