students get a look into the future
JA Job Shadow™ students were asked if they would recommend this program to a friend. Nearly all (94.6%) indicated they would.
Students: JA made me realize the importance of staying in school.
Students: JA connected what I learned in the classroom with real life.
Teachers say that participating in the JA Job Shadow™ developed or improved students' skills in four key areas:
- Interpersonal Communication
- Decision Making
- Critical Thinking
All teachers reported that they believed JA Job Shadow™ has a positive impact on students. Most teachers agreed or strongly agreed that the JA curriculum connects what students learn in the classroom with the outside world and their future, reinforces the value of an education, helps prepare students to be successful in the future, encourages students’ creativity, exposes students to new career possibilities, and prepares students to make good decisions about money.
Those teachers that indicated that the program had a positive impact provided the following rationale: it opens their eyes to outside of the classroom and helps them know what to expect, it introduces them to helpful information, and “provides access to skills, workplace environments and opportunities that many students would not have without JA.”
A Positive Impact for volunteers
Job shadowing also provides benefits for business hosts. Employers can promote the quality of their products and services to a student who has already expressed curiosity about them. Although a job shadow experience is not a recruiting tool, workers are free to point out the advantages of their jobs, the strong commitment of their companies, and the satisfaction they derive from their work.
When employers host students, they also are helping to ensure the quality of the future workforce. They have a unique opportunity to instill in students a sense of what it takes to be successful: the necessity for hard work and persistence, the importance of good communication, and a positive attitude.
In addition, job shadowing is a chance for an entire company to become involved in its community. While other programs may provide opportunities for only toplevel executives to attend functions with stakeholders, job shadowing is a program that reaches employees at all levels. For example, previous job shadow mentors have included President George Bush, The Today Show’s Matt Lauer and Ann Curry, a former Miss America, and AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson. But hosts come from all walks of life and a broad cross section of industries. Students learn from their experiences that every job in a company is important and that all employees depend on their peers to do their jobs well and to satisfy their customers.
Moreover, employees who volunteer view job shadowing as an important component of their corporate responsibility. In a study of workplace attitudes, workers at Deloitte were asked about their career objectives. Many said they were proud to work for a company that encouraged volunteerism, because being a volunteer actually enhanced other on-the-job competencies. Of those responding, 76 percent said that they were able to “hone their leadership skills . . . and develop skills they can use at work” through volunteering. 63 percent of employees reported an improved perception of their company as a better place to work compared to other companies.
In addition, these other positive effects were noted:
- 63 percent of employees reported an improved perception of their company as a better place to work compared to other companies.
- 67 percent had increased job satisfaction levels.
- 54 percent were likely to make positive comments about their employer.
- Employees who participated in volunteer programs had higher retention rates, thus reducing the costly need to seek and train new employees.
Clearly, the value of volunteering works in both directions: Employees seek work environments with outreach potentials that enhance their leadership and communication skills. Companies seek employees whose attitudes and dedication enhance a corporation’s image and coincide with its mission. Results of the Educational Quality of the Workforce National Employer Survey confirm that the skills employers find most important are related to attitude and communication. It is precisely these kinds of skills that are promoted, demonstrated, and enhanced in a job shadow experience.