Teenager Job Shadows 55 Professionals and Gets Multiple Job Offers

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Colleges state students are naively selecting majors based on popular TV shows. 17 year old Sondra Clark has explored over 55 careers by job shadowing people across the country. She's spent the day with a shoe designer at Nike, a Broadway theater critic and Shamu's trainer at SeaWorld. Teens gain realistic experiences job shadowing professionals.

Parents complain their teenagers are selecting college majors based on the popularity of TV shows. Students decide to be forensic scientists without knowing what the job entails.

17 year old Sondra Clark has spent the day with over 55 professionals across the country. Her job shadow experiences range from shadowing Shamu's trainer at SeaWorld , to a shoe designer at Nike to a Broadway theater critic. She's learned first hand what it takes to be a photographer at Lands' End or a camp director for special needs children. "What surprised me the most," said Clark, "is how many people offered me a job after I graduate from college. They saw I was a hard and enthusiastic worker and wanted me to work for them!"

February 2 is the 10th anniversary of National Job Shadow Day. Over one million students job shadow a professional on that day to get an idea about career possibilities. Boeing, Microsoft and even Laura Bush participate. To help teens participate in a job shadow:

1: Ask teens about their career interests.

2: Find 2-3 professionals in your community in that particular field.

3: Ask for a chance to job shadow them.

4: Arrive on time for the job shadow.

5: Make eye contact with all adults and speak in full sentences.

6: Send a thank you note afterward.

"Job shadows are a great way to learn about different jobs," said Clark. "I ended up scrubbing slimy fish tanks at an aquarium and even collecting horse manure at a research center." Most teens are too young for an internship, yet they can easily spend a few hours exploring various careers through job shadowing. Many high schools now require students to do a job shadow as a class requirement. The actual hours participating in a job have greater impact than a description in a book.

Clark has written six books and her fifth book is called "Cool Careers in Recreation" where she describes her experiences job shadowing 25 people in recreation-related degrees. For now, she's met so many people in amazing jobs that she has no idea what her college major will be.

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SILVANA CLARK

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