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PTSA revives job shadowing opportunities after four years

Students+gain+firsthand+work+experience+through+the+job+shadow%0Aprogram%2C+where+they+get+to+work+with+professionals+in+the+field.%0APhoto+used+with+permission+from+Mimi+Wong.
Students gain firsthand work experience through the job shadow program, where they get to work with professionals in the field. Photo used with permission from Mimi Wong.

What you need to know:

  • The Job Shadow Program will be held Monday, March 18 for the first time since its cancellation four years ago due to COVID-19.
  • Some hosts carried over from previous years and some were newly introduced by Lynbrook PTSA.
  • Program co-chairs are excited about the event and the insight and experiences students will gain

For the first time in four years since its cancellation, the annual Lynbrook Job Shadow program will return on Monday, March 18. The day-long event will provide students with opportunities to witness the day to day work of professionals in various fields firsthand.

Due to the COVID-19 restrictions in 2020, the program was put on pause. This year, the combined efforts of the Lynbrook Job Shadow co-chairs, Mimi Wong and Faneetha Nimmagadda, along with Lynbrook PTSA, were able to revive the program.

With Lynbrook PTSA’s assistance, the co-chairs were able to recruit a sufficient

This is a great opportunity for them because not many high schools around this area have a program like this,” Wong said. As compared to other schools, students have the ability to select specific jobs they would like to do, whereas some other schools only allow students to select industries.

— Mimi Wong, Job Shadow Co-Chair

number of hosts from different fields. The diverse selection of opportunities include news anchorage, veterinary, orthodontics, law, culinary services and more.

Along with being hosts themselves, parents introduced co-workers and friends to the program. Some hosts are Lynbrook alumni and around half of the hosts this year were carried over from previous years. 

“We tried to contact them so they would come back, and some were really enthusiastic to do so,” Nimmagadda said. 

Although the resurrection of the program has always been in the works, the team behind the program was unable to reimplement it until this year. They needed to wait for companies to send employees back to work in-person. 

“The objective of the program is not to shadow someone working remotely, but to actually go into a company and follow a day in the life of an employee,” Wong said.

Along with struggles of coordinating with company in-person work regulations, the greatest challenge for the program co-chairs was the reparation of the program server. The purpose of the software in place was to match all program hosts with student participants. They also needed to allow student users to create personal accounts and logins to input their program preferences. With the help of a group of student recruits, the volunteers worked tirelessly to reconstruct the server from scratch. 

However, the struggles of the process pale in comparison to the variety of benefits that student participants gain from the experience. 

“I felt good about being a part of the program,” Wong said. “I like making sure that we give good opportunities for students to see what’s out there.”

Connecting with professionals not only allows students to gain hands-on experience, but also to explore their curiosities. According to program co-chairs, asking questions regarding the specific education and training required to attain the job and unique work demands are crucial to maximizing the experience. 

“This is a great opportunity for them because not many high schools around this area have a program like this,” Wong said. “As compared to other schools, students have the ability to select specific jobs they would like to do, whereas some other schools only allow students to select industries.”

The program is welcome to a wide variety of students. Students seeking to explore future careers can participate to broaden their horizons and identify their interests. For students that are resolute on their future career, the opportunity will introduce them to crucial skills that the jobs require. 

Program participant and junior Sarthak Ratan is assigned to Vice Mayor Rosemary Kamei from the City of San Jose’s Office of Council District 1. 

“She recently came to campus for FBLA, so I met her there and thought she was really interesting,” Ratan said. “I’m looking forward to the Job Shadow program to see how her professional day-to-day life would be, and understand what she does as a vice mayor.”

Unsure of her future career path, junior Yvette Chen will use this opportunity to determine her interests. She is set to follow Dr. Sanjay Agarwal, a pulmonologist who also specializes in patients with sleep problems.

“This program provides me with an opportunity to explore careers I would have never thought of pursuing,” Chen said. “Maybe I’ll find that I’m really interested in pulmonology after this job shadow.”

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About the Contributor
Yvonne Wu, Staffer
(she/her) Yvonne Wu is a junior and a first-year staffer. She enjoys playing tennis and piano, as well as listening to music, eating food and sleeping.

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