Paradise Valley Community College’s Job Shadowing Program is off to a strong start this fall. The program, led by John McCrudden in PVCC’s Career Services department, has successfully connected several PVCC Alumni with current PVCC students.
Students are matched with a mentor versed in one of various fields of interest. To date, 52 shadow mentors have stepped up to assist students in determining if a particular field is a good fit for them.
“We’re in the early stages, but so far, we’ve received a lot of enthusiasm for this program both from alumni and students,” said McCrudden. “Internships have been scarce with the pandemic and students weren’t getting a lot of interaction with jobs. Through this program, students have access to experienced professionals, PVCC alumni and faculty members who speak from experience and can share their honest insight.”
Mentors can engage with students in a variety of ways including a simple email, a phone call, corresponding through LinkedIn, or meeting face-to-face or virtually.
“When Cassidy (Puckett) reached out, I told her a little about my background and experience and asked what her goals were with the job shadow match,” said Salina Pajak, a former PVCC nursing student. “Her questions were on point and specific to how to best network and get into specific hospitals. I’m looking forward to talking with her again as she continues her journey through our nursing program.”
“I found it very helpful to have access to someone who has done the program before, gaining valuable insight on what to expect but also details about what the nursing profession looks like, especially in the post pandemic world,” said Puckett, who is a Block 2 nursing student in the concurrent enrollment program (CEP) with Arizona State University. “The field of nursing is so vast, and I am an information seeker, so I love to hear about all the different possibilities I can explore in the future.”
Social Work Faculty Stacy Moreno, who has been with the Maricopa County Community College District since 2014 and PVCC since 2020, also lent her support recently to a student interested in learning more about Moreno’s profession and hopes to connect more with other students.
“I think it’s important to give back and help out where we can,” said Moreno. “It’s part of a student’s well being to help them consider what they want to do with their lives. I network a lot in my line of work and have a lot of connections. If I can help students determine what they want to do or steer them in the right direction, I’m all for it.”
“Stacy was very helpful and insightful, not only because it was fascinating to hear her speak about a passion that is so close to her heart, but because her level of detail and information helped me determine early on that social work may not be a suitable career for me,” said PVCC student Haden Newhouse, who earned her Associate’s of Arts (AA) degree in General Education last fall.
Newhouse, who plans to transfer to Northern Arizona University in Spring 2022, said the job shadow program is a great resource for students and has given her the opportunity to explore many interests and connections.