Informational Interviews & Job Shadowing

Career Development facilitates connections between alumni, parents, and other community volunteers with current students and fellow alumni. These volunteers are willing to share their time and knowledge, and make themselves available to discuss their own education, career paths, occupations, firms, industries, and other experiences that informed their career-related decisions. Informational interviewing and job shadowing can be valuable resources for individuals who wish to obtain career information from and network with professionals in their areas of professional interest. Both current students and alumni are encouraged to use these services. These activities may be accomplished individually, or as a part of a longer relationship with a professional mentor through the Benedictine University Mentorship Program (click to learn more).

Informational Interviews:

As its name suggests, the goal of conducting an informational interview is to obtain information by conducting an interview (not for the purpose of asking for a job or an internship). This can be a valuable activity for someone curious to learn about a certain career path, occupation, field or industry, and to gain insight from a professional working in a area of potential interest to you. Download this guide to learn more about the recommended process and for sample questions to ask. After the interview, don't forget to send a thank you email or note, and and invitation to connect with you on LinkedIn.

How you can benefit from informational interviewing:

  • Learn from an individual's professional and personal experiences
  • Receive guidance on searching for internships or jobs, writing resumes, and preparing for job interviews
  • Receive guidance in applying for advanced degree programs
  • Engage in discussions about career-related activities

Job Shadowing:

Like informational interviewing, job shadowing is another great way to acquaint yourself with the inner workings of a particular occupation, field, company, and work environment. Observing people in action, doing a job you're contemplating, allows you to better imagine yourself in a similar position. You can ask yourself: Does this work appeal to me? Do I like this type of company or organization? Do I like the culture of this workplace? If not, what's missing for me? Requesting to job shadow also allows you to connect with alumni or other community members to expand your professional network.

How you can benefit from job shadowing:

  • Visit a professional's place of work
  • Network with their colleagues
  • Observe a job in action and a work environment that interests you

If you are a student or alumni interested in talking to a professional in your desired field, call the career development center at (630) 829-6040, or e-mail us at career@ben.edu


Alumni, Employers, Community Members & Parents:
By volunteering, your knowledge may help a student select a major and learn more about a particular occupation. You may help an alumnus or alumna decide to make a career change. You'll help individuals learn more about your company and industry and expand their network of contacts. You decide how, when and where you may be contacted. As a volunteer you can:

  • Arrange to do a 30-minute to an hour-long informational interview 
  • Invite a student/alumnus to shadow you at work for a day
  • Suggest professional development activities
  • Critique a resume and/or conduct a mock interview
  • Introduce the student to professional colleagues
  • Recommend books and other resources

You can decide upon the level of commitment you wish to make. You might choose to do one of these activities with one student, or you may wish to participate in the Benedictine University Mentorship Program. If you are an alumnus/alumna or member of the community and you wish to volunteer to perform these individual activities, please call the Career Development Center at (630) 829-6040 or e-mail career@ben.edu. If you would like to become a mentor through the Benedictine University Mentorship Program (B.U.M.P.) please see this link and contact Trente Arens at tarens@ben.edu. 

Student Life
BENEDICTINE UNIVERSITY

Julie Cosimo, Ed. D. Director
Career Development
Phone: (630) 829-6040
Fax: (630) 829-6043
E-mail: career@ben.edu

Krasa C enter, Lower Level Room 010
5700 College Road Lisle IL, 60532
8:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m