A Day in Your Future: FCS Job Shadow Program
By Mia Kegley, Nebraska FCCLA President
Studies show that the best way to prepare for your future career is to gain hands-on experience in that field of work. Job shadowing is one of the best ways to gain experience while making connections with professionals!
Nebraska FCCLA has taken that idea and created our A Day in Your Future program. This program is currently in its second year and has been well received by our members. The program connects members with the various Family and Consumer Science-related occupations in Nebraska. We’ve also been able to provide opportunities in food science, fashion merchandising, health services, and so many other areas!
So far, the program is only open to members who are juniors or seniors. These members submit an application related to their FCS career field interest, and we connect them with our network of professionals. The goal of the program is to show members that there are so many different aspects to FCS, and that a career in this area holds an endless amount of possibilities.
Catherine Laska, a member who shadowed at the University of Nebraska – Lincoln (UNL) with various food scientists, said, “It was great to see the new [food science] facilities at UNL. I learned a lot… and I will value that experience forever.” After this experience, she realized that this was not the field that she would like to pursue; however, it opened her eyes to how diverse science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) is and how FCS fits into that area.
Another member, Leslie Aspen, recently shadowed an inpatient physical therapist. She shared that she learned a lot from the experience because it “[helped] me to visualize what it takes to be a physical therapist. I learned that you have to care for your patients’ mental health along with their physical health.” She has already set up more shadowing days, and plans to pursue a career in this area. Being able to have this hands-on experience allowed her to confirm that this was the right career for her.
The Nebraska Association of FCCLA encourages you to implement a program like this within your chapter or state association! It’s an amazing opportunity to offer to your members, and it could help to increase the number of members entering a FCS career in your state.
If you have any questions about creating your own FCS job shadow program, feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information. We are happy to help!
Mia Kegley, Nebraska FCCLA President