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The Cal Job Shadow Program connects enrolled students with a Cal alum to explore a career field during spring break. This program is offered through a partnership between Berkeley Career Engagement and the Cal Alumni Association.

Job Shadowing

The Cal Job Shadow (formerly externship) program pairs students with alumni to get an insider view of their workplace. Students gain insight to professional environments, have the chance to explore a career area to which they might otherwise not have exposure, and build their professional network in their chosen career area.

This is your opportunity to see what it’s really like to be a public defender, doctor, architect, engineer, teacher, social worker, writer, scientist, consultant, IT analyst, professor, youth center director, financial advisor, and more.

Register on the Berkeley Career Network, where you can connect with UC Berkeley alumni. Register for the virtual information session to learn more about the program.

Advantages of Participating in a Job Shadow Program

  • Explore a career field
  • Gain real-world workplace experience
  • Learn how to apply your academic major through discussions with a professional who has a similar background
  • Assess your “fit” for a particular position or organization
  • Make career connections and begin establishing your alumni network

Who Can Participate?

Open to all currently enrolled undergraduate students including undocumented and international students. Priority is given to first year students and sophomores with special consideration in the matching process for Education Opportunity Program (EOP), Student Support Services (SSS), Transfer students, and Pell grant recipients. Students graduating in December of the current year are not eligible.

Where To Start

Watch this video with tips on how you can get started. You can access the Cal Job Shadow Program page on the Cal Alumni Association website here.

More Details

A Job shadow experience is an opportunity that can last from one day to two weeks. It can be virtual or in-person. Opportunities are available in a wide variety of career fields in the San Francisco Bay Area, Los Angeles, New York, Washington, DC, and other domestic and international locations. Through this experience, you can:

  • Observe the workday and workplace of your Alumni host; attend meetings alongside them, observe work-related activities, and participate in other learning opportunities.
  • Talk to the Alumni host about their career journey and the field
  • Provide limited assistance with projects or tasks to help you get acquainted with the organization and the profession

Job Shadow Externship Timeline

Externship Opens to Student   Nov.13 Jan.19
Student Selection Period Jan Jan
Matching Jan Feb
Externship Period March 25,2024 March 29, 2024

Application and Matching Process

  • Participants will be selected based on responses to the registration questions.
  • Along with location, matching will be based on a combination of factors including preferences selected by students and overlap in interests and background identified in program registration questions.
  • You will receive an email notification once you are matched to your Alumni Host.
  • Students will favorite alumni who are in career paths they are interested in and the Cal Job Shadow Program Staff will match Alumni Hosts and students based on the student’s career interests and availability.
  • View this video to see how you can favorite Alumni Hosts.