Work Shadowing Programme - case studies

The following case studies have been written by students who have participated in the Work Shadowing Programme.  If you would like to complete a case study, please email Sam at internships@st-andrews.ac.uk.

 

Balgreen Playgroup

Give a general overview of your day…

I had the opportunity to see the things I'd learned in things like developmental psychology in actual children due to the age range in the nursery. Learned a lot about child protection & curriculum for excellence in an early years setting.

What advice would you give to future participants?

Even if it doesn't 100% seem relevant to you, take the chance and apply to it - any experience is a good experience!

European Parliament Liaison Office

Give a general overview of your shadow day

I learnt how the EPLO works with the different organizations and actors in Washington. It was a really good way to learn more about DC and about the European Parliament. My host did a good job really involving me in his day, letting me participate in meetings, email-writing, and business lunches. It was good fun.

What advice would you give to future participants?

Try to be clear about what you want to get out of the day, because otherwise the experience ends up being a day spent at the office, making small talk. If you can plan it for when something happens, the experience will be better.

HGF Limited

Give a general overview of your day…

To demonstrate the work and challenges that patent attorneys face, I was given the opportunity to discuss a live case with a senior attorney. Through this I learnt how Attorneys respond to claims from the international patent offices, and how they can use both written and verbal responses to argue that their clients' technology is novel and inventive, improving the chances of getting a patent granted.

I also was given the opportunity to meet with some current trainees and new starters, who offered valuable information on routes into the profession and advice on their experiences so far. In addition to this, I got the opportunity to learn in depth about the more technical and legal sides of the practice, and how these two sides intertwine with and complement each other at each stage of the patent process.

What advice would you give to future participants?

Incredibly valuable programme that helps you to get a unique insight into the workings of a profession that you are interested in. Provides an advantage at subsequent interviews and applications for related jobs. Make the most of the time that you have in the organisation, asking questions, making connections and leaving a lasting impression.

Methilhill Primary School

Give a general overview of your day…

I got a deeper understanding of how a primary school operates from the inside, and how the DHT plays a major part in the running of the school. I learnt how differing stages of the school are taught, and discovered differing resources that various teachers use.

What advice would you give to future participants?

Please apply - great experience and you won't regret it! The worst they can do is say no so don't miss out on this amazing opportunity!

Rutter Associates and Graycliff Partners

Give a general overview of your shadow day

I learned the different career paths to take after investment banking ie venture capital or private equity. Also, Rutter Associates were very helpful; they taught me about the different financial products their clients are buying and selling. In addition, they taught me about the fundamentals to the Bloomberg terminal and how the markets work on a daily basis.

What advice would you give to future participants?

It helps if you do your research and prepare specific questions for your host. You get the most out of it when you know exactly what information you want to explore.

UBS

Give a general overview of your day…

The work shadowing was very enlightening; I got a good feel of what the job is like and the kind of work it entails. And has been invaluable experience in providing a realistic view of the job (before it was purely based on stereotypes and assumptions). I got to ask a lot of questions about the job, field and kind of work the host did.

What advice would you give to future participants?

When giving a cover letter make sure you tailor it to the company and job title of the host. And write realistic expectations of what you expect to gain (you are just following the host around to get a feel for the job, and what the kind of work is like and asking questions).

My host said he choose me because a few of the other applicants wrote about using the work shadowing to get an internship through the host; when the host had no such ability or contacts to do such a thing.

York Explore Library archives

Give a general overview of your shadow day

The work shadowing programme was packed full of interesting activities, but all in a friendly, relaxed atmosphere. All of the staff we worked with were really patient and willing to share their experiences. Two days was an ideal length for the programme, as one would not have been long enough, and we had plenty to keep us occupied on the second day, including putting into practice some of the skills which we had learnt on the first day. We were really well looked after throughout the programme.
 

What advice would you give to future participants?

Don't hesitate to apply for an opportunity that catches your eye. Even though you might not think it is specifically what you would like to end up doing in the future, you will have a great experience of working life, and meet some lovely and fascinating people along the way. It may even be possible that you discover exactly what you would like to do in a sector which you had never really previously considered.