Careers Service

Work shadowing

Work shadowing is an informal type of work experience where you observe someone in their role to understand how they do their job.

It is usually short term (a few days at most) and unpaid. It aims to provide an insight rather than hands on experience. This can be useful experience to gain in careers where few formal internships exist, or where the role is not one an intern or placement student can do with their level of experience, eg solicitor.

Work shadowing is usually arranged through speculative applications. You should have a clear idea of the type of organisation you wish to work for and the type of role you are interested in observing. The best idea is to start with a small request, such as one day, then see if you can extend this to a few days helping out at the organisation on an unpaid basis.

Suggestions for ways to find opportunities

Other sources of experience

Further information