Job Shadowing

October 2018

Dear Students and Parents/Guardians:

Mark your calendars!  Friday, December 7 is Job Shadow Day for 8th grade Fort Mill Middle School students.  The South Carolina Education and Economic Development Act recommends that all 8th grade students participate in Job Shadow Day and Fort Mill Middle School is happy to give you this opportunity!

Job shadowing gives you a chance to spend time with a professional who works in a career that interests you and encourages further career exploration as you look toward registering for your high school classes.  It also gives you an opportunity to practice professionalism and have the experience of networking, making an appointment, completing paperwork by a deadline, etc. 

Once you have your job shadow appointment arranged, complete the form at To complete the form you will need the name and address of the company, the name and job title of the person you are shadowing, and his/her email address and phone number.  Parents, this form includes a section that must be completed by you.  Please have this online form completed by Tuesday, November 20.

When you arrive at your job shadow, please act professionally and respectfully.  Remember to shake hands, look people in the eye, speak clearly, and be attentive.  Be sure to thank them for their time!  Take the attached “Job Shadow Observation Report” to your job shadow and find out the answers to those questions and/or your own questions!  Complete the evaluation on the back to let me know what you liked/didn’t like about job shadowing.  You need to return the Job Shadow Observation Report in order to receive an excused absence.  It is due to your homeroom teacher when you return to school on Monday, December 10.  (They will not be accepted after Monday, December 17.)

Please refer to the FAQ’s for more information, and to learn how I can help you with job shadow.  I can’t wait to read about your good job shadow experiences!



Kati McFadden

Career Development Facilitator

Fort Mill School District



Job Shadow Frequently Asked Questions


How do I set up a job shadow?

The first step in the process is identifying a career that you would like to shadow.  (If you don’t know, see the next FAQ!)  Next, try to find connections to someone who does that job through your family, friends and neighbors.  Start saying “I’m looking for a(n) ____ to job shadow, do you know someone who does that?” and see if you can find a connection.  (Parents, this is a great time to talk to your student about networking!)  If you do not have a connection to someone in the career you have selected, Google it!  It is fine to call a company you are interested in, even if you do not know someone there.  Companies are usually very receptive to job shadowing and would be excited to hear from you.  Finally, arrange your job shadow with the professional and complete the online form telling us where you are going. 


What if I have no idea what career I am interested in?

You can take an online interest inventory* and see what career cluster it says is a good fit for you based on your skills and interests.  Based on your results you can research jobs and see if any sound interesting to you.  Another idea is plan to visit a place of business that you enjoy (like a restaurant, store or place you go for fun) and learn about the jobs they do there.  *A good interest inventory is available at  You can login using username: fortmillms and password: yellowjackets.  The interest inventory is under the “Who Am I?” heading. 


What if I am having trouble setting up a job shadow?

After you have tried networking and looking yourself, your School Counselor or the Career Development Facilitator for the Fort Mill School District, Mrs. McFadden, will be happy to help you!  Visit your School Counselor in the guidance office or email Mrs. McFadden at  Mrs. McFadden has a lot of contacts in the community and may be able to connect you to someone.  Before she makes an introduction, she may talk with you to make sure you have a sincere interest in the career and confirm that you have transportation.  You must ask her for help by Tuesday, November 20.


Should I make the arrangements for job shadow or have my parents do it? 

You should do it!  Job shadowing day is not just about the actual visit.  It is also a chance for you to practice networking, researching companies, making and keeping appointments, and completing paperwork by a deadline. 


Can I job shadow my parents?

You are allowed to job shadow your parents, but encourage you to do so only if you are sincerely interested in that career.  And, even if you are interested in the job your parent does, consider shadowing someone else who has that job so that you can get a new perspective on the career.  You can talk to your parents about their job any time!  Job shadow day is an awesome opportunity for you to get to know a professional in the career field you are interested in. 


How long should my job shadow be?

There is no set time that you have to be at your job shadow location.  You should ask the business what is convenient for them, or suggest a time based on your preference.


Can I job shadow a teacher?

Yes, but the Fort Mill School District has a policy that no students can shadow in elementary schools or middle schools in Fort Mill.  If you are interested in shadowing a teacher, you can reach out to the surrounding school districts or the high schools in Fort Mill.  You absolutely cannot show up at a school (in any district) without warning and plan to spend the day there. 



What if I am interested in joining the military?

On Job Shadow Day, FMMS offers students an opportunity to learn about careers in the military from two Marine Corps officers.  Interested students come to FMMS on Job Shadow Day and will take a field trip to Nation Ford High School’s JROTC Program.  This trip is also a great opportunity for students interested in taking JROTC in high school.  Field trip forms for this trip are available in the Guidance Office.  All students who come to school on December 7 will go on this field trip to NAFO. 


How do I get to and from my job shadow? 

It is your responsibility to arrange transportation to and from your job shadow location.  Parents, please make sure that you arrive on time to drop off and pick up your child at the job shadow location!


Can my parent stay at the job shadow with me? 

Sure, as long as you have discussed it with the professional you are job shadowing.  You definitely want to feel safe and comfortable at your job shadow.


Can I job shadow a teacher?

Yes, but the Fort Mill School District has a policy that no students can shadow in elementary schools or middle schools in Fort Mill.  If you are interested in shadowing a teacher, you can reach out to the surrounding school districts or the high schools in Fort Mill.  You cannot show up at a school (in any district) without warning and plan to spend the day there. 


Are other schools job shadowing? 

Yes, all the 8th graders in Fort Mill have a job shadow day.  Even though the schools all have different job shadow days it is still important to get your job shadow scheduled ASAP.  If businesses decide they are only going to do one or two days of job shadows, you want to make sure you are one of them!


Can I plan to job shadow with a friend? 

That is fine as long as you have made clear arrangements with the business.  (Do not make arrangements for yourself and then show up with an extra person with you!)  If you are with a friend, make sure you are still respectful and professional and taking the job shadow opportunity seriously. 


What if there are age restrictions for the place I want to job shadow?  Or what if the person works from home?  

Be aware that medical offices often do have age restrictions!  If you cannot shadow in an office, consider asking the professional to meet you somewhere else for an informational interview.  You can sit down with them over coffee or in the park, etc, and find out about their job even if you can’t see them in their work environment. 


What if I want to be something that I cannot job shadow?

Sometimes there are jobs that you know are going to be difficult to shadow.  If you are interested in a career like that, think outside the box and find a job that is related to what you are interested in.  For example, if you aspire to be President, see if you can visit a local politician.  You could also think about how the professionals in that career are trained and go talk to a professor at a local college. 


Tell me again what paperwork I need to do for job shadow…

1)  You need to complete the online form telling us where you are going to job shadow.  The form is at  That form needs to be completed by Tuesday, November 20

2)  The Job Shadow Observation Report is what you take to your job shadow with you.  That is what you have to bring back to get an excused absence.  It is due on Monday, December 10.  They will not be accepted after Monday, December 17. 

3)  The Business Evaluation of Job Shadow should be given to the person you are shadowing.  He/she can give it back to you and you can return it with your Job Shadow Observation Report, or they can send it back separately.  You are not responsible for getting the Business Evaluation of Job Shadow back to us, so don’t worry about it if you don’t have it. 


Should I send a thank you note to the person I job shadow? 

YES! YES! YES! YES! The person who you job shadowed took quality time out of his/her schedule to talk with you and you definitely need to thank them.  You can send a thank you note via email, but a note in the mail will mean more.  It can be simple:  Dear___, Thank you for allowing me to job shadow you!  I appreciate the time you spent with me.  I learned a lot being your shadow.  My favorite part of the visit was___.  I learned___.  Thank you again for answering my questions.  Sincerely, ___. 


Is Job Shadow mandatory? 

No.  But, if you are not at school and you do not Job Shadow then your absence will be unexcused.  (If you don’t want to job shadow because you don’t have a place to go, remember that you can visit NAFO or Mrs. McFadden will help you.  If you don’t want to go because you don’t feel comfortable being with someone you don’t know, remember that your parent(s) can go with you.  If you don’t want to do it because you aren’t interested in anything, remember that it’s very valuable experience to see any work environment even if it’s not a job you want to do and so is learning what you are not interested in.)

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