Offered during late spring and throughout the summer, our Job Shadowing Externship Program allows students to learn more about professions, receive career-related advice, and reflect on the ways in which their liberal arts education can prepare them for life after Davidson.

Davidson alumni, parents, and friends of the college are invited to sign up to host a student for one or two days, and at a time that is convenient for both the student and the host.

Garnet was a pleasure to have here at the office. It was also great for folks here to have the opportunity to share their work and why they are passionate about it. I hope she got some insights into what she would like to do post-Davidson! I secretly hope she'll join us here in the public sector!

Sarah Bennett ’10, Denver Economic Development and Opportunity

How to Participate

If you are an alumnus or parent interested in hosting a student, please complete the online registration form before Feb. 28, 2020. 

Program Timeline

Jan. 27 - Feb. 28
Hosts register online

March 9 - 22
Students submit applications

March 25 - April 3
Hosts review applications

April 6
Hosts and students are notified of matches

May 5 - Aug. 14
Shadowing takes place (arranged by student and host

Program FAQs

Why should I host a student?
Shadowing provides an essential opportunity to try out a career path or occupation. Students learn more about the profession and industry, get an inside look at the day-to-day duties and culture, and determine if it is a good fit for them. It also helps them build their resume and develop potential contacts within the Davidson community that may be helpful in the future.

What do students do during shadowing?
It depends on the host and the field of work. Examples may include taking a tour, conducting informational interviews with you and your co-workers who are in different roles, sitting in on meetings, observing work being performed, and assisting with tasks and actual projects (e.g. conduct research, write reports).

What should I expect from my student?
You can expect the student to arrive on time, be dressed appropriately and prepared to ask questions and be engaged throughout the day. Since the program is designed to provide students with exposure to the field, it is not expected that students will have relevant job experience.

What is expected of me as a host?
You are expected to introduce their profession, industry and/or organization; provide a tour of the workplace; answer questions; and most importantly, allow a student to observe your daily routine. Some hosts choose to arrange meetings or informational interviews between the student and other professionals; others engage the student in a project. 

Application Process FAQs

If I volunteer, am I guaranteed a student?
Due to a variety of factors, including interest level, location, and the selection process, a match is not guaranteed. However, if you are not matched with a student, there are many other valuable ways that you can help students with their career development. For more information, please contact

How does the selection process work?
The Betty and B. Frank Matthews II ’49 Center for Career Development (Matthews Center) will send you a packet of applications from students interested in your shadowing experience. The packet will include each student's resume and a statement of interest. If only one student applies for a particular experience and you accept that student, the student will be notified and will contact with you to schedule a specific shadowing date. If more than one student applies for an experience, you will determine how many and which students you are willing to take. Students can apply for up to two shadowing opportunities.

What can I expect a student's knowledge of my field to be?
The program is open to students from all majors and class years. Therefore, students may apply that do not necessarily have relevant experience yet. You can expect that they will have researched the industry and company ahead of time, but be prepared to teach them more about the field.

Am I expected to house the student?
You are not expected to provide housing for your shadowing student. However, many hosts choose to do so and have found it rewarding. You can learn more about the process and register online.

How long is shadowing?
You must agree to host a student for at least one day (minimum of six hours). However, some hosts choose to host students for two days if they feel like it will give the students better views of their role. In most situations, one day will be sufficient.

Contact Information

If you have questions about the Job Shadowing Externship Program or alumni and parent homestays, contact