September 15 - November 15 - Hosts register online.

November 1 - November 30 - Students submit applications

December 1 - 10 - Hosts review applications

December 11 - Hosts and students are notified of matches

December 26 - January 19 - Shadowing visits takes place (specific date arranged by student and host)

Questions & Answers

Q: If I volunteer, am I guaranteed a student?

A: Due to a variety of factors, including interest level of the student, location, and the selection process, we cannot guarantee a match. 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 Carol Sharick, Director of Career & Professional Development for SBS, at csharick@umass.edu, or call 413-577-1057.

Q: How does the selection process work?

A: Students will review and apply for specific host sites through the system. Once the student application deadline has passed, hosts will have access to the system to review their applicants.

  • If only one student applies for a particular site and the host accepts that student, the student will be notified and put in contact with the host to schedule a specific shadowing date.
  • If more than one student applies for a site, the host will determine how many and which students he or she is willing to take.
  • Students are able to apply for up to three shadowing opportunities, but can be placed with a maximum of two host sites per session. No student will be placed at a second host site until all students have received a first placement.

Q: What can I expect a student's knowledge of my field to be?

A: The program is open to SBS students from all majors and class years. Therefore, students may not necessarily have relevant experience yet. This is an opportunity for them to dip their toe in to get a feel for an industry and/or job. 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.

Q: Am I expected to house the student?

A: There is no expectation of housing. If students want to shadow someone who is far away from where they live, the student is expected to take care of all travel and accommodation expenses. The Office of Career & Professional Development is not involved in any way in travel or accommodation planning.

Q: How long is a shadowing session?

A: You must agree to host students for at least one day (minimum of five hours). However, some choose to host students for two days if they feel like it will give the student a better view of their role. In most situations, one day will be sufficient.