32 Shadowing Experiences via InfoTechWNY Shadow Days
On the days of January 17 and 18 of 2018 a collaboration between InfoTechWNY, various local colleges, and many companies in Western New York provided shadow opportunities to several college level students. Every year, the planning starts early for InfoTechWNY and the program leader Melissa Ruggiero, an InfoTech WNY volunteer and Sr. Associate Director of the Career Resource Center at University at Buffalo School of Management.
After a call to InfoTechWNY member companies and various local colleges, the match making process starts. Melissa works directly with the WNYACCC (Western New York Association of College Career Centers), an association of all college career counselors that have the ability to message students in specific programs and forward messages to key faculty. Each student signed up is able to select which type of industry shadow opportunity that they are interested in, while Melissa works to provide the best opportunity by matching that student with a similar participating company or industry opportunity. The 2018 Shadow Days program allowed 29 college level students to shadow at 9 different companies in WNY. 32 shadowing experiences happened overall in 2018, as three students shadowed on both days with two different companies.
Students from the following companies participated:
- Buffalo State College – 9
- Canisius College – 1
- Erie Community College – 4
- University at Buffalo – 15
The following companies participated:
- Applied Sciences Group
- Clinical Support Services
- Computers For Children / Mission: IGNITE
- HealthNow - BlueCross BlueShield of WNY
- Shatter I.T.
- Superior IT Innovations, Inc. an Aleron Company
- The Buffalo News, Inc.
An example taken from University at Buffalo participating students displays the various levels and industry opportunities that were placed for InfoTechWNY’s Shadow Days. Six of the University at Buffalo students were Bachelor of Science level in the computer science program. The remaining students from UB were from the School of Management; three students were Bachelor of Science students in management, two were MBA students; and the remaining students are earning their master of science in MIS.
A comment from the program’s anonymous student evaluation offers, “Overall, this was an absolutely amazing experience! I wish there were multiple throughout the year and that I knew about it earlier than my senior year.” One of the shadow providers responded to the survey with “Our student conducted himself in a very professional manner. He'd be someone I'd consider hiring if I had an opportunity for someone with his skill set and experience level.”
InfoTechWNY cannot thank the participating companies enough for offering such an important educational experience to college students of WNY this past week. If you are a company, educational institution, or college level student interested in participating in our next Shadow Days program, please contact Melissa Ruggiero, InfoTechWNY Volunteer, at firstname.lastname@example.org.