Job Shadowing Helps Students Set College and Career Goals

Juan Santos and Jorge Hernandez designing a circuit design using ohms law.

On February 23, students from high schools throughout the Rio Grande Valley got to experience the real world of work by shadowing professionals at their workplaces during one of Tech Prep’s Job Shadow Days.   Looking at blueprints and learning about soil sampling were just the first steps for two PSJA Elvis J. Ballew High School students.  Jorge Hernandez and Juan Santos toured Halff Associates, an engineering firm, and learned how to design the foundation of an electrical current for a building. 
Engineer Gabriel Benavides, who spent part of the day with the students, explained an engineering law (Ohm’s law).   Jorge and Juan then had the opportunity to use Ohm’s laws to design and find how a current runs in a building for a circuit design.  Jorge and Juan also experienced first-hand the systems and programs that are used to design floor plans and engineering projects.

“Seeing from the outside is one thing, but getting an insight on what an engineer actually does and seeing the different programs they work with, is an eye-opener,” said Juan.  The experience confirmed Juan’s choice of following  an engineering career pathway. 

“A lot of the students are not sure what they want to major in when they get to college.  What Tech Prep is doing, will help students get a first-hand look at what different careers have to offer,” said Gabriel.

Engineer Gabriel Benavides reviews blueprint with students.

Job Shadowing Helps Students Set College and Career Goals

Kathleen Pompasa, Eric Alcanta, and Luis Goday are all interested in pursuing careers in healthcare. These students enjoyed their time spent at Doctor’s Hospital at Renaissance shadowing in different departments.  Kathleen was intrigued to learn what a nurse actually does; and Eric and Luis learned the difference between speech, occupational, physical, and recreational therapies.  

“I wasn’t sure what a nurse did.  My mom works as a labor and delivery nurse, and I wanted to see what other types of nurses do,” said Kathleen, a student from Nikkie Rowe High School.  Kathleen spent half the day with nurse Binda Rathor caring for rehabilitation patients and learning how to take their blood pressure readings.  Stated Kathleen, “I’ve really learned a lot about the duties of a nurse.   I plan on taking health courses next year to help me pursue my career choice.”

Nurse Binda Rathor and student Kathleen Pompasa take the blood pressure of an employee at the Doctor’s Hospital at Renaissance

Job shadowing gave Eric and Luis an introduction into the workings of a rehabilitation center.  The students got a glimpse of specific rehab therapies.  “It has been a great experience for me.  I have learned a lot about the rehab department,” said Eric.  Eric shadowed in the speech and occupational therapy departments while Luis shadowed in the physical, recreational, and occupational therapy departments.
“I’m not quite sure what I want to do yet.  The pharmacy interests me.  I have enjoyed this experience, and it has allowed me to get a better understanding as to what physical therapists do,” said Luis.  Luis helped a patient using recreational therapy to make a strike while playing bowling, and he also learned about the different medications rehab patients need.

Luis prepares bowling pins for patient and learns about the medications patients at the rehabiliation center need.

At Univision Radio, Deejay Rogelio Hernandez operated the system for Weslaco high school students and showed them the different controls.  “As a deejay, not only do you control the music, you have to write stories and research traffic and news events so that the public is aware.”  Deejay Rogelio gave the students great advice:   “In this career, you can express ideas and communicate according to your personality.  Everybody has talent; you just need to practice and read every day, and when you read, read aloud to exercise your voice.” 

“Coming here has helped me learn a lot more about the business of music and advertising.  It has been a great experience,” said Jose De Anda.  Jose, who is taking a drama class in high school, stated that shadowing at Univision Radio confirmed his decision to pursue a career in the music industry.

Left to Right:  Jose De Anda, Rafael Lozano, Sara Brady, Andrea Serrano, Yajaira Gutierrez, Erandy Marquez, and Kelen Lestradee observe DJ Rogelio.

Job Shadowing is a national initiative.  Tech Prep has coordinated Job Shadow Day initiatives in the Rio Grande Valley for over ten years. 

Tech Prep of the Rio Grande Valley, Inc. © 2010