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Spider Shadowing

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Experience career paths through the eyes of Spider alumni and friends of the University of Richmond with the Spider Shadowing program. Each winter and summer break, Career Services recruits volunteers to offer half- or full-day job shadowing experiences to current Richmond undergraduates. Job shadowing is an impactful way to learn about an industry, career path, or specific organization through direct exposure to the people, day-to-day work, and culture of a job. Spider Shadowing is open to all full-time undergraduate students and no industry experience is required to be matched with a shadowing opportunity. 

How to Apply

To apply for a Spider Shadowing opportunity:

  • Log in to SpiderConnect
  • Upload an updated copy of your resume to the documents tab. (Don't forget you must complete Resume Check!)
  • Click “Opportunities" in the navigation menu 
  • Click “Search"
  • Search "Shadowing" in the keyword search bar

Review the shadowing opportunities available and use your uploaded resume to apply to any for which your interests and the shadowing host’s requirements align. You will also have to upload a "cover letter." Use your cover letter to explain why you're interested in this shadowing opportunity and what your goals are for your shadowing experience.

Frequently Asked Questions

Below are frequently asked questions about the program. For more information, please email us

Why should I apply for Spider Shadowing?

Job shadowing is a simple, low-risk way to explore an industry or organization you’re interested in and would like to learn more about. Shadowing provides direct experience and networking opportunities for you as you explore your career options. Because a shadowing experience only lasts a day, you can learn about whether you’d like to work in a particular industry or company culture before committing to a full-time internship or job opportunity. Shadowing also allows you to meet professionals who can help you in future application processes as well as connect you to other professionals in their organization and industry.

Who can apply for a Spider Shadowing experience?

All full-time, degree-seeking University of Richmond undergraduates in good standing are eligible to participate in the Spider Shadowing program. The program is open to students in all majors, as well as to undeclared students. You do not need prior experience in the industry of the shadowing experience in order to apply.

How many Spider Shadowing opportunities can I apply for?
Students can apply to as many Spider Shadowing opportunities as they want.
Am I guaranteed a match with a shadowing host if I apply?

No. The availability of shadowing experiences depends on the total number of opportunities offered and the number of students who apply in a given term. You will greatly increase the likelihood of a shadowing match if you apply to as many opportunities as are of interest to you.

How long is a shadowing experience?

Shadowing experiences are generally half- or full-work day commitments. You and your shadowing host will arrange the date and time of your shadowing experience.

Where are shadowing experiences located?

Shadowing experiences are offered wherever we have Spider alumni and friends of the University who are willing to host! The locations of Spider Shadowing experiences will vary each winter and summer break, depending on who has submitted opportunities.

How will I communicate with my shadowing host?

If you are matched with a shadowing opportunity, the host will communicate with you via email. It is then your responsibility to communicate with your host within 48 hours of receiving your email to begin discussing details of the shadowing experience. Plan to request a day and time to speak on the phone with your host about the opportunity and any initial questions you have about the logistics of the experience (see question below on how to prepare for a shadowing experience.)

How do I prepare for a shadowing experience?

If you are matched with a Spider Shadowing host, you are required to complete a brief online orientation through the Office of Alumni and Career Services.

Shadowing students should also:

  • Research the company/organization where the experience will take place; review the company’s website and search for any related news stories or press releases about the organization.
  • Create goals for your shadowing experience; what specifically do you hope to learn? Be prepared to discuss your ideas about your academic and career paths.
  • Use web resources like LinkedIn to learn more about the company and the shadowing host.
  • Write a list of questions about the organization, industry, and career path you can use when talking with your shadowing host. Here is list of sample informational interview questions.
  • Talk with your shadowing host about proper dress for the shadowing experience.
  • Plan ahead for transportation to and from the shadowing site. Ask your shadowing host what traffic/parking/etc. can be expected on the day you plan to shadow, as well as the best way to get to the shadowing site (e.g., public transportation, driving). Ask about parking options and expenses if driving to the site.
Do I get a say in where I am placed or is placement random?

You may apply for as many shadowing experiences as interest you. The more shadowing experiences you’re willing to consider, the more likely you are to be placed.

How are Spider Shadowing opportunities scheduled?

Students are then responsible for communicating with their shadowing host to arrange the details of the visit.

Are all of the Spider Shadowing hosts alumni?

The majority of Spider Shadowing hosts are alumni. However, friends of the University (e.g., community partners, referrals from alumni, parents of students, internship supervisors of UR students) are also welcome to post shadowing opportunities.

Does UR provide funding for transportation to shadowing sites?

No. When applying to shadowing opportunities, please consider the costs of getting to and from the host site. 

Students who qualify for need-based aid per the University’s policies are eligible to apply for up to $250 of funding from the Career Opportunity Fund to be used towards travel and/or professional wardrobe and accessories expenses. If you are unsure of whether you qualify for need-based financial aid, contact the Financial Aid office.

I know someone who would be a great Spider Shadowing host. How can I connect them to this program?

You may direct prospective shadowing hosts to the Spider Shadowing host website. They may also email us or call 804-289-8547.

Winter Break Spider Shadowing

December 8
Deadline to apply for shadowing opportunities.

December 9 - 13
If you are matched with a host, Career Services will introduce you to the host via email. Once you’re introduced, you will coordinate your shadowing day by continuing the conversation with your host.

January 6 - 10 
Shadowing Week during winter break! Spiders across the country visit UR alumni and partners at their workplace.

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