Class Year: 2017
Shadowing Visit Site: ?What If! Innovation Company
Describe your visit and what did you gain from the experience?
My visit allowed me to immerse myself into a very unique and interesting workplace setting. I did not know what to expect going into the visit, and I walked away equally impressed and amazed. ?What If! is an innovation company that partners with other businesses, to improve their production and workplace efficiency. From the office space, to the people at the site, I could immediately tell it was a special place. I shadowed Mike, a Holy Cross alumnus, he was extremely welcoming and engaging.
The day began with a tour of the space, and lunch. Then, it was followed by a walk through of the “innovation” process that the company prides itself on, as well as preparations for an upcoming trip with a client. I was able to see the inside workings of a company, I otherwise would never have known existed. I learned how what I am learning in class translates into the professional workplace. Through these experiences I was able to connection with professionals working in an industry I am interested in.
How did this experience influence or connect to your future career plans/goals?
As a Physics major, there are many applications for the skills my academics have given me. This experience showed me a real-world example for how my major can apply to a career. This was encouraging, and allowed me to not be as stressed and nervous about the future. Although I have a good idea of my future career plans and goals, it was good to see that there are other options available.
What is some helpful advice your alumni host shared with you?
My alumni host was incredibly nice throughout the entire experience, and did a great job incorporating me into a stressful and busy environment. He told that I would find my path eventually, and not to worry too much about being uncertain for the future. He shared his own story with me, and how he ended up working at an innovation company. His path took a lot of different turns and he tried a number of different things before ending up where he is now. My host told me that uncertainty is a part of life, and that my background and education would lead me to a great place, even if it’s not especially clear to me where that is.
Why would you recommend the Alumni Job Shadowing Program to other students?
I would recommend the Alumni Job Shadowing Program because there is essentially no downside to it. As a junior, I regret missing out on two other chances to shadow, because they would have been very valuable experiences. You can shadow someone, and get insight or form an opinion if you can see yourself in a similar workplace or line of work. If the job is everything you want, then that’s amazing; if it’s not, then at least you know before you commit to it full time and dedicate your studies to it. I don’t necessarily see myself at an innovation company, but I do appreciate the experience and loved having the chance to shadow Mike. It is also a good way to make connections, and meet people, which serves as good practice for any similar situation.