This year, 17 students were given the opportunity to shadow professionals at different host sites as part of the College’s Sophomore Shadow Program. Alumnus and 40 Under Forty honoree George Ramos ’06 (Psychology) was one of the 13 alumni professionals who participated in the 2018 program.
“I became involved because I can remember being an undergraduate psychology major and not really knowing much about the different trajectories my career path might take,” said Ramos, a mental health counselor working in Yonkers, N.Y. “I think not having access to a real world mentor who is doing the sort of work I was interested in made some of my dreams and aspirations more difficult. I decided to participate in this program because I am hopeful that I can help fill some of those gaps for current New Paltz students.”
The Sophomore Shadow Program is a one-day career exploration opportunity where students in their second year gain exposure to a particular position, company or industry by watching a professional in their field. Created by the Career Resource Center, the program attempts to engage undeclared students as they decide their choice of major. Meeting with professionals from different industries allows them access to the many diverse careers available to them after graduation. Alumni hosts commit to a minimum of four hours spent with students at their place of employment, although some students are able to shadow alumni for a full day.
“The program was a great success again this year and we look forward to expanding the program as we have more student interest than hosts at this point,” said Dawn McCaw, assistant director for the Career Resource Center. “The more hosts we have, the more students who are able to be placed for the day and benefit from this amazing opportunity. Alumni make great hosts since they were once in the student’s shoes here at SUNY New Paltz and the students can really relate to them no matter what their graduation year.”
Thank you so much for the opportunity to participate in the Sophomore Shadow Program. I had a great time at Hudson Valley Goldsmiths on the 12th! It really gave me a great insight into what it’s like to be a jeweler, and after my shadowing day I’ve only become more excited to take my Basic Metals course this upcoming semester. This has really been a great experience to help me know what to do and how to act in more professional situations, especially in preparing for interviews and such. Thank you again!”
– Erin Baumgras ’20 who Shadowed HV Goldsmith David Walton
On shadow day in January, Ramos invited sophomores Rebecca Gonzalez ’20 and Shaniah Grant ’20 to a favorite lunch spot in Manhattan, where he offered advice and insights about their potential career paths and interests.
“We had a very long lunch,” said Ramos. “I really wanted to make sure that they knew there were possibilities outside of their undergraduate experience where they could grow in their anticipated major and know how large the psychology and mental health fields can really be.”
The Career Resource Center staff matches student applicants and employers according to the information provided on the student application and host registration. Possible shadow activities included office tours; introductions to office communications, including professional phone and email etiquette; career readiness coaching; departmental meetings; company training; and networking lunches or discussion opportunities.
Last year 15 students were given the opportunity to shadow professionals at eight different host sites. For more information on the Sophomore Shadow Program, contact the Career Resource Center at 845-257-3265 or firstname.lastname@example.org.