LISD to host “Career Out” job shadowing program March 4


Photo via LISD

LISD will host its fourth annual Career Out program, an opportunity for juniors and seniors to shadow professionals, on March 4.

“A lot of students think they know what they want to do, but don’t always have the opportunity to talk to someone in that career field,” LISD director of strategic partnerships Lindsay Ayers said. “From what I have seen, job shadowing can help students make more informed decisions about what they want to do as well as open doors of opportunity through networking.”

Career Out began in 2019, and Ayers said the idea came from her prior experiences working in Coppell ISD. 

“Coming from a different school district where job shadowing was part of the curriculum, I constantly saw how beneficial [it] was for students,” Ayers said. “I knew something similar would benefit [LISD] students.” 

Job shadowing opportunities span more than 45 different industries, and there are more than 100 participating businesses. Ayers said she began reaching out to businesses in different ways in 2019 and has received positive responses. 

“[Most of the businesses participating are] because of me reaching out,” Ayers said. “I have a pretty wide business network [and] attend local chamber meetings, and we also do promotions through LISD’s social media.” 

While last year’s Career Out was virtual due to COVID-19, this year will have a hybrid approach. Students had the option to choose either virtual or in-person job shadowing, with around 60 businesses offering in-person job shadowing and 40 offering virtual ones. 

In-person students will be required to provide their own transportation to and from the workplace, and the event will last for three hours. 

“In-person shadowing allows students to get a really good feel [for] a particular company and industry,” Ayers said. “I’m always someone who wants to walk into a [workplace] and get a feel of if it’s somewhere I would want to work, which this option allows.”

Virtual students will join a WebEx call from their home and will participate in two different job shadowing opportunities. The first session is from 8:30-9:45 a.m. and the second session is from 10-11:15 a.m. 

“If students select virtual, they will still learn a lot and get to interact with employers,” Ayers said. “The nice thing is they also get the opportunity to shadow two different companies [and possibly industries].”

Junior Hannah Mathai, who will be shadowing the City of Carrollton, said she decided to participate in order to learn more about marketing. 

“Since I’m a junior and exploring careers I’m interested in, I thought participation in [Career Out] would be very beneficial,” Mathai said. “I’m interested in learning more about marketing and I feel like job shadowing is the perfect way to do so.”

For both virtual and in-person attendees, need-based seniors can apply for a laptop scholarship, a scholarship providing money to buy a new laptop, which entails answering essay questions. Additionally, Amazon gift cards will be given out randomly.

“If a senior participates fully, which means staying the entire time, then they can apply to get a brand new MacBook,” Ayers said. “[The only requirements are proving] they have a need for technology after graduation and that their family doesn’t have the means to purchase one for them.”

Ayers said she hopes students will at least come out of this experience learning something. 

“I want students to know that if they have the opportunity to go, then just go,” Ayers said. “Keep an open mind and know that there is always something to learn in the business world. Even if you feel like it isn’t something you would want to do, that only helps you [narrow down your options].”