Observing a professional in the workplace can help students to understand and gain an insight into a job role and organisation. Work Shadowing provides an opportunity for students to experience the realities of a professional environment within a certain industry, and to question and learn from professionals to help inform their career and plan their next steps. 

Imperial College London Work Shadowing Scheme

The Imperial College Work Shadowing Scheme runs twice a year during the Spring and Summer vacation periods and aims to offer a short but rich experience for students, while not demanding a great deal of time from the host. 

Work Shadowing involves one or more students visiting you and/or your team in your place of work. The experience should be between one to three full days in duration. This may include; office/department tours, observing you in the delivery of your role, sitting in on meetings or client interactions where appropriate, career Q&A sessions, sector/organisational insights and example tasks or mini-projects.

The scheme is open to all first year undergraduate students studying STEM subjects at Imperial College. If the scheme is over-subscribed however, priority is given to students from low-participation groups. The scheme is not intended to be a recruitment activity. 

Register as a host

Host registrations for Spring 2024 are now closed however you can register your interest in the Summer Work Shadowing Scheme here.

If you have any questions about the scheme please contact workshadowing@imperial.ac.uk

Work Shadowing tabs

How does it work?

We are seeking applications from hosts in all employment sectors and different sized organisations as we have a diverse range of students interested in a wide ranging variety of careers.

Step 1: Registration
Work Shadowing registrations open twice per year for a Spring and Summer round. All interested hosts are asked to complete a short registration form to provide information about your organisation, your role and or team as well as detail about the expected shadowing experience being offered. Your host registration form will then be used to create an anonymised profile as part of a Directory for Imperial first year undergraduate students to review and apply to.

For guidance - please view our example Work Shadowing Directory Example 2024.

Step 2: Matching
Once all student applications have been received, the Work Shadowing team works to make as many positive matches as possible. Any student matched to you during this process will have expressed a strong interest and motivation in gaining an insight into your specific sector or occupational area, based on what they read on your profile.

Step 3: Inductions
If successfully matched, you will be notified by the Work Shadowing team and sent some guidance on how to plan and prepare for your work shadowing day(s) as well as career topics and possible points of discussion whilst hosting the student. Matched students will be invited to a compulsory induction session run by the Careers Service.

Step 4: Shadowing
The scheme is student-led and students will be sent your contact details once they have attended an induction session in order to reach out and begin arranging their work shadowing experience with you. Unless you have specified in your registration form that you plan for the experience to take place on a set date, it will be up to you and the student to agree a mutually agreeable time to host within the Spring or Summer vacation periods.

Please note: you will need to have relevant public liability insurance in place and provide a health and safety induction as the experience involves a visit to your workplace. These are unpaid insight experiences at no cost to the host however if you are based outside of Greater London, it is expected you will cover any reasonable travel costs for the student(s). 

If you would like to discuss a potential experience with a member of the Work Shadowing Team, please email workshadowing@imperial.ac.uk

When does it take place?

Work Shadowing will take place in Spring and Summer 2024 during the student vacation periods.

Hosts and students will be asked to decide on a mutually agreeable date and time to undertake the experience during the Spring or Summer vacation windows. Please note these run as two separate schemes and require separate registration. 

Why get involved?

Work Shadowing provides a unique opportunity to work with our students while helping to shape their career plans. It will enable you to:

  • Connect with some of the brightest young people studying STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) in the UK
  • Gain an insight into the skill sets and trends of undergraduate students
  • Support your diversity and corporate social responsibility initiatives
  • Build a relationship with Imperial College London