Observing someone in the workplace will help you explore different career areas so that you can make informed career choices. The Careers Service Work Shadowing Scheme aims to provide you with an insight into an industry's work environment by spending up to five days observing someone in the workplace. 

Exclusively for first year undergraduate Imperial students, the scheme will allow you to experience the realities of a professional environment within a certain industry to learn from the professionals you encounter. The scheme provides a unique insight and enables you to:

  • Gain a better understanding of the job market, 
  • Develop an understanding of a typical day in a sector
  • Improve your confidence and foster experience for your CV
  • Network with potential employers and recruiters

Summer 2020 Work Shadowing scheme

In light of current social distancing recommendations, we have taken the decision to run the summer 2020 scheme remotely. Normally the scheme would see students spending one to five days in a London-based office, however in light of COVID-19, the scheme has been redesigned to enable you to undertake a one-to-one career focused conversation with a professional.  

The revised remote Work Shadowing scheme will involve having a virtual one-to-one (approximately 1-hour) career focused conversation with a professional in your sector of interest. The Imperial Careers Service will provide successful students with guidance on career topics and possible points of discussion.

Applications for summer 2020 are now closed and outcomes will be shared with applicants by Friday 10 July 2020. 

If you have any questions please email workshadowing@imperial.ac.uk

Work shadowing tabs

How do I apply?

Applications for summer 2020 are now closed and outcomes will be shared with applicants by Friday 10 July 2020. 

Please review the Work Shadowing Summer 2020 Directory (College log-in required) to see the anonymised profiles of the professionals hosting a virtual career-focused conversation with a first year undergraduate student.

Work Shadowing 2021

The Careers Service will run Work Shadowing introduction sessions, bookable via JobsLive. During these sessions the team will provide you with an overview of the scheme and answer any questions.

The Work Shadowing scheme currently has two intakes: Spring and Summer. To receive updates on opening and closing times please sign up to our weekly Careers Newsletter via your JobsLive account settings. 


Our Work Shadowing Scheme is currently only available to first year undergraduate students at Imperial College London. We have chosen to be selective for this year group as we appreciate that it can be particularly difficult for first year students to secure work experience.

Each intake will have set date range (to be announced when applications open) and you will need to ensure you have some availability within this. We will ask for your availability on the application form and take this into account when matching you to an opportunity.


Work shadowing is an unpaid experiential learning experience which gives short exposure to a professional environment. As such you will not be in receipt of a salary for the time spent with an organisation however reasonable travel costs and expenses can be paid for students from low income backgrounds.

Terms and Conditions

Please note we cannot guarantee that every application will result in a work shadowing opportunity. Student/Host matches will be made on the basis of the preferences expressed in the application form and on the strength of the application answer. Where the scheme is over-subscribed priority will be given to students that meet the College’s Widening Participation criteria. If you are unsuccessful in the first round (Spring), you will be eligible to re-apply for a place in the second round (Summer).

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