Exclusively for first year undergraduate students, the Imperial Work Shadowing Scheme will give you an opportunity to gain insight into a job role and sector of interest to you. The scheme aims to provide a short but rich experience that will allow you to explore the realities of a particular role or job area, and question and learn from professionals to help to inform your career plans. 

All Work Shadowing experiences for Spring and Summer 2024 are in-person, lasting between one-three days at the host's workplace. 
Benefits of work shadowing include; gaining a better understanding of the job market, observing a job role in action, understanding what experience and skills are required for certain jobs, improving your network, enhancing your CV, increasing your career confidence and commercial awareness and gaining hints and tips that will support your future applications.

Details of how the application process works can be found below. If you have any questions, please email workshadowing@imperial.ac.uk.

Work shadowing tabs

How does it work

Host Recruitment

Employers large and small from a range of different industries and sectors are invited to register as a Work Shadowing Host by Imperial College. The Work Shadowing Host's are often companies with an interest in engaging with Imperial students and offering them an opportunity to develop insight into their organisation and job role. Host registrations are anonymised and uploaded into a Directory for students to review and apply to. 

Student Applications

Students should then apply to the scheme via the online application form which require you to choose up to three Work Shadowing host profiles from a Work Shadowing Directory in order of preference and detail a motivation to be matched to each profile. Work Shadowing places can be competitive with limited places for certain hosts. A strong application will showcase your commitment to your career development and a detailed interest in each chosen host profile. 


All student applications will be reviewed by the Work Shadowing Team after applications close. We attempt to make as many positive matches as possible based on students preferences and host availability. If certain host profiles are over-subscribed, priority is given to students from lower participation groups. If successfully matched to a Work Shadowing host, students will be invited to a compulsory induction event to prepare them for their experiences. 

Arranging the Experience

This scheme is intended to be student-led. Once you have attended an induction session you will be sent your Work Shadowing Host's contact details. It is up to you to reach out and begin arranging the experience. Examples of introductory emails will be provided in the induction. Please note: this scheme runs twice a year during the Spring and Summer vacation periods.

Spring Work Shadowing Experiences should take place between March-April 2024.

Summer Work Shadowing Experiences should take place between July-September 2024. 






Work Shadowing experiences are exclusively 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 network and gain professional insights.

Please note the Work Shadowing Scheme is not open to Business School students – please contact the Imperial Business School Careers Service for careers support.


Work Shadowing is an unpaid experiential learning experience which gives you the opportunity to observe or converse with a professional in a job role/sector of interest to you. As such you will not be in receipt of a salary for the time spent with an organisation. For students engaging in the in-person Work Shadowing Day, please check with your host if they are able to cover reasonable travel costs and expenses (this only applies to in-person experiences outside of Greater London). 

Terms and Conditions

Please note, although we try to match all applicants, 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 as well as students that were not successfully placed if applied in Spring.

If you are unsuccessful in being matched, we would encourage you to consider applying to the Alumni Mentoring Scheme in your second year. Alternatively, you can now access professional advice and career insights all year round from Imperial's vast graduate community via Ask an Alum

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