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 industries work environment by spending up to 5 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 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

Work shadowing tabs

How do I apply?

The Work Shadowing scheme currently has two intakes: Spring and Summer.

Applications are closed for 2019. The next intake will be in Spring 2020 with application opening dates to be announced.

In the application you will need to provide details of your motivations, availability and occupational areas of interest. The work shadowing programme is designed to broaden your understanding of the job market and as such you will not apply to a particular organisation but will be assigned to a host that best fits your expressed interests. As a result, you should give as much information as possible in your application so we can make the best possible match.  

The Careers Service will run 50 minute Work Shadowing introduction sessions, bookable via JobsLive. During this the team will provide you with a detailed overview of the scheme and will be available to answer any questions. 


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 or drop into the Careers Service, Level 5 Sherfield Building.