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Business in Action Job Shadow Leads Weiand to Internship

by Kristina Jackson, University Communication and Marketing
Business in Action Job Shadow Leads Weiand to Internship
Addie Weiand, junior management major from Lincoln, participated in the Business in Action Job Shadow program, which led to an internship at Crete Carrier.

Addie Weiand got an introduction to a new industry through the Business in Action Job Shadow Program offered by the Business Career Center in the University of Nebraska–Lincoln’s College of Business. For Weiand, it also opened the door to an internship and further career exploration.

A junior management major from Lincoln, Weiand said she valued learning about new job options and thinks it can lend a hand to students who are still narrowing down what they want to do.

“This might help to guide them,” she said. “This gives a good understanding of what is out there.”

The Business in Action Job Shadow program launched in January. The College of Business Career Center partnered with more than a dozen area businesses to offer shadow opportunities. Students in their freshman to junior years can apply to shadow one business or can choose to shadow multiple. It is one of many University of Nebraska–Lincoln programs offering students a real-world, experiential opportunity before graduation.

The program caught Weiand’s eye because it was the first time she had heard about a college-wide program dedicated to job shadowing. She spent a day following an operations manager at Crete Carrier in January. For her summer internship, she is working with an asset manager on coordinating shipping relays for the nationwide trucking company. She credited her job shadowing experience as her reason for applying for her current internship.

During her shadow, she sat in on meetings, learned about their data processing system and watched as employees solved daily operational issues. When she heard “job shadow,” Weiand assumed she would just be observing, but she found the experience much more interactive.

“It was a very quick, on-your-feet kind of experience,” she said. “I thought this would be me sitting down and watching all day, but they would break something down for me as if I was training, and they would really take the time to explain something to me if I had a question.”

Weiand, who is also minoring in fashion merchandising, did not have much experience in supply chain management, so she learned more about the process from the supplier and shipping side.

“This was definitely a whole new world to me,” Weiand said. “I would not know that’s an opportunity I had available if I didn’t go out there and see it for myself.”

She watched as staff at Crete Carrier navigated getting drivers and their loads to the right locations and how many people came together to make the process move smoothly.

“It was really cool to see the web of what it takes to get that truck from Vegas to Minneapolis,” Weiand said. “It’s interesting to see what kind of problems come up for drivers and how you adapt to that almost immediately.”

Weigand appreciated being able to explore several departments during the short time she was shadowing. She got a glimpse into the work of customer service representatives, an office manager and more.

“It made it more of a learning opportunity,” she said. “They gave me a tour of the building, and I got to meet people from different departments and talk about what they do. They really gave me a broad understanding of what Crete Carrier does even before I sat down with the operations manager.”

The College of Business also hosts an Employer in Residence program, which offers informal introductions and networking in Howard L. Hawks Hall, and Weiand said Business in Action takes that program to the next level by getting students into businesses. She said the program is a good opportunity for students to explore future career opportunities in a lower-pressure environment before stepping into an internship or job.

“This is a casual introduction to a specific job or industry or maybe to better understand your type of degree,” she said. “I feel like this a great way to have that low fear of failure. There’s a lot of room to learn.”

Even for students who think they’ve already determined their career path, Weiand thinks the program can open their eyes to all their options.

“They still don’t fully know the opportunities that wait for them,” she said. “You really don’t know how many opportunities you have until you see.”

The program is open to business students in their first year to junior year with job shadow placements available in fall, spring and summer.

Published: May 16, 2024