The purpose of shadowing assignments are to provide you with exposure to people who work in particular fields and to give you the opportunity to watch them in their day-to-day setting. Shadowing differs from details because in a shadowing assignment, you are not there to do actual work, you are there to watch the other person do work. Shadowing offers the following benefits:
- the opportunity to watch someone "in action";
- the opportunity to ask questions of someone while they are actually doing work; and
- the opportunity to check out some of your assumptions about that particular field of work.
Shadowing is very much what the name implies, you follow the person around and watch what they do and what their day is like. Often they may get you involved in the task at hand, but the idea is not to do one type of work while they do another type somewhere else. This is your opportunity to be a sponge and watch what happens. The intent is to let you see what a day in the life of someone working in this field is like.