Shadowing their future

Wearing bright pink scrubs, senior Priya Jhingan gets a peek at what her future may look like. Although only in high school, she already has experience in the medical field and has seen what being a doctor is actually like. Over the summer, she job shadowed a physical therapist, pediatric dentist, and a pediatrician.

“I just wanted to make sure I know what I want to do in the future,” Jhingan said. She has wanted to be a pediatrician since the fifth grade, as she was often in hospitals when she was young.

“The doctors were so knowledgeable in their field, yet really caring and knew how to deal with children,” Jhingan said. “I want to be just like them.”

Jhingan shadowed the physical therapist and dentist in June. Then, she shadowed pediatrician Heather Cornett from Aug. 15-17 for four hours a day. Jhingan followed Cornett around to her appointments, where children received regular check ups or specialized treatments because of illness.

“I learned basic things like recommended nutritional guides for children, but I found it rewarding,” Jhingan said.

Similarly, senior Jason Lu also did a job shadow over the summer, but for radiation oncologist Robert Lum. Although planning on becoming a psychiatrist in the future, Lu wanted to explore different medical fields to gain insight in the general field.

“It would be hard to shadow a psychiatrist, so I saw this as a stepping stone to my future,” Lu said. He shadowed Lum for the whole summer, every Monday for four hours. There he observed consultations with cancer patients and the setup of radiation.

“I saw some of the areas impacted by cancer, which is a rare opportunity,” Lu said. “I was excited.”

Both Jhingan and Lu agree that a job shadow is beneficial as it can provide opportunities that school doesn’t.

“It’s not just math or science. It’s a real life experience,” Lu said.

Career Education Coordinator Nick Colangelo agrees with the students about the opportunities it can offer.

“Confirming that a particular career path is the right fit can save students the time, energy and stress of having to change majors or career paths later in life,” Colangelo said.

Although Jhingan and Lu both personally knew their mentors, students can find a job shadow without personal connections. Colangelo is able to help students to write resumes and cover letters in the College and Career Center.

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