By Youth Commissioner Aroshi Ghosh, representative for District 4
On Feb. 18, 2021, the Santa Clara Valley Water Youth Commission held its first-ever Virtual Job Shadow Day to help inform high school students throughout Santa Clara County about the amazing careers available at Valley Water.
Job Shadow Day provided an immensely valuable opportunity for high school students to gain a better sense of the careers they may want to pursue in the future while also allowing them to build new connections with established professionals. Throughout the event, students met with Valley Water mentors, attended panels, and played virtual games and raffles. In total, 64 students attended, the largest turnout ever at Job Shadow Day, along with 56 mentors.
The event started with a welcome from Valley Waters Assistant CEO Melanie Richardson and Board Member Richard P. Santos, Director of District 3. They talked about their experiences that led them to a career in public service. The student then went into breakout sessions to listen to a panel discussion about opportunities available after high school. Students also attended a virtual field trip to learn more about Valley Water’s water treatment and purification facilities and its water quality lab.
Students then got the opportunity to meet with mentors assigned to them based on their personal career interests such as engineering, marketing, law, and biology. Mentors shared presentations of what it is like to work as a civil engineer designing new waterways, how to work in a team to create social media posts to promote an event, and the ethical and legal implications of various structures and projects.
The event concluded with a brief lunchtime panel with Valley Water staff and interns. I had the privilege of helping to moderate the discussion as a Youth Commissioner. As we discussed the various options for students after high school, I realized just how important it is for young adults to explore all their options through events such as this Job Shadow Day. From interview tips to internships, this panel touched on many topics and questions related to how to best succeed after graduating, whether you go to a four-year college or start working right away.
From the one-on-one mentoring to the speaker panels, the Valley Water Job Shadow Day is a valuable experience for all high school students – Here’s hoping we’ll see even more students participate next year!