Shadowing the Future


Lauren Coleman '24

Lauren Dukes ’24 is enjoying her career shadow day, as she learns more about health care.

One of the most commonly asked questions of high schoolers the second they enter their freshman year is, what career are you interested in? Hutchison sophomores get the opportunity to explore that question as they plan and go on their career shadow days. Students get the opportunity to find a professional to shadow, learn about the career and whether they want to pursue it. For many girls this can be helpful to steer them towards or away from what they think is their dream job. Three sophomores were interviewed before and after their shadow days. They give insight on their experiences and if it was what they had previously expected.

“I shadowed an OB GYN (obstetrician gynecologist). I chose to shadow this profession because I wanted to shadow someone in the medical field. I hope I get to interact with patients to see a “day in the life” of the doctor I’m shadowing,” said Lauren Dukes ‘24. Dukes said this in response to being asked what her hopes and expectations were for her shadow day before she went. Later, after she shadowed her chosen profession she spoke about whether or not it was what she expected. 

“I saw how the doctor I shadowed asked many questions to her patients in order to get a full understanding about how they were doing, and she encouraged them to ask her any questions they might have had,” said Dukes. “I would definitely go on a shadow day again, because even though this wasn’t the career I wanted to pursue, I truly enjoyed it, and thought it was a good learning experience.” Dukes’s experience was one example of a sophomore getting the chance to make the decision that the career she thought she wanted to pursue wasn’t for her. This kind of revelation is one of the many reasons that shadow days can be so important and beneficial to students. Shifting to another medical profession, Amelia Crabtree shares her experience on her shadow day.

“I shadowed a veterinarian because I’m interested in both medicine and animals. I’m hoping that I’ll be able to walk around with the vet and learn from the different cases and patients they encounter for the day,” said Amelia Crabtree ‘24. Crabtree got the opportunity to shadow in the arguably cuter medical field, veterinary medicine. This was her statement from before she went on her shadow day and it seems that she was excited to experience a day in the life of every little kid’s dream job. Soon after she shadowed her chosen professional, she opened up about her experience in the world of veterinary medicine. 

Instead of a human doctor only being in one specific field (obgyn, cardio, etc.) vets get to do every field, which I really like because I couldn’t choose. After my experience, I would most definitely love to pursue this career in the future. I learned how to repair an ACL by sitting in on a surgery,” said Crabtree. Crabtree was able to do what everyone watching Grey’s Anatomy dreams of by sitting in on a surgery. Learning that vets can do it all instead of a single specialty may inspire others who are struggling with that aspect of the medical field. She also expressed that she would go on a career shadow day again after her experience. Steering away from medicine, Izzy Ellis shadowed a biomedical engineer. 

“I am shadowing a biomedical engineer professor at the University of Memphis,” said Izzy Ellis ‘24. “I hope to see what a biomedical engineer does. I have heard about the branch, but I wanted to know specifically what it entails.” Like both Dukes and Crabtree, Ellis wrote about her shadow day before she went. After her career day Ellis talked about her day in the life of a biomedical engineer. 

“The experience was extremely interesting as I saw her do hands-on activities and use complex lab materials. Also, I learned different facts about fatty liver disease and how they create substances to represent a sample from a fatty mouse liver.” While many people have to learn about what they want to do from textbooks and even tv shows, Ellis’s shadow day gave her the opportunity to truly engage with an expert from her chosen profession. The three girls were also asked their opinions on this and whether they think it’s too early to be bothered with mapping out their future careers. 

Lauren Dukes expressed her views on these questions, “I think 10th grade is a good time for students to think about their careers.” Similarly Crabtree said, “most people have some sort of idea they wanna do so it’s good for them to experience what they wanna do and if they like it.” 

“Because by the time they’ve graduated from high school, they could have a good idea about what they want to do in life, and what major they want to study in college,” said Dukes. Dukes, Crabtree, and Ellis all had similar answers so it’s safe to assume that sophomores are grateful for the opportunity to get the chance to think about their futures. While many people enter their senior year feeling overwhelmed and have absolutely no idea what to pursue when they are entering college, Hutchison sophomores can at least have a broad idea. Sophomores can also get a feel for a professional setting even if it isn’t one they see themselves in in the future. 

“10th grade is the perfect time to experiment with different professions, and students can personalize their classes or choose other extracurriculars that can help that later on,” said Ellis.