Junior Tourism, Recreation and Adventure Leadership student Chris Galbreath has a passion for the outdoors, but wasn’t sure what he wanted to do when he landed at Oregon State. When he learned about the recreation management field in an introductory course, he felt a spark.
“I could see myself in a position like that, and decide that’s what I wanted to do,” Galbreath said.
To further explore his potential field, during spring term 2017, Galbreath participated in the job shadow program, facilitated by the College of Forestry’s Office of Student Resources and Engagement. Job shadows are usually short, one-day experiences during which students follow professionals in their chosen field to learn more about what they do.
“The office helped me explore what kind of job shadow opportunities were available, and I decide to job shadow an interpreter at the Yaquina Head Interpretive Center.”
From there, Galbreath communicated with the professionals there, who invited him out for a day to learn more about their positions and the work done at the lighthouse’s protected area.
“The day I went, there was a school group coming in, so I got to see how they deal with those as opposed to the general public,” Galbreath says.
He also explored tide pools and hiking trails.
“Before I went to do the job shadow, I didn’t have an idea of what they do, but while I was there I got to see how they manage people and how they run the business. It gives you a good insight into what this particular section of the job world looks like, and then you can reflect on that,” Galbreath says.
Galbreath enjoyed the field of interpretation so much that he spent the summer interning with the Oregon Department of Forestry as interpreter at the Tillamook Forest Center.
“My job there was to learn material about the forest and pass that on to the public so they understand it and can go have a great time out in the forest as well,” he says.
Galbreath was the first student to participate in the job shadow program, and there are many opportunities available.
Brooke Harrington in the Office of Student Resources and Engagement says the job shadow program is a great way to explore future employment opportunities.
“These opportunities are a way to start exploring different career paths, make important industry connections and see how classroom work can create success in the work place,” Harrington says. “The goal of this program is to connect students with short-term opportunities that can help them make important career and academic decisions.”