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FAQ's: Job Shadow Externship Program for Undergrads

The Cal Job Shadow Externship Program is currently undergoing a transition. Check back soon for more information on how to join!

Before You Apply

How does a job shadow externship differ from an internship?

An externship is a shadowing experience, designed to explore a career field. It is not a job. Students do not receive academic credit or pay for externships. In the past, a few Externships have later led to internships.

Who are the Extern hosts?

The Job Shadow Extern hosts are Cal alumni who would like to support and forge a bond with the Golden Bear community.

When and for how long does the program run?

Job Shadow Externships take place during the January Winter Break. They can range from 1 day to 2 weeks. The length of the externship is specified by the sponsor and cannot be changed. Students must commit to the dates and duration indicated in the Externship listing. See also Externship Timeline.

Where does the program take take place?

Job Shadow Externships can be in-person or virtual.  In-person externships are available primarily in northern and southern California. There are also some out of state externships in areas such as New York and Washington D.C. There are also a few overseas.

Who pays for transportation and housing?

Students are responsible for all expenses related to the externship, including travel, accommodations (if any), meals, etc. Pell grant recipients and students with disabilities may be eligible for a travel stipend upon completion of the externship. 

I’m not sure if this program is for me. Can I talk to students who have done externships in the past?

Please read our student perspectives.

The Application Process

Who is eligible to apply?

All currently enrolled undergraduate students are eligible to apply, however, priority will be given to freshmen and sophmores. If you are graduating in December of the current year, you are not eligible. See Externship Timeline for specific dates.

What is the selection process?

Students will favorite alumni in career paths they are interested in and the Cal Externship Program Staff will match alumni Extern Hosts and students based on the student’s career interests and availability.

If You Are Selected

What if I apply but change my mind or cannot complete the job shadow externship?

Once a student is selected, he/she must follow through with the externship. Students must also be able to commit to the length and dates indicated on the web or agreed upon with the Extern Host.   Students who decline or cancel an externship offer that they applied for will not be allowed to reapply and will not be rematched to another opportunity during that year's program.

If an emergency arises and you absolutely cannot participate in the externship, please email the Cal Externship Program Office.