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Students see behind scenes through job shadowing

Deciding on a career path to pursue after high school can be a struggle, but students in the Franklin County Chamber of Commerce Junior Leadership Program got a little help with a day of job shadowing Feb. 12.

All of the jobs students shadowed were in Franklin County, with some students using the Chamber of Commerce office as a way to be included in conference calls with businesses headquartered out-of-state, such as agriculture engineering.

“The Chamber feels it is important to expose students to jobs within our county because we want them to remain here or return home once they complete their education or establish their careers,” said Franklin County Chamber of Commerce Director Cassie Medley.

Medley said she feels it is important to give students an opportunity to see how a particular job works while also making contacts they can use in the future.

Franklin County Probate Judge Barry Moore had two students shadowing him, Camron Burks and Lane Shewbart of Red Bay, and he said these students had the opportunity to learn about the probate office and the Franklin County Commission.

“Both of those students expressed an interest in the elections process, so with elections coming up, they had the chance to learn more about what we do on this side of things to prepare for elections,” Moore said.

Russellville students Celia Echeverria and Roxanna Velez-Serna had the opportunity to spend the day job shadowing at the Russellville Animal Clinic, where they observed a neutering surgery and learned more about the field.

“I’ve known for a while that I wanted to become a vet, so I was excited for the chance to job shadow,” Velez-Serna said.

Echeverria said she did not realize how quick veterinarians have to think on their feet.

“One of the things he told us is how in this job, your patients can’t talk back to you,” Echeverria said. “You have to be paying attention to what they need and think quickly if anything goes wrong.”

Franklin County Archives Director Chris Ozbirn said she enjoyed getting to show the students who job shadowed her about her job and share her love of history with them.

“Whatever career you choose, I think it’s very important that you love it,” Ozbirn said. “I think it’s important that you know what you want and then try to find out everything you can about it.”

There were 48 students who participated in the job shadowing, with students representing Russellville High School, Red Bay High School, Tharptown High School, Phil Campbell High School and Belgreen High School.