Job Shadowing

September 9, 2016


JCCC students like Kashae Roark can meet with area professionals

Over iced coffees in the Shawnee Mission Medical Center lobby, Kashae Roark learned what a career in marketing might be like from someone who’s already committed to the career.

Morgan Shandler, public relations and marketing specialist at the hospital, met the recent graduate of Johnson County Community College for job shadowing.

The visit was organized by the Career Development Center as a way to introduce JCCC students to potential careers.

“It gives students the opportunity to get an up-close view of a career in an employment setting,” said LeAnn Cunningham, employment relations/internship coordinator of the Career Development Center.

Providing job insight

Roark said the visit was especially helpful. She had read up on the career, “but there’s only so much you can get from books. I’m a hands-on person, and this experience has given me a lot of insight.”

Armed with a list of questions, Roark politely questioned Shandler about her background, her typical workday and what Shandler thought would be exceptional skills and personality traits for someone in a job like hers.

“Definitely in this career, I think being outgoing is helpful,” Shandler said, explaining her encounters with sources for articles, with other public information officers in Kansas City and with perfect strangers at hospital-sponsored events.

“Having to go out there and talk to people – it’s hard, but I definitely think it’s a positive,” Shandler said. Roark nodded. After a few more questions, she told Shandler, “I think your job sounds fun.”

“Oh it is,” she said and then proceeded to share more of the good with just a sprinkling of the bad – it is work, after all.

“I kind of am always on call,” Shandler said. As part of the crisis communications team, she needs to be ready to work during off-hours if any emergency arises affecting the medical center. Her job also includes monitoring social media, she explained, both for customer service and for the safety of the hospital and its people.

Providing options

Shandler graduated with her bachelor’s degree in 2010. “It’s not been that long ago,” she explained, “and I know choosing what you want to pursue (as a career) can be challenging.” She changed majors herself when in college, she said, and wanted to help someone else pick what fit for him or her.

At the end of the job shadowing, Roark said the experience was positive. Her only regret was that she hadn’t done it sooner. While in classes at JCCC, she was busy, taking classes and performing on the Golden Girls dance team.

“I wish I had gone to the Career Development Center sooner, when I wasn’t so pressed for time,” she said. She’ll be attending Wichita State University, with only a few months remaining before she’ll have to pick a major.

Also, as a Kauffman Scholar, she doesn’t have time to take a break and start classes once her major comes to her. “I’ve got a full-ride scholarship, but I’ve only got four years,” she explained.

Reciprocal experience

Shandler said she enjoyed meeting Roark and learning more about Johnson County Community College. “It sounds like Kashae has had the typical college experience there – joining the dance team, becoming involved…I think of community college as the place for technical training, or where you go when you’re older, but now I know that’s not the case.”

To learn more about the job shadowing program for students at JCCC, contact Cunningham at or 913-469-3598 or stop by the Career Development Center in Student Center 252.