job shadowing

Finding Motivation

Chris Steele College Student, TTCU Teller on BreaksMy journey was and is a long but blessed, humbled, and rough journey. Coming from Memphis, TN to Nashville back to Memphis, I have learned a lot about life and have grown in various ways.

When I first stepped into Antioch High School with my twin, I did not take school nor life serious. I lacked motivation and work ethic. I truly did not see the value of hard work.

Around the end of my freshman year and beginning of sophomore year, I began to want more out of life than to just cruise by. What began to truly motivate me was watching the building of The Tennessee Credit Union in our cafeteria. I wanted to take on a new challenge and become a teller and show the school and my family what I can do. I wanted more out of my education and life and this was the opportunity I was waiting for.

Going through the internship with The Tennessee Credit Union has matured me and molded me into a more professional young gentleman. I have had the chance to meet so many wonderful people through this internship. After graduation and working at the main branch over my breaks, I have made many connections with co-workers over middle Tennessee. The employees’ and members of The Tennessee Credit Union are very supportive and helped me in many of ways.

To the future alumni of Antioch High School, find something to motivate you and pursue it. Don’t let anyone tell you no, especially yourself. You will never find out who you are until you find out who you aren’t. Find your strengths and build upon that and keep faith. Ignorance is not bliss.

Paging the future Dr. Makiyah

Job shadowing give students the opportunity to see the realities of a profession or industry and the connections between learning and the real world. Makiyah M., a student from Hunters Lane High School’s Academy of Health and Human Service,  participated in a a field trip to St. Thomas Hospital. In this post, Makiyah writes about her experience.


My experience going to St. Thomas was absolutely great. I got to experience a variety of things that go on in the medical field. During the day I tried many different hands-on activities and I got to meet new people who were interested in some of the same things that I am. Going to St. Thomas gave me a taste of what it would be like working in a hospital. The speakers were also great. They were very animated and engaging.

During the day there were many activities that I could try. It was very interesting to me because I could try out some of the technology. I had a chance to work with a robotic surgery machine. The robot was one of my favorites because it made me feel like I was a real surgeon. Not only did I work with the machine, but I also learned about its history.

I really liked the ice-breakers that they had planned for us. We were able to meet new people and also play a couple games with them. I liked that some of the people I met had different career choices than me. I got to learn about a few different careers in the medical field that I never even heard of before. I really liked being social with the other students because they had a lot of interesting things about themselves.

Spending the day at St. Thomas made me think about what it would be like if I were to work there one day. I had the opportunity to see doctors and nurses doing what they do every day. They made me feel very welcome. I felt like I was a part of their team. They were also very nice with assisting us to the conference room we were in.

Another one of my favorite parts was the speakers. They were very intriguing. Nancy Davis was very interesting. She was full of energy and her speech was great. I would have never thought of some of the things she faces on a daily basis. She was very animated and funny. The other speakers were also great. They were very educational and taught me a lot of new things.

Over all I had an awesome time. I got to go meet people who had some of the same interests as me. The speakers were great too. I got to learn a lot of new things. I also got to do hands-on activities. I really liked visiting St. Thomas. I hope I get another opportunity like this because it was very interesting.

Hillwood students learns the business of the arts

Job shadowing give students the opportunity to see the realities of a profession or industry and the connections between learning and the real world. Delores L., a student from Hillwood High School’s Academy of Art, Design and Communications,  participated in an internship this summer though the Frist Center of the Visual Arts. In this post, Delores writes about her experience.


On October 23, 2012, I had the opportunity to job shadow at The Frist Center of the Visual Arts. When I first arrived I was warmly greeted by the Director of the Education and Outreach Program. She gave me a tour of Frist and explained the significances of some of the various structures of the building and exhibits. I proceeded to the Education and Outreach Department, and later met with the Tours and Programs Coordinator. He talked about what his position entails at the Frist.


I then got the chance to meet with the Outreach and Educator for Public Programs where I learned how the Frist promotes exhibits and outside programs. The Educator for Public Programs told me that you have to be really organized for her job because things are always changing and you’re always trying to keep up with everything. The next stop was part of the museum which is called Martin ArtQuest. It was a really cool place, it had a lot of art stations where you can make and design you own artwork. After a very busy morning, I had a networking lunch with the Director of Education and Outreach and a few other people from my morning visit. This gave me a chance to ask some questions about the Frist and got to know the Director of Education and Outreach a little better.


After lunch I met the Design and Operations Director. He took me to one of the largest exhibits which is called “Carrie Mae Weems: Three Decades of Photography and Video”. He showed me some blueprints of the exhibit and explained how his team and he create a design and then presents the design to the artist for approval. If the artist does not like some parts of the design, they worked together to get a good compromise. The Design and Operations Director pointed out items in the exhibit that the Design Team had to modify and how they set the lighting, choose the background colors and arrange the photos in a way that it would draw the visitors in and make the art stand out. With this in mind, I had the opportunity to visit the Design office and meet a Graphic designer who was working on a future exhibit and view a board in the exhibit room that showed plans for a future exhibit.


At the close of the day, I had the opportunity to meet again with the Director of Education and Outreach and express my appreciation for the opportunity to job shadow at the Frist and tour the “Carrie Mae Weems: Three Decades of Photography and Video “. This experience gave me the opportunity to observe how a museum operates and the many jobs that are incorporated. I love the part where I got to shadow the Design and Operations Director. I want to work in a design field, and this gave me a chance to see how it functions.

Summer learning: connecting academics with the real world

Summer learning is a popular topic during the warm months. Educators and parents across the United States talk each year about the importance of students maintaining their knowledge during summer break in order to make progress in the following school year. There’s plenty of research that shows that students’ skills erode during long vacations (here is one example from the National Summer Learning Association). At the same time, it is important to allow students to enjoy the opportunity to recharge and learn other important skills that are less accessible in the classroom, such as starting a small business or getting a job.

The Academies of Nashville encourage all students to use the summer break to explore their interests and deepen their understanding of professions they want to pursue. Job shadowing is a great way to spend time with professional who work in a particular field and learn more about what it takes to succeed in that industry or career. For more advanced students, an internship is an opportunity to gain more in-depth knowledge of an industry, gain valuable experience working in that industry, and build relationships with working professionals to start a career. Summer learning can take many forms, and learning about a career through hands-on learning and real-world experience can be a boost that jumpstarts your professional goals.

Job shadowing at the Tennessee State Capitol

Job shadowing connects students with the real working world and gives them an insider’s view of a profession. Claudia R., a senior in Hillwood High School‘s Academy of Business and Hospitality, participated in job shadowing at the Tennessee State Capitol this spring. Organized through academy partner organizations Junior Achievement (JA) and AT&T, the experience allowed her to see the day-to-day activities and inner workings of state government.

Tennessee State capitol

The JA and AT&T job shadow at the State Capitol was a great opportunity for me as an MNPS student. Job shadowing a state representative was a huge honor. I got to shadow state representative Mark White. I got to go around the State Capitol and see where Governor Bill Haslam has his office. We were able to attend a press conference he was having that morning. Being able to attend the press conference was very informative because I heard things that I honestly have never heard before or been able to see.

Later, we also had the honor of attending a meeting with representative White and other state representatives. I was able to sit in the chairs that are up at the front and saw how they conduct a meeting and how everyone has a chance to talk about what is being discussed.

Later in the day we sat down to have lunch and someone from AT&T gave us a presentation on texting while driving. We learned of all the dangers there are because of texting and driving and how families have lost their sons or daughters because of this and what they wish they could have done to prevent everything from happening. This experience was a very good opportunity. It was great being  one of the first groups of MNPS students in job shadowing state representatives at the Tennessee State Capitol.

Job shadowing in hospitality industry at Hilton Suites

In April, students from Antioch High School‘s Academy of Hospitality participated in job shadowing at the Brentwood Hilton Suites. This experience gave the students an opportunity to learn about the demanding work of running a hotel’s various operations. In this blog entry, Paola V. writes about spending the day at the hotel’s front desk.

Antioch students job shadowing Hilton Suites 2012

My name is Paola Villarreal and I was given the opportunity to participate in job shadowing at the Brentwood Hilton Suites on April 12th. It was a great experience to be in a work environment and learn about the career options in a hotel. By beginning our visit with a tour of the building from the general manager, Tom Rybak, we were able to see all aspects of a hospitality business.

I was able to work with the front desk attendants, who taught me about all the work that goes into making a person feel comfortable in a foreign place such as a hotel. This career is difficult because the front desk personnel must know everything that is going on around the whole hotel. I was not the only one that got to work with individuals in the field; some of my peers worked in the kitchen or in housekeeping.

At the end of our time there, we had lunch with Mr. Rybak in the hotel restaurant. We were given the chance to discuss our experience and were given muffins that our culinary students had baked with the hotel chef. Overall we had a great day and I enjoyed  job shadowing in the hospitality industry.

Job shadowing behind the scenes at the Bridgestone Arena

Job shadowing gives students the opportunity to see the realities of a profession or industry and the connections between learning and the real world. Students from Antioch High School‘s Academy of Hospitality visited the Bridgestone Arena to see how the events crew sets up for a concert. The students watched as crews prepared the arena for the event and learned about the complex planning required to run a successful concert. Then, they were able to stay for the Country Music Hall of Fame‘s We’re All for the Hall benefit concert, featuring Keith Urban, Vince Gill, and more. In this post, Jamesha B. writes about the experience.

Antioch students job shadowing Bridgestone Arena 2012

My name is Jamesha Buchanan and I am a student in the Academy of Hospitality at Antioch High School. On Tuesday, April 10, 2012, a few of my classmates and I went to Bridgestone Arena to job shadow the event coordinator, Danny Butler. We toured the whole arena and got to see the entire behind-the-scenes actions for the concert, We’re All For The Hall. It was amazing to see how every little thing has a big part in the event, from the floors on the upper levels being clean to the sign language interpreter having a stand for his papers. It was a great experience seeing everybody in action when it was time to open the doors. I will never forget that day, especially because it was my first time attending a concert!

Nurse training at Hillwood Academy of Health Sciences

In February 2012, the U.S. Department of Education‘s Assistant Secretary for Vocational and Adult Education, Dr. Brend Dann-Messier, visited Hillwood High School. The purpose of Dr. Dann-Messier’s visit was to learn about the Academies of Nashville program and how the academy model has been implemented across MNPS and at Hillwood in particular. Students at Hillwood wrote letters to Dr. Dann-Messier to describe how their academies have changed their outlook on education and prepared them for college and career. The letter that follows was written by Christiana C., a senior in the Academy of Health Sciences. She writes about how her academy has given her nurse training in a hands-on learning environment.Hillwood Academies Nashville nurse training

I am Christiana from Hillwood High School, and I aspire to become a nurse. I come from a very loving and caring family, but my family lacks the ability to provide financial needs. If it weren’t for my Health Science classes, I never would have been given the opportunity to try and achieve my Certified Nursing Assistant Certification. I am in clinical now through the Nursing Education class and will have the appropriate number of clinical hours to sit for my test at the end of the school year, which is my senior year in high school. Through these classes in nurse training I have obtained numerous skills that I will be able to utilize in the field of nursing.

If you were to compare the person I was before high school to the person I am now, I have a much better likelihood of going to college and becoming a nurse. Academy of Health Sciences gave me hope of achieving my goals and kept me focused on my future. Nursing is an extremely competitive field, and being in this academy has put me a step ahead of everyone else. I’ve taken Medical Terminology, Emergency Medical Services, Advanced Placement, Dual Enrollment, and tons of other classes that I feel have prepared me to be a successful nurse. I’ve been given numerous opportunities to do things that I’d never have done without this academy. I have participated in job shadowing, paid and unpaid internships, and actual patient care.

I have been accepted to Lipscomb University, where I plan to pursue nursing. I feel the nursing classes will be less challenging for me with the many experiences in nurse training I have received in high school. No matter where life leads me, I’ll never forget the things the Academy of Health Sciences and especially Ms. Myrick have done for me. Plenty of doors have been opened, and I even have the chance to further improve my nursing skills and become a Certified Nursing Assistant along with attending college. I have built relationships at the facilities where I have had the opportunity to intern and, if I am successful at passing my test to earn my CNA certificate, I could possibly get a job at one of those facilities. I go off campus for my Nursing Education and Clinical Internship classes. I intern at the Blakeford Nursing Home for nursing class and Centennial Medical Center for the internship class. I enjoy forming a relationship with possible future employers. This is all thanks to the Academy of Health Sciences.

Not everyone has the opportunities I’ve had; however, they should. I’m a much better person, and I feel I’ll be a much better nurse, thanks to the Academy of Health Sciences and the nurse training available to me. I know you learn something new every day, as a nurse. I also know that not every day is the same. I really enjoy the fact that we get to go to the Blakeford and perform hands-on patient care. If it wasn’t for the Academy of Health Sciences, and the facilities that work with us, I’d be an average student. I have much more confidence as a student and as a prospective nurse.

Job shadowing in health technology at HealthTeacher

Job shadowing is a cornerstone of hands-on learning in the Academies of Nashville. Job shadowing helps to connect students and their interests with the business community. Students get the opportunity to learn about professional life in the real world alongside our community partners. Shantel H. is a student in Cane Ridge High School‘s Academy of Health Management. Shantel recently participated in job shadowing with HealthTeacher, an Academy Partner that works to bring awareness of healthy living and wellness through strategic partnerships.

Academies of Nashville Cane Ridge High School job shadowing If I could give a grade for my job shadowing experience, it would have to be an A+. I really enjoyed myself and learned a lot of new things. The main thing HealthTeacher does is to prevent children and teenagers from becoming obese. The company sends a representative to the surrounding hospitals to sell the program to the hospital, and then the hospital sponsors the program to all of the surrounding schools in the district. These schools get a class that allows students to learn how to become healthy and explore all the different qualities in the program.

I would like to thank the people of HealthTeacher for allowing me to see what they do in an everyday routine. Instead of just sitting in a room learning about everything, I had a hands-on experience. In periods of about 20 minutes to 45 minutes, I spoke with a group of people or just one person to learn about what they do. In each group you could ask questions or answer questions that they asked. For instance, at HealthTeacher the Technical Team who helps build up the website have a 15-minute meeting every morning  to discuss what they did yesterday and what the goal is for the day.

Even though I got lost in half of the things they were talking about, I still learned how the website is built up. Along with that I talked to the president of the whole company. I also learned about the business side of the company and how they manage the number of people that log on and use the lessons. The one thing I really learned was how health can tie into everything. For instance, in the Art Department they create poster boards that display healthy choices and positive messages. This allows children and teenagers to see what healthy eating and being healthy looks like.

Technology plays a major role at HealthTeacher and how it functions. In every office and conference room there is something high-tech. From the laptops to the TV’s and even the mouse pads, everything is very high-tech. One of the most used products at HealthTeacher is the Mac. I could really see myself working there in the future. It is an amazing program and it should be used not only in Metro Schools but in schools all over the country.

Job shadowing in music education

Job shadowing is an important step in helping students determine the direction of their academic studies. Job shadowing and internships are crucial components of the career exploration encouraged by the Academies of Nashville. Tatyana B. observed Ms. Jazmin Johnson of H.G. Hill Middle School to learn about the daily activities, rewards, and challenges of working in music education. While shadowing, Tatyana was able to work with students on their preparations for auditions at the Middle Tennessee School Band and Orchestra Association‘s Junior Mid-State Competition. Tatyana is a student at Hillwood High School‘s Academy of Business and Hospitality.

Hillwood student job shadowing music education

Tatyana job shadowed the band director at H.G. Hill Middle School

A few months ago, I was blessed with a job shadowing opportunity to observe the band director, Ms. Jazmin Johnson, at H.G Hill Middle School to learn more about what being a music educator actually entails. At that time I was at a crossroads between choosing music education, music performance, or some other field to be my major in college and, ultimately, my career. I felt it would be best for me to decide whether music education was a career I would enjoy to the fullest and be ready to commit to for a number of years.

During the job shadowing I mainly observed the different aspects of each class such as behavior, music, and the overall atmosphere. I asked many questions to the band director about the job and how it affects her life. However, the most important lesson I was taught came from the experience of seeing how diverse music education is, especially in middle school, since grade level usually determines skill level, how much can be taught, and what kind of music is performed. The job requires the teacher to be very adaptable and patient. I was even given a chance to practice this flexibility when I was given the opportunity to help a few students study some of their music for Junior Mid-State. This experience showed me how difficult it is to task myself so each student can get the most out of my assistance. I also found that it was very exciting to be able to sit down with students and give them the knowledge that I have so they can use it and share it as well!

After the job shadowing experience and looking back at my observations, I finally moved a couple of steps closer to the major I will choose and gained a lot of insight about the responsibilities and joys that come along with being a music teacher. At the moment I still have yet to decide what major I will choose. Having this experience has given me more facts so I can make an informed decision of my major before the end of the school year.

McGavock student spends the day job shadowing at Cedarstone Bank

McGavock High School‘s US Community Credit Union Academy of Business and Finance prides itself on opening up hands-on experience and real-world learning opportunities for students. Last week, Joseph M. wrote about his summer internship with US Community Credit Union. In this post, Joseph writes about his job shadowing experience at Cedarstone Bank after being named the Finance Student of the Month for January 2012.

McGavock student job shadowing Cedarstone Bank

Joseph of McGavock job shadows at Cedarstone Bank in January

I am an ambassador from McGavock’s Hospitality and Finance Academy, specifically the Banking and Finance pathway. This made me eligible to become the Cedarstone Bank’s McGavock Finance Student of the Month for January 2012. On January 12, 2012, a representative from Cedarstone Bank came to McGavock and presented me with a certificate; then I got to spend the day with him. This is what my day was like.

Willie McDonald from Cedarstone Bank arrived at 8:15 and took me back to the branch on Lebanon Road. I am also part of US Community Credit Union, so it was interesting to see the different points of view that a bank and a credit union have. I got to sit down with Melynda Bounds and she talked about loans and other procedures. Then I got to observe the tellers and see the differences in their systems and how they do things. I really enjoyed listening to them and talking about what each type of institution offers.

Then I got sit down and talk with Mr. McDonald. He has been in the banking industry for sixty-three years and fifty-five of them have been in Donelson. He has been involved in all kinds of committees and boards to help better his community and become more involved. The Tennessee House of Representatives even named him Honorary Mayor of Donelson. We talked for a while and he shared a few nuggets of wisdom.

Later, I got to go to the Donelson-Hermitage Chamber of Commerce luncheon. This was an awesome experience for me because I got to meet and talk to a number of important people in our community… people like the president of Summit Medical Center and the Operations Director for The Hermitage. This also gave me insight into what is going around me and the decisions that are being made that affect me. The keynote speaker was the president of Hands on Nashville, and I really enjoyed listening to him talk about how our community is volunteering and getting involved.

I ended my day by going on a service call with Mrs. Bounds. I learned about the three kinds of service calls; a cold call, where she has never met a person from the business; a warm call, where she has worked with the person before and is trying to get their business’s account; and a retention call, where the business is already a customer and she is checking in on them to see if everything is okay. I went on a retention call where we just talked with the customer and built a stronger relationship with them.

I want to thank The Academies of Nashville and Cedarstone Bank for giving me these opportunities and allowing me to learn things skills that go with academics. I also appreciate the opportunity to be more involved in my community.  The Academies have enriched my high school experience and have made me a more well-rounded person.