Human Services

Start your path to a career that makes a difference! Human services job shadow opportunities from Kirkwood can show you what it takes to succeed in this challenging but rewarding field. 

Discover the wide variety of careers in the field of human services, such as: teacher, paraeducator, principal, guidance counselor, social worker, substance abuse counselor, lawyer, community outreach worker, police officer, probation officer, firefighter, EMT, chef, lodging manager, and event planner.

How to Apply for Job Shadows

  1. Review the group and individual job shadow opportunities available below and select your top two choices. Note: Your choices can be from two different industry categories.
  2. Review the application instructions.
  3. Start your application.

Group Job Shadows

Group job shadows offer a great introduction to specific career fields and allow you to explore a broad scope of careers within the highlighted field, all in one shadow experience. Group job shadows are a great option for initial exploration of a specific career or industry. On average, shadows are typically 2-4 hours in duration.

Note: Group job shadows with an asterisk (*) next to them are in-demand jobs in the corridor area, as determined by our area economic development organizations.

Group Shadow Opportunities

Athletics Career Day: Kirkwood Community College

Here is your opportunity to learn everything you need to know about a variety of athletic careers!  You will have the opportunity to visit with an athletic director, athletic trainer, and a couple coaches.  You will learn what the daily tasks are in their jobs along with the education required.  This event will conclude with observation of a basketball practice to see some of these individuals in action! Held Spring 2021.

Athletics Career Day: Mount Mercy University

Would you like to be involved in sports and athletics with high level athletes in a college atmosphere on a daily basis. If you love to compete and to be around competitive individuals striving to be the best version of themselves, then please join us at Mount Mercy University to explore career paths as an athletic trainer, athletic director and college coach.  Held Spring 2021.

Careers in Education Day: Cedar Rapids Educational Leadership and Support Center, Cedar Rapids - VIRTUAL ONLY

Do you like working with children? Want to make a difference? Learn about careers in education such as elementary, middle, or high school teacher, school counselor, special education teacher, and paraeducator. You'll learn about the daily tasks in the roles along with the required education.  Held Spring 2021.

Child Development Day: University of Iowa Health Care, Iowa City - VIRTUAL ONLY

Interested in learning about the growing field of child development and how these specialists help children cope with their medical experiences? Learn from current graduate students and staff about this important service for children with health issues.

Careers in Cosmetology Day: Capri College, Cedar Rapids

Capri offers advanced Beauty and Wellness training eastern Iowa.  Come explore what a career in cosmetology would like.  You will learn about hair design, makeup, nails and more.

Cosmetology Day: PCI Academy Iowa City

Come join PCI Academy for an inside look at what the world of cosmetology, esthetics, and massage therapy looks like. See how exciting and amazing your future career can be. Remember, the only impossible journey is the one you never begin.

Baking and Pastry Arts Career Day: Kirkwood Community College, Cedar Rapids

Experience a commercial kitchen environment in the Kirkwood Community College Baking and Pastry Lab during a live, hands-on lab session instructed by Kirkwood Hospitality faculty. Participants will learn more about the careers of bakers and pastry chefs, and be involved in production utilizing some fundamental kitchen techniques.  You won’t go home hungry! Cap of 6 students.

Culinary Arts Career Day: Kirkwood Community College, Cedar Rapids

Experience a commercial kitchen environment in the Kirkwood Community College Culinary Lab during a live, hands-on lab session instructed by Kirkwood Hospitality faculty. Participants will learn more about the career of a chef and be involved in production utilizing some fundamental kitchen techniques.  You won’t go home hungry!  Cap of 8 students.

*Media/Event Production Day: Wired Production Group, Cedar Rapids - VIRTUAL ONLY

Have you ever wondered who is behind the giant video screens and great sound of an outdoor  concert or event?  If your interests are in audio, video production/editing, staging, lighting, media or event planning and production, this group job shadow is a great fit for you. You will learn about the high demand careers in this exciting field of live event management and production hosted by local industry expert Wired Production Group. 

EMS Career Day: Kirkwood Community College, Cedar Rapids

Learn about careers in EMS including EMT and paramedic. Experience hands-on practice of EMS skills including CPR, bandaging and splinting, and medication administration assistance.  Receive an overview of career options and opportunities in emergency medical services. Cap of 8 students.

Mental Health Career Day: University of Iowa Health Care, Iowa City - VIRTUAL ONLY*

Explore career opportunities in this growing field and learn how health involves not only the physical well-being, but also the mental well being of individuals.  You will have the chance to learn about mental health research at UI Hospitals & Clinics and practice your responses to mental health scenarios with experts who work in mental health careers.

Paramedic Day: Johnson County Ambulance Service

Johnson County Ambulance Service provides an exciting experience for those interested in a public safety career.  If you’d like to learn about the skills and education it takes to be a paramedic, then this is the event for you!  Paramedics from the service will give you all the details regarding what a typical day looks like on the job.  They will demonstrate a scenario of a medical emergency call and the teamwork it takes to work in this field.

*Social Work Day: Systems Unlimited, Iowa City

If you are interested in a career in social work, case management and direct care by helping people with disabilities and other challenges navigate the legal, medical and day-to-day circumstances of life, you will want to attend this event! Hear from energetic Systems Unlimited staff - behavioral support specialists, employment systems manager, community outreach director, and human resources. Cap of 25 

Attorney Career Day: United States Courthouse, Cedar Rapids

Do you have good analytical, research, and interpersonal skills?  Are you creative and able to think of reasonable solutions when problems and unique solutions arise?  If so, you have some of the top traits needed to be a good attorney!  Come learn more about this career at the United States Courthouse in Cedar Rapids! 

FBI Career Day: Cedar Rapids, Iowa City - VIRTUAL ONLY 

Investigate how to embark on a career path with the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The FBI hires professionals in several criminal justice specialties, such as special agent, special agent linguist, hostage rescue team member and intelligence analyst.

Legal Day: United States Courthouse, Cedar Rapids

Held at the United States Courthouse in Cedar Rapids, professionals in a variety of legal fields such as judge, district attorney, and court reporter will tell you all you need to know about their careers and provide time for questions.

Legal Day: Johnson County Clerk of Court, Iowa City

Interested in a career in the legal profession?  Come speak with a variety of individuals who work in the legal field to learn more about their careers.  You will have the opportunity to have a conversation with them and also receive a tour of the courthouse.  Cap of 12 students. Spring of 2021. 

Legislative Careers Group Job Shadow Day: Kirkwood Regional Center University of Iowa, Coralville - VIRTUAL ONLY

Learn about careers as a legislator, lobbyist, advocate, writer and researcher as regional elected officials and professionals walk students through a role playing exercise of the legislative action.

Mini Police Academy Day: Marion, Coralville

Here’s your opportunity to learn about the variety of careers in law enforcement. Receive a tour of their facility and participate in hands-on activities.


Individual/Small Group Job Shadow Opportunities

Individual/small group shadows allow for a deeper dive into specific careers, shadowing a professional(s) in that field. These small group shadows are perfect for those who are more confident in their career interests and have had some initial exposure to that career.

Shadows may be individualized or include a handful of students, depending on demand. On average, shadows are typically 2-4 hours in duration.

Note: Group job shadows with an asterisk (*) next to them are in-demand jobs in the corridor area, as determined by our area economic development organizations.

Careers to Shadow

  • Child Care WorkerAttend to children at schools, businesses, private households, and childcare institutions. Perform a variety of tasks such as dressing, feeding, bathing, and overseeing play.
  • Funeral Director - Perform various tasks to arrange and direct funeral services such as coordinating transportation of body to the mortuary, interviewing family or other authorized person to arrange details, selecting pallbearers, aiding with the selection of officials for religious rites, and providing transportation for mourners.
  • Librarian/Media SpecialistAdminister libraries and perform related library services. Work in a variety of settings including public libraries, educational institutions, museums, corporations, government agencies, law firms, non-profit organizations, and health care providers. Tasks may include selecting, acquiring, cataloguing, classifying, circulating, and maintaining library materials. Also includes furnishing reference, bibliographical, and reader advisory services. May perform in-depth strategic research and synthesize, analyze, edit, and filter information. May set up or work with databases and information systems to catalogue and access information.
  • Minister/Pastor - Plan, direct, or coordinate programs designed to promote the religious education or activities of a denominational group. May provide counseling and guidance relative to marital, health, financial, and religious problems.
  • Teacher - College/Professor (specify subject) - Plan, direct, or coordinate research, instructional, student administration and services, and other educational activities at postsecondary institutions including universities, junior colleges, and community colleges.