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Job shadow program gives students real life experience
Students from Ben Eielson High School watch a demonstration from Staff Sgt. Joseph Wake, 354th Security Forces Squadron military working dog trainer, Staff Sgt. Carey Tignor, 354th Security SFS MWD handler, and MWD Wwill, Nov. 25, 2013, Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska. The students were a part of an ongoing job shadow program that expands their knowledge through career exploration. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Ashley Nicole Taylor/Released)
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Job shadow program gives students real life experience

Posted 12/4/2013   Updated 12/4/2013 Email story   Print story


by Senior Airman Ashley Nicole Taylor
354th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

12/4/2013 - EIELSON AIR FORCE BASE, Alaska -- What do you want to be when you grow up? This is a daunting question everyone faces at one point or another.

Thirteen students from Ben Eielson High School faced this question head-on and received a valuable opportunity to expand their knowledge with on-the-job career exploration.

"The point of this program is that it's a community-based type learning experience," said Joe Deutsch, career technical education teacher at BEHS. "It really does open the eyes for students to see how a job actually goes."

Two different sessions were in place for students to go to a job site and witness first-hand what happens on a day-to-day basis. The shops available to the students varied from military working dog handler, to dental assistant and even explosive ordinance disposal.

Although some students seek a profession that the Air Force doesn't have, the class tried to match the student as closely to the job they want.

Freshman Alexis Smathers aspires to be a graphic designer and followed a broadcaster within the public affairs office, making a short two-minute video to get a taste of training.

"My favorite part about this class was being able to hold a camera," said Smathers. "It's been really cool getting hands-on with a video camera, shooting a video and learning the job."

The military working dog handlers hosted two students to show what happens daily to include a training session with the dogs.

"I really enjoy this program. Not many people know what being a dog handler consist of," said Staff Sgt. Joseph Wake, 354th Security Forces Squadron MWD trainer. "I always enjoy having an opportunity to show people how much hard work and effort our guys put into this job."

After each student does a job shadow opportunity, they will give a presentation about their experiences and figure out the next process in choosing a career path.

Not only did the job shadow program give freshmen the opportunity explore a specific career path, but it gave them an inside look at what Air Force is all about.

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