Interested in serving as a mentor for a day to one of our undergraduate engineers? To make the experience as easy as possible, we put together some suggestions on how to structure the time with a student in the Real World Engineering program. Feel free to use all of our recommendations or just a few. Your choice of how to present your company and role is part of the unique experience that our students are looking for.

The length of the shadowing experience can be the entire day, a half-day, or slightly shorter. Depending on the time you have to share, time on site can vary. A minimum of three hours is preferable to allow the student time to process and consider questions they may have. If you can inform us one to two weeks prior to the shadowing what the timeframe is, we can better prepare the student and travel arrangements.

  • Feel free to involve your human resources department. While our students are looking for an informational experience with you, they may also be curious about internships or jobs in the near future. Learning more about your company, as well as the type of candidates your company hires for internships and permanent employment, is worthwhile for the student.
  • Include your coworkers/other departments in the visit. Students can benefit from meeting professionals in multiple engineering departments. The opportunity to compare and contrast can help them think more critically about their own interests and desires.
  • Let them participate. When confidentiality allows, let the student sit in on a meeting or ask them to solve a problem. An opportunity to apply their skills in a real-life setting will only enhance their experience.
  • Share your educational and professional history. What do you feel you did to succeed? What do you wish you could have told your 20-year-old self to prioritize? Does a 4.0 GPA mean everything, or are there other experiences you felt mattered more? Course suggestions, skills to develop, organizations to join; your perspective is valuable.
  • Let us or your mentee know beforehand if there are things they should prepare for to make the most of their experience, for example, appropriate attire, security clearance requirements, and NDAs.

Get More Information

If you would like to volunteer your time or your company for a Real World Engineering program, or if you would like more information, please contact us at