On March16, 2016, ten Clemente Junior Culinary Students went out all over the city to be involved in the National Groundhog Job Shadow Day celebration. This opportunity allows students to see first-hand how skills learned in school are put to use in the real workplace. This year, Clemente student chefs received front or back of the house work sites from the Illinois Restaurant Association Educational Foundation (ProStart). Each student selected had to commit to shadowing an industry-based site, arrive on time on their own by bus or train, dress properly and demonstrate the willingness to work and learn; students on the job shadow exemplified the principled learner profile trait.
Before the actual job shadow, each student received their hospitality assignment. Students then began to research information about their shadowing site to help them become more knowledgeable, inquiring how the establishment looked inside and out. Some students found profiles of owners or chefs and how they presented their food. Students were also responsible for planning their travel route independently. Each student was even provided a full-fare Ventra card to simulate the experience of getting up and going to work in the morning! On arrival, students were well received and are given an orientation session, followed by a workplace experience, and a question and answer luncheon. Each student was prompted to participate by trying to find out three new facts about their job shadow site. This year, some of the sites included Rick Bayless’s Frontera Grill, Eurest Northern Trust, Kendall College, Paramount Events, Mexique, Signature Room, Park Grill/Millennium Park. Other sites include Howells and Hood, Piccolo Sogno, and Taus Authentic.
Students completed the day by reflecting and giving thanks to all the establishments and our business partner at the IRAED for making it possible for Clemente Culinary students to experience the Hospitality Industry from the inside.