JA Job Shadow – NREL

Virtual JA Job Shadow Overview

Below you will find the overview for the virtual JA Job Shadow at NREL (National Renewable Energy Laboratory). During the next few hours, you should complete steps 1 and 2. You should watch at least ONE video from step 3, but JA encourages you to watch multiple Deep Dive videos. Lastly, check out some of the supporting documents that NREL has provided.

Before starting any of the videos, you should open your JA Job Shadow Student Guide. This is where you can  take notes throughout these videos and take the most away from this experience. For this event, please complete the full student guide document. The only section that should be skipped over is called “Scenario Challenge.” Remember – if you hear any terms or words that you are not familiar with, write those down! You can then review the additional documents the company has sent over to see if they cover those words you don’t know. If they don’t, it is time to do your own research!

Now let’s get started!

Step 1 – Company Overview: The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) focuses on creating answers to today’s energy challenges. They have a rich history of renewable energy and energy efficiency research and innovation that spans decades. In 2017, NREL celebrated 40 years of driving advanced energy research. Their vision lays the foundation for scientific research and technological innovation to shape a highly efficient and resilient energy future.

Below you will find a few resources to help kick off this virtual event! Check out more details about what NREL is all about by clicking their website. Once you have done a bit more research, head over to the company overview and tour, led by our NREL moderators. 

  • NREL Website 
  • Company Overview & Tour
  • JA Job Shadow Moderators:
    • Tom Mason – STEM Education Outreach Coordinator, Communications Office
    • Meghan Pearson – STEM Education Specialist, Communications Office

Step 2 – Employee Panel: Now that you know a bit more about the mission of NREL and what they do on campus, it is time to meet some of their employees! Check out this panel discussion to hear about some of the possible career opportunities that could be waiting for you. Take notes on some of the amazing things these panelists do at a high level. You will get a chance to learn more about them and their days in the next step.

  • Panel Video
  • Panelists:
    • Ardelia Clarke – Researcher, Data Science 
    • Kamyria Coney – Researcher, Policy Analysis 
    • Marissa Martinez – Graduate Research Assistant, Materials Chemistry

Step 3 – Department Deep Dives: You’ve now heard a high level overview of what possible job opportunities are available at NREL, but what does each of these department’s and employee’s days look like? Several of our volunteers have recorded a video to walk you through their days, give a feel for what their job entails, and provide additional context about their overall career journey! Click on their names to watch each deep dive video.

Step 4 – Additional Resources: Congratulations! You have just finished our virtual JA Job Shadow! It wouldn’t be an actual event if you didn’t get some handouts! Below are some additional resources provided by NREL. They give you a bit more information on what they do at the facility and also provide some more context on some of the things mentioned throughout the videos. 

Questions? If you have any questions about what you saw during the videos or questions for any of the volunteers that spoke, please provide those to your teacher. Your teacher can then provide those questions to their JA representative.

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