Applied Sciences, Technology, Engineering & Manufacturing Career Exploration

Job shadow opportunities from Kirkwood in the fields of applied sciences, technology, engineering, and manufacturing can help you learn more about the wide variety of careers available. Put yourself on the path to achieving your goals.

Learn how to get started in careers like: mechanical, chemical, electrical, or civil engineer; architect, computer software developer, CAD drafter, diesel mechanic, and wind turbine service technician.

Explore the opportunities listed below, when you find the career exploration event you'd like to attend, write down its name so it is handy when you fill out your application.

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Career Exploration Experiences

Do you like Art or Science?  Do you like solving problems or using technology such as virtual reality? Do you like making a positive impact on the community?  If so, this job shadow is for you!  Explore architecture and design careers including architect, digital media manager, and interior designer. Held February 2023.


Are you interested in exploring a career as an auto technician, auto mechanic, body shop technician or automotive salesperson? Do you like working with your hands? If so, this experience is for you! Hear from local auto mechanics about their career, their training and what a typical day looks like. Observe certified mechanics at work, you’ll even get to see an oil change and tour the shop! You will also hear from the auto sales manager about their role and management of the day to day. Come join us at Billion Auto in Iowa City! Cap of 20.

Are you interested in cars?  Ever questioned how engines operate, tinkered around on a vehicle or performed basic car maintenance?  Interact with dozens of local automotive industry partners to explore the future of Auto Tech in the region. Students will be provided hands-on opportunities to work with a variety of vehicles in a day that will simulate a “day in the life” of an automotive technician. Held April 14th, 2023 from 9 a.m. - 2 p.m.  Lunch will be provided.

Do you have a passion for mechanics and aviation? This job shadow will introduce you to exciting careers in the aviation maintenance or aviation repair industry!  Held at an airplane hangar at the Eastern Iowa Airport, see how an aviation mechanic inspects the engines, landing gear, instruments, pressurized sections, accessories, electrical systems, and other parts of an aircraft, and does the necessary maintenance and replacement of parts. Get the inside scoop on the hands-on training that will be offered through Kirkwood’s brand new Aviation Maintenance Technology program. Cap of 10.

If you are interested in biomedical engineering or biomechanics, this day can provide a good overview. Ask questions to a panel of current college Biomedical Engineers. Next learn more about the Magnetic Resonance Research Facility at the UI College of Medicine and then the Department of Orthopedics and Rehabilitation Lab to understand the Biomechanics of medical devices. Held April 11, 2023. Cap of 19.

Have you ever wondered what it takes to create a new school, library or fire station?  Come meet our proactive, collaborative and tenacious designers and engineers.  Explore opportunities in commercial construction design for careers in architectural technology, architectural engineering, mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, computer aided design & drafting.  Our expertise is in Mechanical/Electrical/Plumbing/Technology design and our job shadow will cover 3D modeling software and commercial building design process.  Held April 2023. Cap of 10.

Van Meter Inc.

Do you enjoy solving problems, serving customers, and working with fellow owners? Explore the growing fields of supply chain and warehouse logistics while learning how Van Meter’s culture and employee-owner experience makes it a fun place to work! Join the team for a tour of the facility and meet with Operations staff to learn about a variety of careers, such as traveling construction coordinator, commodities team member, driver, and more. Held February 2023. Cap of 20.

If you are interested in chemistry and consumer product testing, then this day is for you! Experience the life of a quality analyst at Frontier Co-op. Learn about the main testing methods used to ensure high-quality spices, culinary herbs, and essential oils. Gain insight into the diverse set of quality indicators, as well as regulatory requirements used at Frontier Co-op. Cap of 6.

Explore a variety of engineering careers including civil engineering, environmental engineering and environmental sciences (geology, hydrogeology and hydrology), GIS, transportation planning, community and regional planning, transportation engineering, water/wastewater engineering and flood protection. Held April 2023.  Cap of 20.

Learn about the fields of interior design, drafting, construction management, carpentry and building during a visit to McCreedy Ruth Construction.  Learn about the many career paths in the field of construction, classes you can take now to learn more and options for post-high school education in each field during your day at McCreedy Ruth.  Meet the design staff to learn how they use technology to help customers plan and visualize projects, take a tour of our building and custom cabinetry shop to see projects in progress and get an introduction to the tools of the trade.  This interactive day will include a nailing contest for dibs on fastest nailer. Cap of 12.

If you want an engineering career that emphasizes hands-on skills, fieldwork, working outdoors, and strong relationship skills, then choose this job shadow.  Our host will cover agricultural and environmental engineering as it relates to land and water resources and you will have the opportunity to do some hands-on learning! Held in early April 2023. Cap of 10. 

Explore careers in mechanical, electrical, software, and systems engineering.  This is a great job shadow whether you have a general interest in engineering or you have a specific career in mind.  Held February 2, 2023.

If you have an interest in Chemical, Mechanical, Design, or Environmental Engineering, this job shadow is for you!  Take a tour of Fluid Quip Technologies/Green Plains Inc., one of the world’s most innovative ag-tech companies, and get your questions answered by their team of engineers. Held April 2023. Cap of 15.

Learn about biomedical, mechanical, CAD, and manufacturing engineers from a cutting-edge medical device company as well as do some problem solving of your own.

Join Infrastructure Technology Solutions (ITS) for an overview of careers, facility tour, and workforce needs.  Featured roles and topics include: IT Security – products and tools for monitoring and managing machines and users; CTO/CIO – Methods of performing CTO/CIO duties as a contracted partner and as an internal employee; Physical SecurityVideo Surveillance and Door Access Control – products, technologies and integrations; Network Engineering and Installation, with an emphasis on network security; Software Engineering, APIs and the Internet of Things; Computer Repairs/Hardware; Business Development; Office Manager and Technical Sales, performing standard business roles within a high-tech environmentCap of 15.

Discover careers in information technology. Learn about a sampling of IT careers possibly including data infrastructure, application development, software development, AI/Robotics, and embedded systems.

Do you enjoy being outdoors and helping others in your community? If the answer is yes, then this day is for you! Participants will learn more about the many vital, high paying jobs in the energy and utility industry. Careers such as line mechanic, meter technician, electrical engineer, and natural gas mechanic will be discussed. If held in person, equipment and tools used in the industry will be available to give participants the opportunity to “try their hand” at performing basic line worker tasks. Held April 2023. Cap of 15.

Do you have an interest in the environment, resource conservation, or climate action? Learn how City of Cedar Rapids careers such as Sustainability Program Manager, Environmental Specialist, City Arborist, and Transportation Planner create sustainability products or services and/or strive to reduce the environmental impact of the City’s processes and operations.  Begin the job shadow in the City Hall Council Chambers, then take a tour outside near the river to learn about the inner workings of the flood wall and see how each career works to positively impact the environment.

Are you looking for a career where you can be out and about, not tied to an office? Do you like to be hands-on? Are you looking for a career where you can gain on the job training? Discover what it means to have a career as a heavy equipment mechanic, a fabricator (welder), a drilling service provider (for water wells) and a pump service provider. Observe a drill rig and a pump rig in action. Plus, learn about wells, aquifers and the importance of groundwater preservation.

How to Apply

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