Information for Hosts-Professional Development Services - Carnegie Mellon University

Information for Hosts

The Host role has two major functions: (1) to serve as the primary role/individual being observed, and (2) to organize and coordinate opportunities for the Shadower to learn more about the Hosting Department. Participation in this role is not contingent upon a particular grade or position; any staff member at the institution may apply to be a Host.


The Host has a unique opportunity to highlight the important aspects of his or her job and how his or her role fits within the department. In order to create an immersive experience for the Shadower, the Host may:

  • Review his or her job description and compile a list of skills, responsibilities and major projects in anticipation of being shadowed.
  • Solicit feedback from others in the department to identify any insights or feedback they hope to gain from the Shadower throughout this experience, and share these objectives during the initial meeting.
  • Work with directors/department chairs and colleagues to identify appropriate meetings, activities, and/or projects for the Shadower to observe during the shadowing period. The Host should attempt to provide a range of activities and experiences that provide a thorough look into his or her position and the Hosting Department while being mindful of events or projects in which sensitive or confidential information might be revealed.


Through the shadowing experience, the Host will:

  • Understand how his or her department is viewed and understood by another colleague.
  • Gain a new perspective on his or her work and role through the eyes of the Shadower.
  • Build relationships and networks throughout the campus community.
  • Receive a copy of the Shadower’s summary which will include any feedback or insights the Shadower gained through the experience.
  • Receive additional feedback obtained through the Shadower’s post-program survey.