Blake Wood
Publish Date

The University of Illinois Springfield Department of Accounting, Economics and Finance has launched a new job shadowing program for undergraduate students to help them learn from experts in the field.

As part of this initiative, students go through professional development modules on LinkedIn Learning and then are paired with a finance professional in the field. Three students participated in the pilot program during Spring Semester 2024, each earning $700 from the Provost's Good Ideas Fund, for completing the program and a digital badge. Students job shadowed with financial professionals at Madison Industries, Federated Fiducial and the Springfield Urban League.

“The program had a positive impact on students including job and internship offers and amazing on-the-job training,” said Serkan Karadas, the PNC professor in banking and finance at UIS.

Karadas started the program along with UIS Assistant Professor of Finance Tammy Schlosky and UIS Office of Engaged Learning Coordinator and Advisor for Engaged Learning and Partner Initiatives Rob Weis.

“I’m very happy that the university gave us their support for this initiative,” Schlosky said. “And of course, I’m also thankful for the businesses that offered our students the opportunities to earn practical experiences in the field. Seeing how this program benefits our students, I hope that we can continue this practice for years to come.”

“Opportunities like the finance job shadowing program allow UIS students to gain greater insight into the fields they aspire to join,” Weis said. “Moreover, this is a perfect chance to link our students to employers seeking quality interns and employees.”

Sophomore business administration and economics major Wonder Odutola job shadowed at Federated Fiducial, an accounting, tax and consulting firm that has provided business services to those specializing in the funeral business. She helped develop annual reports and forms, forecasted future pricing and operating costs using past data, analyzed industry standings across the U.S., assisted with payroll management, handled W-2 forms, reconciled bank statements, distributed 401k distributions and utilized money market tools for cash balance analysis for retired employees.

“This program helped me gain insight into the different parts of the finance industry,” Odutola said. “Some of these topics I had learned in classes at UIS but seeing them put to use brought a smile to my face. I now know that my efforts in learning these topics are not being wasted, and I will actually use them when I start my career.”

Karadas hopes to continue offering the program to other students during future semesters.

“I will definitely encourage other students to shadow as part of this program because it will open their eyes as students,” Odutola said. “Before getting internships, shadowing will help you gain insight, see how the topics you learned in the classroom are being used and improve your knowledge in order to see different perspectives outside of the classroom.”

Students, alumni or employers who would like to learn more information about the program should contact Weis at