Job shadowing in the FilmNet Interreg project

 Newsletter No 3

The FilmNet project is one of the few projects implemented in the Interreg South Baltic program, which used such a method as “Job Shadowing” (JS). What is it? How can it be used? What are the benefits?

The concept of Job Shadowing comes from business and means “accompanying internship”. It involves learning by observing the work of others, more experienced employees. Hence, moreover, the name – a person who determines with the help of this tool accompanies the employee being watched – is like a shadow. This is also the difference between JS and professional internship or volunteering – here, the delegated person does not provide work for the organization or institution, does not make the decisions and actively participate in meetings. Of course, can be involved in various activities, but this doesn’t impose any obligations on this person.

Job shadowing is a relatively new phenomenon but can bring direct benefits to both companies and employees. What about projects within international cooperation?

 It turns out that this tool is very rarely used – although it could be more often applied, especially in projects related to employee mobility or capacity building of partner organizations. In Interreg programs, it is used only marginally, in Erasmus + slightly better – but also to a limited extent. Meanwhile, according to many reports, it is the ability to directly track the work of foreign teachers and experts which provide the best results.

In Interreg programs, where we talk about exchange of experience, good practices, building organizational potential, contacts between people – job shadowing can be a great tool, opening both people and organizations

The FilmNet project is one of those unusual activities where the Job Shadowing instrument was used. Almost every partner accepted employees of partner organizations within their institution. The visits took place in October at the Institute for New Media in Rostock, (Germany) and in November 2018 at FilmRegion Sydost in Växjo, (Sweden),  in September 2019 at Center of European Meetings “Światowid” in Elbląg, (Poland) and last – on 24 -28.02.2020 at the Business and Tourist Information Center in Rietavas, (Lithuania). Each of these events lasted five business days.

 What were the results?

 Employees of the Polish CSE “Światowid” could “get inside” other solutions and experiences in the field of film education, e.g. see how film clubs work in Sweden, mini film funds for young filmmakers. They gained inspiration for innovative initiatives and projects of a film nature, e.g. in the functioning of the Swedish project “Filmriket” the platform related to the promotion of film production among children and young people.

Partners from Rostock (Institute for New Media) emphasized the positive aspect of professional exchange with partners abroad in the form of obtaining a different perspective and the opportunity to reflect on their work, meet new project partners and establish relationships with them. It was essential to include some of the experience gained into the daily practice of their organization, primarily related to the creation of a network of film festivals for children and young people (based on the experience of the Youth Cinema Network through participation in Job shadowing in Sweden).

The possibility of intensive exchange with festivals throughout the Baltic Sea region was also gained. The experience and knowledge gathered in this way allowed to slightly modify the program of this year’s German film festival FiSH, which was to begin in 2020 with a competition for young filmmakers in the entire Baltic Sea region!

How can you prepare yourself as an organization and your employees to use such a tool?

We have a few hints…

How long can job shadowing take? From 2 to 60 days, depending on your needs. Partners from the Institute for New Media suggest limiting the shadowing period of work to 3 days. They always combine it with specific work processes, e.g. selection committees, future workshops, media camps. It is worth that the organization sent an employee of its institution identifies its areas for improvement – then it is easier to organize such observation. We do not send our observers either when there is a lot of work in the host organization (the so-called “hot period”), or when we have a “hot season” – there is nothing to observe.

In fact, we should not force a particular scenario – job shadowing is an observation of our daily work, habits, organizational culture – just the life of the organization.

So, we encourage you to take an example from the FilmNet project and the wider use of such a tool as Job Shadowing!

The contents of this Newsletter are the sole responsibility of the authors and can in no way be taken to reflect the views of the European Union, the Managing Authority or the Joint Secretariat of the Interreg South Baltic Programme 2014-2020.“

The content of this website is the sole responsibility of the author and can in no way be taken to reflect the views of the European Union, the Managing Authority or the Joint Secretariat of the South Baltic Cross-border Cooperation Programme 2014-2020. The project UMBRELLA is partly financed from the Interreg South Baltic Programme 2014-2020 through the European Regional Development Fund.