By Candace Birkelbach
Killeen Daily Herald
With Groundhog Day, Saturday, quickly approaching, some local professionals had a shadow at their sides on their workdays Wednesday.
The professionals were participating in National Groundhog Job Shadow Day and had high school students follow them to get an inside perspective on their careers.
The event helps high school students find out if a career they are interested in is something they could do, said Heather Nusbaum, of the Greater Killeen Chamber of Commerce. She helped plan the event.
About 160 students shadowed community leaders, educators, government officials, medical personnel, reporters, scientists and business leaders based on their future career interests.
Two students from Harker Heights High School who are interested in becoming veterinarians went to the Killeen Veterinary Clinic to see what the job requires.
The students shadowed veterinarian Dr. Brad Buckley throughout his day, which included a cat surgery, a dog ultrasound and client rounds.
Mark DiLillo, a junior at Harker Heights High School, said his favorite part of the day was performing an ultrasound on a dog to search for internal organ problems.
DiLillo, who wants to study veterinary medicine at Michigan State University, said he was able to get a more in-depth look at what a veterinarian does from shadowing.
Angelia Jackson, a junior at Harker Heights, said she loves helping and taking care of animals.
Jackson said the job shadowing experience helped her confirm that she wanted to be a veterinarian.
Buckley said he hopes students learned more about veterinary medicine and whether it is a career they could see themselves doing, "whether they decide to do it as a career or not."
Buckley said students today are busier and have more stress in their lives.
The job shadowing experience could be a good way to get their foot in the door at a business, Buckley said.
Buckley said previous job shadowers have come to work at the clinic after seeing how it operates.
"When I was young, I had the opportunity to work in a vet clinic and I know that impacted my career," Buckley said.
Regardless of which field students may want to enter, getting a first-hand look at that career is beneficial, Buckley said.