HANFORD — Although groundhog Punxsutawney Phil didn’t see his shadow on Saturday — predicting an early spring — plenty of local business professionals did see shadows.

Monday, dozens of Sierra Pacific High School students in the Business Finance Academy participated in a job shadow day, where they shadowed professionals from all over Kings County at schools, police departments and various offices and businesses.

Some students also went to Coalinga, Fresno or even as far as Mountain View, spending time at Google headquarters.

The goal of the day is to expose students to daily life in a professional setting and prepare them for the real world by applying what they have learned in school, outside of the classroom.

At Hanford Veterinary Hospital Serenity Carrasco and Ally Martinez shadowed the doctors and veterinary assistants as they checked on their furry patients.

“It’s really cool,” Serenity, 17, said when asked what she thought of the veterinary hospital.

Serenity decided to shadow at the veterinary hospital because not only does she love dogs, she wants to go into a career that helps others. She said doctor or veterinarian are at the top of her list.

Choosing the hospital was a no-brainer for 16-year-old Ally.

“I want to be a vet,” Ally said. “Large animals and small animals.”

Ally said she’s known for a long time that it is what she wants as a career and was glad to experience it firsthand. She said she was surprised at how calm most of the animals were while being checked by the doctors.

Dr. Lee Fausett of Hanford Veterinary Hospital said so many things go on at the hospital that unless people have worked at one before, they would have no idea what goes into being a veterinarian or veterinary assistant.

“It’s good to be able to open up their thought process to all the different aspects in veterinary medicine,” Fausett said of the importance of job shadowing.

The Hanford Police Department was also busy Monday with five students job shadowing officers. Two of those students were 16-year-old Nikkos Goumas and 17-year-old Brandon Ayala.

Students got to see the equipment officers’ use, got a tour of the department and dispatch center, and went on ride-alongs.

Officer Mark Carrillo said students were able to get a glimpse of what officers do in person, as opposed to what they may see on TV. Real police work, Carillo said, is just as focused on paperwork and report writing as it is on chasing and catching criminals.

While pursuits tent to happen every once in a while, Carrillo said the officers emphasized the reports and case work that must be done in great detail

“We showed them basically what happens when you take a call from beginning to end,” Carillo said, adding the students were surprised how much work goes into every case.

Nikkos said law enforcement is a career that interests him and he was excited to dig a little deeper into the profession.

“It’s different than what I thought it would be — a lot of desk work,” Nikkos said. “It’s really cool though, really interesting.”

Brandon said looking into the different components that make up and entire case was interesting.

“It’s definitely a career worth looking into,” he said.

Student Jessie Ball also shadowed this Sentinel reporter on Monday. Jessie, who likes writing and performing, said she never realized what went into the process of interviewing and writing news.

Jessie said movies about reporters or police or vets show kind of a glorified version of those careers and she liked seeing what really goes on behind the scenes.

“Being able to do this job shadow and see the real stuff and see firsthand just how different it can be on a day-to-day basis really opens your eyes to whether or not it’s something you should be doing,” Jessie said.

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News Reporter

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