The Beacon Hill Institute hosted Job Shadow Day, an annual event sponsored by the Boston Private Industry Council and the Boston Public Schools to provide an opportunity for high school students who are considering career choices to gain hands-on experience in the workplace.

This year, two seniors from Charlestown High School, Adriana Foster and Mark Accino, shadowed Beacon Hill Institute Communications Director Frank Conte.

They worked with Conte on the annual State Competitive Index, a report primarily dealing with infant mortality rates, checking statistics and variables on a spreadsheet.

The students appreciated having real work to do.

“I learned how to use Excel,” said Foster, who is interested in a career in international business.

Accino plans to pursue a degree in mathematics.

“It was good to hear Mr. Conte’s explanation that his work with numbers means that in the end all of the pressure is on him to get it right,” he said.

“Students who participate in Job Shadow Day demonstrate a great willingness to learn about professional life,” said Conte. Hopefully they come away from the visit to the Beacon Hill Institute understanding how job descriptions continually change in our dynamic economy.

“The message I tried to convey to Adriana and Mark is that much learning takes place on the job because of the vast changes in technology and globalization. I also sought to help them understand how these changes in work life tie in nicely with some of BHI’s research on economic competitiveness between individuals, firms and governments.”

The Beacon Hill Institute has hosted students from Boston Public Schools on Job Shadow Day since 1999.