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Career Resources for Students of Color

Identifying and Evaluating Organizations

Assessing fit is an important part of the consideration process for potential employers or graduate/professional schools.

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Statements: Look for a statement on the organization’s website which can provide you with insight into their commitment and efforts toward a diverse, equitable and inclusive culture.

Affinity Groups/Student Organizations: Affinity groups create a space for employees of similar backgrounds or interests to build connection.  Similarly, graduate and professional schools may have identity-based student groups.  These groups can be a great source of networking contacts to learn more about an organization. 

Workplace Diversity Rankings: Several publications publish annual rankings of their top organizations for workplace diversity including Fortune, Forbes, and Comparably, to name a few. These types of lists typically focus on large companies and the methodology is different for each, but they can provide some insight into the experience of people of color who have worked for the employers on the list.

Northwestern Alumni: Connect with Northwestern alumni of color who work for employers or have attended graduate schools of interest to you for informational interviews. During the conversation, ask questions to learn more about their experience as a professional of color in the field and recommended professional organizations. Our Northwestern, LinkedIn, the Northwestern Mentorship Platform (search for alumni mentors by identity) and the members of Northwestern University Black Alumni Association (NUBAA), Latino Alumni of Northwestern (LANU) and Northwestern University Asian and Asian American Alumni Association (NU-A5) are great resources for finding alumni of color.

Diversity Recruiting and Specialized Programs

Northwestern Career Advancement hosts employers on campus annually to meet with students for on campus recruiting events, interviews, information sessions and career fairs. Handshake also has thousands of internships and job postings from employers in a wide range of fields who want to recruit Northwestern students and alumni. Employers regularly emphasize their interest and commitment to recruiting students from diverse backgrounds and are often seeking out opportunities to connect with students of color at Northwestern through specialized programming and events. Some of these programs emphasize industry exploration and are especially aimed at underclassmen, and others may examine identity through the introduction of employee resource groups and mentorship opportunities.

Beyond on campus recruiting hosted by NCA, there are several national programs designed to connect Black, Latinx and American Indian-identified students with employment opportunities. While many of the employers connected to these programs also recruit at Northwestern, an additional benefit to participation is the networking connections and comprehensive career development support provided.

Management Leadership for Tomorrow (MLT): MLT is a national nonprofit transforming leadership pipelines by equipping Black, Latinx and Native American talent to secure high-trajectory jobs.

Jopwell: Jopwell is a diversity hiring startup that helps companies connect with and recruit underrepresented ethnic minority candidates for jobs and internships

INROADS: INROADS is a non-profit organization founded in 1970 by Frank C. Carr to fix the lack of ethnic diversity in corporate America.

Hispanic Alliance for Career Enhancement (HACE): HACE is a national non-profit dedicated to the employment, development, and advancement of current and aspiring Latino professionals.

Student and Professional Organizations

Professional organizations are a great way to build your network and deepen your knowledge of a field. Many professional orgs also hold national and regional conferences that offer the ability to connect with employers for potential job/internship opportunities and meet Northwestern alumni who are now working in the field.

Wildcat Connection: Search Wildcat Connection to find identity-based student organizations at Northwestern related to your field of interest.

Directory of Associations: This comprehensive database allows you to search a global list of professional organizations using filters by identity and career field.

Cultural Expression in the Job and Internship Search

Hairstyles, attire, and head coverings can all be very personal expressions of your cultural or religious identity. As you begin to engage in a job/internship search, you may have questions about how those expressions will be perceived by potential employers. Reflect on what matters most to you as you are considering a future workplace. What will it mean to you to work in an environment where you may have to change or suppress meaningful expressions of your identity and how does that align with your overall career goals? Members of the NCA, Campus Inclusion and Community, and Religious and Spiritual Life staff as well as trusted mentors are all sources of support as you consider these questions.

You may also have questions about including identity-based experiences when writing documents like resumes and cover letters. Your skills come from a variety of places like work experience, academic projects, volunteer roles, and student organization involvement. Following the guidance on our website [hyperlink to website pages] the content in your bullet points should focus on highlighting the purpose or your impact within each experience. For mission-driven organizations, include details about the vision of the organization. For cultural or activism-based roles, focus on the tasks you performed and the outcomes of that work. Meet with a member of the NCA team for feedback as you write your documents.