Students of Color
We acknowledge that the term ‘students or people of color’ is a reference used in the United States and Canada when addressing students who self-identify or are identified as Black/African American, Asian/Asian American/Pacific Islander, Native American/Alaska, Native/Indigenous, Chicano/Latina/o/x, Arab/Arab American, or multiracial.
The information on these pages provides advice based on race and ethnicity. We recognize that there is intersectionality in our identities and encourage you to explore the information on all of the pages that are relevant to your background.
While we make no assumptions on the challenges that every student or alum of color have faced or will encounter, we acknowledge that challenges exist. We are committed to teaching you how to build social and cultural capital, and to boosting your cultural competencies.
Being the only person of color in a predominantly White organization could be isolating and stressful. We can support you as you process these feelings and share resources to help you build connections and community.
Workplace discrimination exists, and while we do not offer legal advice, we are here if you would like to discuss your options.
Inequities exist for people of color regarding pay, especially for women of color. We teach salary negotiation strategies and will coach you on how to approach salary discrepancies with your supervisor and/or hiring manager.
Job search strategies when you don’t check all the boxes can be intimidating. We’ll assist you in developing your resume, cover letter, LinkedIn profile, and interviewing and networking skills to help bridge the gap.
As you build your career competencies for the workforce, we encourage you to get connected in the following ways:
- Engage in experiential learning by building relationships with our Career Communities
- Build your network through the job shadowing program and connect with alumni from multiple communities
- Connect with a mentor through the RAMP program
- Learn about internship opportunities and job openings via Handshake
- Learn about fellowships on campus
- Build your resume by highlighting the projects you complete through your coursework, student clubs, and community programs
Apply for on-campus work-study and non–work study jobs (tutor, resident assistant, orientation leader, career ambassador, etc.)
Highlight Your Background
As a person of color, you bring value to the workforce. Your background brings experiences and perspectives that add value to organizations.
You have multiple avenues to show an employer how your identity or point of view might be of benefit. Here are some examples of how you might discuss your identity in the job or internship search process:
- Resume: Reflect on your academic and professional experiences. Were you a member of a minority professional organization or student club? Did you conduct research/write papers/complete projects that could add value to the job or employer needs?
- Cover letter: Based on your previous reflection, you can explain how your identity or multicultural engagements can be an asset for the role or organization you are interested in.
- Interview: The interview stage is an opportunity to use relevant examples to make connections. It is also an opportunity to learn about the organization’s commitment to diversity and inclusion, or explain your desire to work for an organization that values diversity.
Evaluate Employers On Whether They Honor Diversity
To find out if an employer has created an inclusive work environment, consider some of these questions:
- Is the organization on Diversity Inc.’s Top 50 or other national lists for their diversity policies and programs? What are the criteria for making the list?
- Can you find a diversity and inclusion philosophy, mission, or policy on their website?
- Are there any programs or resources for employees focused on issues of concern or for specific groups? (For example, Marriott’s Diversity and Inclusion Councils)
- What do others (e.g. peers, alumni, current employees) say about the organizational culture? (Keep in mind that every opinion, good or bad, may come with some amount of bias. See below for resources to help you find and connect with people at organizations you’re interested in.)
- Do the organization’s job postings contain language that reflects diversity and inclusivity?
While we encourage you to use these tips to evaluate a company, we also acknowledge that some small organizations may not have the resources that large organizations highlighted in the tips mentioned above. In addition, some organizations are in the early stages of building a diverse workforce; this is a great time to build connections with employees, and ask questions during the interview to learn if the company is serious about diversity, equity, and inclusion before you decide to join it.
Connect With Alums and Other Professionals of Color
People of color who identify similarly to you are very likely already doing the jobs you want to do, for the companies you want to work for. They have gone through what you are now about to go through and have accumulated wisdom about what it takes to thrive in the professional world. You can learn from the experience of those who have come before. But how do you find them? And when you do find them, how do you connect with them?
Start by asking friends, family members, professors, and classmates if they know people they can connect you with. And don’t be afraid to reach out to people you find through LinkedIn and social media, even if you haven’t met them before! Check out our sample email that you can adapt when contacting potential connections.
- Alums: The Alumni Career Network allows you to connect with Rams in different regions of the U.S. and with diverse affinities. You will find thousands of alums with similar interests and skills as you at Find Suffolk Alumni on LinkedIn. In addition, alums come to campus to meet students like you at networking events throughout the academic year. Check your event calendars regularly to stay on top of what’s happening on campus during the year.
- Professional Associations and Affinity Groups: Most professional associations offer student memberships at a discount, and memberships usually come with access to speaker events, job fairs, etc. You can search for professional associations using the Directory of Associations. Some are specific to certain cultural groups while others will have diversity divisions. Employers may also organize affinity groups for their employees in order to provide a space for business and social inclusion.
- Mentoring: If you form a strong connection with someone, such as an alumna/us/x or other professional, you may consider asking that individual to be your mentor. Read these tips on choosing a mentor.
What to do if you encounter challenges finding people of color in your areas of interest
Use the same strategies mentioned above with people in the field who you may have other connections to (for instance, someone who went to the same school, grew up in the same town, has an affinity for the same sport). You may be surprised by the connection you build with someone who cares. While their lived experience may not be the same as yours, you have the opportunity to grow your social and multicultural capital.
Unique Concerns That Students and Alums of Color Have Include:
- How to deal with unconscious bias and stereotyping (implicit bias) throughout their career journeys.
- Dealing with bias, whether conscious or unconscious, is never easy. While the Career Center is here to support you, we also encourage you to connect with the Center for Student Diversity and Inclusion (CSDI) and empower yourself through the trainings they offer.
- Expectations with respect to hair and presentation at work.
- In recent years we have seen workplaces adjust their policies and states change laws (e.g. Crown Act in California). We encourage and support advocating for yourself at work and reporting discrimination if it occurs. While advocating for yourself, you may experience pushback. The Career Center is here to support you if you would like to practice and explore options.
- Being the only or one of a few person(s) of color.
- Being the only person of color in a predominantly White organization could be isolating and stressful. We can support you as you process these feelings and share resources to help you build connections and community.
- Shifting the language you use or the ways you express yourself in your conversations.
- We bring the issue of codeswitching to your awareness not as a tool to change who you are in the workplace or unfamiliar environments, but as an issue that people of color have experienced. It is important to research the organization and use evaluation strategies to learn about workplace culture. While codeswitching is not specific to work, it helps to know if the organization has inclusive practices.
How To Handle Workplace Discrimination
Workforce discrimination occurs in many different ways. There are federal laws that prohibit discrimination against individuals on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, religion, disability, pregnancy, and age. Employers are responsible for complying with the law, but you are responsible for making sure you know and protect your rights.
Illegal Interview Questions
Did you know that it is against the law for employers to ask you certain questions in a job interview? To learn more about what topics are off-limits and what to do if you are asked about them, see the guide by Imdiversity.com-illegal-job-interview-questions-and-how-to-respond-to-them/ and Thebalancecareers.com/how-to-answer-inappropriate-interview-questions.
Discrimination in the workplace
If you experience discrimination once you have started a job, here are some tips and information about dealing with employment discrimination. You are also welcome to reach out to the director of career equity and access for support and inquiries.
Suffolk University-Policy and Grievance Procedures
Center for Student Diversity and Inclusion - Provides individual support, mentoring, referrals, and education to foster a welcoming, safe, and inclusive environment for all students—giving special attention to historically marginalized students and their allies.
Scholarships And Fellowships For Students Of Color
- INROADS - The mission of INROADS is to develop and place talented minority young people in business and industry and prepare them for corporate and community leadership.
- Lagrant Foundation - This foundation seeks to enhance the academic and professional development of undergraduate and graduate ethnic minority students pursuing careers in advertising, marketing, and public relations by providing scholarships, career and professional development workshops, mentors, and internships.
- SEO - SEO’s mission is to place underrepresented students of color in paid summer internships in the banking, private equity, corporate leadership, law, nonprofit, and other business sectors. Students receive competitive pay, rigorous training, support through mentors, and broad access to full-time professionals and industry leaders.
- The Getty Foundation Multicultural Undergraduate Internship - The Getty Foundation aims to encourage greater diversity in the professions related to museums and the visual arts. The program provides funding for internships at cultural organizations across Los Angeles.
- T. Howard Foundation - The T. Howard Foundation is an internship program for minority students interested in the multimedia and entertainment industry. In addition to a full-time paid summer internship, it also provides interns with networking opportunities, professional development training, scholarships, and mentors.
- United States National Park Service - The Cultural Resources Diversity Internship Program provides a career exploration opportunity for diverse undergraduate and graduate students ages 18–25 in historic preservation/cultural resources work. The program places interns with National Park Service park units and administrative offices, other federal agencies, state historic preservation offices, local governments, and private organizations.
- SUFFOLK UNIVERSITY BLACK ALUMNI NETWORK- In 2021, SUBAN launched its first scholarship fund for students and will continue to do so as funding allows. View for additional information.
Resources For Students Of Color
Resources below are grouped by racial categories. If you have questions, please reach out to the Career Center.
Asian/Asian American/Pacific Islander
Job Search And Networking Tools
- Asian-American Career Resources: Resources categorized by industry
- Asian American Journalist Association Scholarships: List of AAJA internships and grants
- Asian-Jobs.com: Connect with employers who are searching for bilinguals who speak English and Asian languages and/or companies that want to increase their diversity
- Asian MBA: Dedicated to helping the career development of current Asian MBA students, working professionals with MBA degrees, and those interested in seeking the degree in the future
- Career and Job Resources for Asian Americans: Links to career and job sites geared especially for Asian American job-seekers
- Golden Sea Career Success: Includes career resources specifically designed for Asian Americans
- IM Diversity Asian-American Village: Features employer profiles and articles that relate to career planning for Asian American students
- 100 Great Employers for Asian Americans
- ASAE Gateway to Associations Directory: Database of over 6,500 links to professional associations
- ASCEND: Ascend is the largest, nonprofit pan-Asian organization for business professionals in North America, serving professionals and corporations across professions and multiple industries.
- National Association of Asian American Professionals – The NAAAP a nonprofit organization that cultivates and empowers Asian and Pacific Islander leaders through professional development, community service, and networking, as well as a career center and job board.
- National Council of Asian Pacific Americans – A directory of links to Asian Pacific American organizations, many with career sites of their own, as well as website and contact information for networking and internship and job search purposes
- Asian American Advertising Federation: Dedicated to growing Asian Americans’ participation in advertising and marketing, raise public awareness of the importance of the Asian American community, and further professionalism in the industry
- Asian American Architects/Engineers Association: Committed to providing a platform for empowering professionals working in the built environment in personal and professional growth, business development and networking, and leadership in our community
- Asian American Economic Development Enterprises, Inc.: Focuses on personal growth through education and employment opportunities
- Asian American Government Executives Network: Promotes, expands, and supports Asian American and Pacific Islander leadership in government
- Asian American Journalists Association: Serves Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders by encouraging them to consider journalism as a career, developing managers in the media industry, and promoting fair and accurate news
- Asian American Psychological Association: Advances the mental health and well-being of Asian American communities through research, professional practice, education, and policy
- Asian Women in Business: A nonprofit, tax-exempt organization assisting Asian women entrepreneurs and professionals that addresses issues affecting Asian Americans on the corporate level and Asian women in the legal arena; and has established a scholarship program for undergraduates to promote and reward demonstrated leadership
- Conference on Asian Pacific American Leadership (CAPAL): Dedicated to building leadership and public policy knowledge within the Asian Pacific American community
- National Asian Pacific American Bar Association: Association of Asian-Pacific-American (APA) attorneys, judges, law professors, and law students that provides a national network for its members and affiliates
- National Association for Multi-Ethnicity in Communications (NAMIC): Educates, advocates and empowers for multi-ethnic diversity in the communications industry
- National Association of Asian American Professionals: Promotes professional relationships with Asian students from the U.S. and Canada interested in careers in business, service, and/or government.
- National Council of Asian Pacific Islander Physicians: Coalition of physicians with a powerful voice for Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander patients and communities
- The Network of Indian Professionals-North American Chapter: Dedicated to the overall achievement and advancement of South Asian professionals
- US Pan Asian American Chamber of Commerce: Representing Asian American and Asian American–related groups in business, sciences, the arts, sports, education, and public and community services
Job Search And Networking Tools
- Black Enterprise: Career and business advice for Black professionals; lists of top Black-owned enterprises
- Black EOE Journal: Diversity news for every industry
- Diversity Inc.: The top companies for diversity
- National Urban League Job Network – Backed by the National Urban League and dedicated to helping diverse students find employment opportunities
- United Negro College Fund – The nation’s largest private scholarship provider to minority group members, managing various scholarship, fellowship, and internship programs
- Black Career Network: Offers a job search and networking platform for African Americans
- Career Advancement Tips for African Americans
- Career and Job Resources for African-American Job-Seekers
- Huge Career Mistakes Some Young, Smart African-Americans Make and How to Correct Them
- INROADS: resource for paid internships for undergraduate, diverse youth
- National Urban League Jobs Network: Job search database developed through the National Urban League
- Social capital and career advancement for African Americans
- BECMA (Black Economic Council of MA)-Dedicated to advancing the economic well-being of Black businesses, organizations that serve the Black community, and Black residents of Massachusetts
- African American Professional Associations – Compilation of links to the leading African American professional associations, many with career and job sites of their own
- National Association for African Americans in Human Resources
- National Association for Black Accountants
- National Association for Black Engineers
- National Bar Association
- National Black MBA Association-Boston Chapter
Job Search And Networking Tools
- Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities – Compilation of internship and job boards, representing more than 400 colleges and universities committed to Hispanic higher education success in the U.S., Puerto Rico, Latin America, and Spain
- Hispanic and Latino Professional Associations – Compilation of links to the leading Hispanic and Latino professional associations, many with career and job sites of their own
- Latino Careers – Job board and blog site sponsored by LATCareers.com
- LatPro.com – Source for connecting Hispanic and Latino bilingual job seekers with recruiters searching for skilled diversity candidates
- Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute, Inc.: Offers scholarships, internships, fellowships, and other programs to help develop future Latinx leaders in corporations, government agencies, nonprofits, and other organizations
- Hispanic Alliance for Career Enhancement: connects a national network of Latino professionals to career enhancement opportunities
- Hispanic Association of Colleges & Universities (HACU) Internship Program: Places hundreds of students each year in paid federal and corporate internships throughout the U.S. and Puerto Rico
- HispanicOutlook.com: Provides information about employment opportunities in higher education and institutions that grant the largest number of degrees to Hispanic students
- Ihispano.com: Provides resources for aspiring and accomplished Latino professionals to assist them in realizing their professional and personal goals
- Saludos Web: Devoted to promoting Hispanics' career and education, featuring articles on various careers, resources for Hispanics, web links, job listings, and a resume pool
- Amplify Latinx: Building Latinx economic and political power by significantly increasing Latinx civic engagement, economic opportunity, and leadership representation across sectors
- Alpfa.org-Boston Providing opportunities for leadership development, community engagement, and networking for Latino men and women in Greater Boston that will help propel their careers and livelihood
- ASPIRA Association: The only national Hispanic organization dedicated exclusively to developing the educational and leadership capacity of Hispanic youth
- Association of Hispanic Advertising Agencies
- Association of Latino Professionals in Finance & Accounting
- Hispanic Alliance for Career Enhancement
- Hispanic Dental Association: Provides leadership and represents professionals who share a common commitment to improving the oral healthcare of the Hispanic community
- Hispanic National Bar Association (HNBA): Represents the interest of over 25,000 Hispanic American attorneys, judges, law professors, and law students in the United States and Puerto Rico
- Hispanic Organization of Latin Actors (HOLA): Committed to exploring and expanding available avenues for projecting Hispanic artists and their culture into the mainstream of Anglo-American industry and culture
- Hispanic Public Relations Association
- Latin Business Association: Provides programs and services that enhance the success, growth, and advancement of Latino and minority businesses
- Latino Medical Student Association: Dedicated to providing professional development resources and developing the next generation of Latino health care professionals
- National Association of Hispanic Journalists
- National Association of Puerto Rican/Hispanic Social Workers
- National Hispanic Medical Association
- National Association of Latino Healthcare Executives (NALHE) A voluntary organization seeking to foster programs and policies to increase the presence of Hispanics in health administration
- Prospanica: The Association of Hispanic MBAs & Business Professionals U.S. networking association for Hispanic professionals
- Society for the Advancement of Chicanos and Native Americans in Science: Scientists dedicated to fostering the success of Hispanic/Chicano and Native American scientists so they can attain advanced degrees, careers, and positions of leadership in science
- Society of Mexican American Engineers and Scientists: provides a networking and nurturing environment where members are able to develop and hone their leadership, communication, management, and technical skills
- The Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers
Job Search And Networking Tools
- Native American Organizations – List of top organizations and professional associations serving the Native American community
- Indian Country Today – Newsmagazine that covers topics pertinent to Native Americans and hosts a job search database via its classified section
- National Congress of American Indians – List of job opportunities submitted by employers that are American Indian, Native Hawaiian, or Alaska Native businesses, governments, or organizations, and by organizations seeking Native American applicants
- Native American Jobs – Job search database for Native American job seekers, including Tribal and Non-Tribal companies across the nation
- Tribal College Journal of American Indian Higher Education – Magazine for Native Americans in higher education which includes a job board
- Indian College Fund – Offers online resources, scholarships, and information about a wide variety of topics including jobs and opportunities
- Nativeweb.com – Connects the Indigenous community through telecommunications and computer science
- Native American Journalists Association – Great organization for Native American students pursuing journalism degrees
- Association for American Indian Physicians – Provides information, a conference, and scholarships for students pursuing careers in the medical field
- Society for the Advancement of Chicanos and Native Americans in Science: Includes information about continuing education and job openings
- American Indian Science and Engineering Society – National organization, offering scholarships and internships, dedicated to the development and empowerment of Native American students pursuing STEM careers
Additional Multicultural Resources
- IMDiversity.com—a career and self-development site devoted to serving the cultural and career-related needs of all minorities
- INSIGHT Into Diversity—one of the most recognized resources for equal opportunity employers seeking to add diverse, qualified candidates to their workforce, featuring job postings for positions in academia, business, healthcare, and the government
- Institute for Broadening Participation—a directory of links to programs designed to increase diversity in the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) workforce, including internship, job, scholarship, and fellowship opportunities
- NACE Diversity Resources—The National Association of Colleges and Employers’ list of diversity resources accessible to students
- Imams Online—an easily accessible online portal serving as a voice, information, and career-placement initiative for prospective Islamic leaders
- WorkHalal—a website created as a career-finding resource for the ummah in the West
- American Muslim Women Physicians Association
- Association of Muslim Professionals
- Islamic Medical Association of North America
- Islamic Social Services Association
- Middle Eastern America Professionals Association
- Muslim Urban Professionals