Information for ALANA (African, Latino(a), Asian, and Native American) Students
As staff and allies, at Career Services, we strive to:
- Increase awareness of the variety of resources and services available to ALANA students and alumni in Career Services
- Create a safe and welcoming environment for students and alumni of color both interpersonally and in our physical space
- Challenge stereotypes and assumptions within our day-to-day interactions with UVM students, faculty and staff
- Encourage students of color to discover and explore their individual talents and skills
- Offer specific information and support for ALANA students in making informed and reflective career decisions
We want to help you make a more informed choice about your employer.
How do you know if an employer is truly committed to diversity?
While it may be difficult to determine how truly supportive any employer is, exploring some key indicators on the employer's website can give you a sense of the espoused values of an institution. Look for:
- A statement of their commitment to diversity, including goals and programs
- Non-discrimination policies and a stated commitment to them
- In-house employee support or social networks for people of color
- Diversity rankings of employers by various organizations
- Recruitment efforts in cultural diversity publications or events
- Membership in professional organizations for people of color
- Racial/Ethnic diversity amongst the senior management and Board of Directors
The Web can also be useful in determining an employer's commitment to diversity by enabling you to research an employer's compliance with federal laws. Use your favorite search engine to enter the employer's name along with an identifying term such as "civil rights violation" or "lawsuit." Additionally, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission's website has an appellate briefs search that you can use to search for employers of interest. Keep in mind that often charges of discrimination can lead to an employer introducing new policies and changing the culture of their organization. .
When interviewing, make sure to ask current employees about the work climate. Good questions could include, "What is it like to work here? Could you describe the organization's culture? Could you give me an example of the organization's commitment to diversity?" Talk to your friends and family about the employer — have they heard anything positive or negative about it? Lastly, UVM alumni are an excellent resource of information.
How do I find a mentor?
Mentors can help you grow personally and professionally while sharing experiences, giving advice and providing support. Mentors do not necessarily have to be from your own racial/ethnic group, but should be someone you feel comfortable with and is supportive of you.
There are many different types of mentors and it can be a formal or informal relationship. In choosing a mentor, figure out what you need first and then explore the possibilities to see who fits best. As you start in your first position, you may also find that your employer has a mentor program that assists new employees in learning and adjusting to their workplace.
Where can you find a mentor? There are many resources both within and outside the university community - some offer formal programs, other offer informal opportunities for networking. Finding a mentor might involve some work on your part, including pushing yourself outside your comfort zone. Some opportunities include:
- Professors, student service professionals, advisors and other staff members
- The Peer Mentor program at the ALANA Student Center matches first-year students with other UVM students
- Supervisors or other individuals from internships or other positions
- UVM alumni that have volunteered through Career Connection
- Professional associations for people of color such as the National Society for Hispanic Professionals, the National Association of Asian American Professionals, Hispanic Alliance for Career Enhancement, and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People
- Career field specific ALANA professional associations. Check out Diversity World's lists:
Develop a network
You develop a network for many of the same reasons as finding a mentor. In fact, you can use many of the same resources to develop a network as you did to find a mentor. Learn about networking.
Top ALANA diversity employers
There are many ALANA magazines and professional associations that rank or rate different employers regarding their commitment to diversity. Each uses different criteria, so be sure to research what is factoring into each listing. These rankings are another guideline for determining if an employer is committed to diversity. Several rankings available on the web include:
Diversity job fairs
Many employers who have a commitment to diversity will recruit at job fairs for specific affinity populations. There are many of these throughout the country. The following are just a sample of the fairs available:
- PSI Diversity Job Fairs
- DISCO International Career Forums for Japanese-English Bilinguals
- Asian Diversity Career Expo
- National Society for Hispanic Professionals Job Fairs
- List of Diversity Career Fairs on the Multicultural Advantage website
Last modified August 28 2012 02:24 PM