University of Vermont

Information for People of Color

As staff and allies, at the Career Center, we strive to:

  • 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, and to help you make a more informed choice about employer selection
  • Increase awareness of the variety of resources and services available to support people of color in making informed and reflective career decisions.

We want to help you make a more informed choice about your employer.

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.

Where can you find a mentor?

There are many resources both within and outside the university communityFinding a mentor might involve some work on your part, including pushing yourself outside your comfort zone. Some opportunities include:

Develop your network

You will want to 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.

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 organization.

  • A statement of their commitment to diversity, including goals and programs
  • A stated committed to their non-discrimination policies
  • 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 a search engine to enter the employer's name along with an identifying term such as "civil rights violation" or "lawsuit."
  • Check out the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission's website, it 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?

Top people of color employers

There are many 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. 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. The following are just a sample of the fairs available:

Visit the Mosaic Center Site


Last modified August 07 2018 11:03 AM