More than any other time, companies across the world are re-examining their missions and committing or recommitting to the values of diversity and inclusion in the workplace. This is a key foundational step in creating equitable environments for Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC) employees. The next step is for companies to commit to creating a culture of equity and belonging by prioritizing, seeking, and employing diverse talent.  

The UVM Career Center and our campus-partners serve as a resource for employers and encourage engagement with students from marginalized backgrounds early and often. We're here to support you in creating opportunities to meet with and attract BIPOC students so that they can contribute their important perspectives, competencies, and skills to your workplace.  

 Why DEI Work and Engagement Matters to Students of Color

“Do you want your staff team to be their best and bring their best to the workplace? Do you know that diverse work teams produce improved outcomes? If your answer is a resounding yes then, your commitment to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion work should be a priority in your workplace. Students of color seeking jobs want to know that they will be seen for who they are and welcomed in a culturally sensitive manner. BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) employees aren’t served with a color-blind approach.  

Our positioning within society, which is shaped by our race, gender, sexual orientation and other markers of identity, impacts our experience as human beings. To ignore this is to deny the human experience of your staff and will minimize their ability to show up fully and share their skill and talent. Commit to creating a diverse, equitable, anti-racist work-place and your hard work to do so will result in an engaged, energized staff who will benefit your organization to the fullest.”  

- Beverly Colston, Director of The Mosaic Center for Students of Color

Engaging with Students of Color at UVM

There are many different ways to engage with students of color at UVM, and this list is not meant to be exhaustive. Consider these options, but don’t be limited by them. As you explore different pathways for connecting with students, consider the following questions:

  • Am I ready to go beyond submitting a job/internship opportunity to Handshake?  
  • Am I willing to be vulnerable and honest when speaking with students? 
  • Can I commit to viewing UVM students as partners, listen to their perspectives, and offer support that centers the student?  
  • Can I clearly articulate the steps my company has taken to create a more equitable workplace?

Connect with the Mosaic Center for Students of Color (MCSC)

UVM’s Mosaic Center for Students of Color serves as the main support office for UVM BIPOC students. In order to engage early and often, the Mosaic Center has offered some optional strategies, including paths that previous employers have taken when building intentional relationship with BIPOC students.

Partner with the Mosaic Center

  • After adding your jobs to Handshake, share your jobs/internships/career opportunities to their weekly newsletter. You can submit your postings here.  
  • Larger scale offering: Interested in promoting something to the BIPOC community at large? Contact the MCSC.  
  • Student of Color Networking Night: Do you have employees that are UVM alums who identify as BIPOC? Every October, the MCSC holds a Networking Night for students of color. This event is a great way to establish relationships between current UVM BIPOC students and alums.  


Work with Identity-Based Student Clubs

Student clubs are another great way to connect with UVM BIPOC students, and clubs are usually open to having guest speakers come into their club meetings. Check out the directory of student clubs, as well as a list of STEM-related organizations if applicable to your company.

Consider ways to engage student organizations through their club meetings

  • Information Session about internships and/or job offerings with your company. 
  • Offer to present career related professional development (resumes, professional development, etc.)  
  • Offer incentives: To enhance your experience, free food can help draw members to meetings.  
  • Career Panel/Talk: Schedule a panel/talk to help provide perspective and insight into your workplace and industry. Do you have BIPOC professionals in your organization? Consider creating a “BIPOC only” space, also known as an affinity space. These are “spaces where everyone in the group shares a particular for underrepresented people in a community to come together to feel less isolated and more connected.” Check out this Affinity Groups FAQ for reference.

Ideas besides presenting at a club meeting

  • Financial Support: Student organizations have fundraising goals each year. Consider sponsoring an organization (need to research this process more w/ Student Life/UPB). 
  • Stay connected: Email new updates, job/internship opportunities to the executive board members to stay connected throughout the academic year.  
  • Attend large scale, public events: Each year, larger identity clubs will plan cultural events for the Vermont community to enjoy (Black Student Union Fashion Show, Noche de Cultura, Lunar New Year). These events are opportunities to show your support and to make connections with students of color. You can also offer financial support through sponsorship.  
  • Host Employer Site Visits: Offering a tour of your workplace can be a great way for prospective interns/future employees to get an intimate look into your organization.  


Partner with the Career Center to Offer Affinity-Based Networking Opportunities

The UVM Career Center Interest Groups are a great place to build relationships and connect with diverse student-talent and perspectives in your industry. There are six industry-based Career Center Interest groups which introduce students to options, experiences and connections in their respective fields. Each Interest Group is led by a Career Counselor and supported by student peer leaders. The Career Center-led Interest Groups lead and support events, collaborate with student clubs and classes, and seek out employers who can share their experiences and connect with students. We lead affinity-based events (panels, workshops, etc.) and encourage you to reach out to us to discuss options.  

Check out the Career Center Interest Groups for more information. Our industry groups focus on: Arts, Media and Communication; Business & Entrepreneurship; Education Policy & Social Impact; Food, Environment & Sustainability; Health Professions; Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics. We have a seventh group for students who are Exploring.

Want to host an affinity-based industry-specific event? 

Please reach out to the Career Center at if you have any questions or want to connect with an Interest Group to participate in a similar event. The STEM Interest Group partnered with other organizations on campus to bring together UVM alums and current students for a week of networking and career exploration. In Fall 2020, they held three separate affinity panels for BIPOC, LGBTQIA+, and Women in STEM. These panels were an incredible opportunity for professionals to connect with students with a unique focus on identity and their career.