Students of Color

Seize Your Superpower

icon of five persons for communities

UCSB represents the strength and wisdom of people from many multicultural backgrounds, designating the university as a Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI) and an Asian American Native American Pacific Islander Service Institution (AANAPISI), among other designations of note. Beyond your time at UCSB, you will likely continue to interact with people in the workplace (e.g., clients, coworkers, mentors, and supervisors) with diverse cultural backgrounds, values, and viewpoints.

At Career Services, we recognize that your individual ethnic and racial identities may influence your career decisions and experiences navigating work environments. We are here to offer support with overcoming potential systemic or individual barriers, developing your professional identity, and accessing opportunities for growth and advancement.




Key Campus Resources @ UCSB

Get Hired: Students of Color

For complete information on job search strategies, resumes, cover letters, LinkedIn, interviews, and more, review our starter tips to Get Hired in all careers as well as the specialized tips on this page.

Representation in Employment

As a student of color, it is critical that you realize your own potential to pursue your career goals. It is quite possible that the occupational area(s) which you are pursuing may be underrepresented among professionals of the same race or ethnicity. Although this is initially challenging, it can be useful to reframe this as an opportunity to initiate social change, rather than to see it as a barrier. There has never been a better time to create change than right now.

To be successful in attaining these goals, seek out resources and employers that are working to build a more diverse workforce. Organizations that implement this actively recruit a diverse staff and maintain an inclusive workplace that draws inspiration from the cultural values brought in from varying backgrounds of race and ethnicity.

Here are some examples of organizations that support efforts for representation in employment:

  • Jopwell: Connects Black, Latinx, and Native American students to employment opportunities with organizations that are committed to diversity recruitment in various occupational areas.
  • National Association of Asian American Professionals (NAAAP): Supports the Asian/Pacific Islander community through several efforts within the workforce.
  • National Urban League Jobs Network: Dedicated to increasing the representation of the African-American community and underserved urban communities in employment settings.

There are additional forms of support geared for students or professionals of various backgrounds who are pursuing certain career interests; brief online searching can help you find specific organizations that match your background and interests.


Working for a Specific Community Group

If you are seeking career opportunities that directly benefit a specific community group, start by brainstorming relevant community organizations that share your mission. This will be a beneficial starting point to identify future workplaces that can help you serve this community.

There are also resources that can help you find existing employment opportunities which support a specific community. Some examples of these include the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) and the Tribal College Journal, which offer job boards for positions that serve the Native American community. 


Language Skills at Work

Many organizations value candidates who can speak the language(s) used by their clients, coworkers, supervisors, and other affiliates. If you know two or more languages, consider utilizing them at work. Language skills can increase your worth to an organization and raise your salary.

Regardless of the language(s) you know, look for resources to help you find language-based work. For example, if you are confident with your Spanish language abilities, you may want to look for bilingual and multilingual employment opportunities on LatPro and LATCareers.


Learn More

Languages are evolving resources that are accessed by people of many diverse backgrounds. Watch this moving TED Talk for a deeper understanding of the intersectionality between language, cultural perceptions, and daily communication that occurs in the workplace.