Seize Your Superpower
Determining what to pursue after graduation is stressful for all students, however, with additional stressors such as employment barriers and fears of deportation, preparing for life after graduation can feel like the weight of the world is on your shoulders.
It is common to have questions such as: What career or industry is best for me and supports my values? How can I gain experience and employment in this industry? Will I be able to land a job after graduation without a work permit? How do I apply for and fund graduate school?
Career Services is here to support this journey. We are committed to ensuring your success, regardless of citizenship or immigration status. You can use this page as a guide to get started.
Key Campus Resources @ UCSB
Gain Experience: Undocumented Students
For complete information on internships, student jobs, research opportunities, extracurriculars, and more, review our starter tips to Gain Experience in all careers as well as the specialized tips on this page.
Your career development begins with experience. Experience refers to any situation in which you gain a skill set (i.e., customer service, communication, problem-solving) and can include, but is not limited to: internships, volunteer work, academic or personal projects, part-time jobs, and leadership roles. As an undocumented student, you may have additional experiences, such as caretaking and fieldwork; these experiences also showcase your skill set and are very valuable to your career development.
The best experience to pursue is any experience that allows you to continue to gain interpersonal and technical skills while learning more about a future career and field. Experience is just as valuable whether it is paid or unpaid.
Types of Experience
It can be overwhelming to begin looking for experiences while you are at UCSB. Click below to explore various types of experience you may want to consider gaining.
Through these opportunities, you can get involved in campus organizations to develop your leadership and transferable skills, or give back to the community in local volunteer roles while developing more skills!
Check out our Extracurriculars page for complete details.
Fellowships often do not require you to have work authorization, as many are award- or scholarship-based. Common fellowships for undocumented students are the UCLA Dream Summer Fellowship, United We Dream Summer of Dreams Youth Summit and United We Dream Build the Dream Leadership Fellowship.
See our Strategies page for further considerations on various experiential opportunities.
UCSB is home to ground-breaking research. Talk to your favorite professor, check out the Faculty Research Assistance Program (FRAP), or apply for the Faculty Mentorship Program.
Navigate to our Research page for more details about this topic.
Handshake connects you with all work-study positions, additional on-campus positions, and off-campus part-time jobs, internships and full-time jobs locally and throughout the state. Most off-campus positions will require you to have work authorization.
Go to our Student Jobs page for further information.
Funding Unpaid Experience
We understand that financial stressors can negatively affect your quality of life, and we want you to be focused on the experience you are gaining without being concerned about finances.
Here are some resources to help gain funding for unpaid experiences:
- Career Services Internship Scholarship Program: Awards $1,500 scholarships to students participating in unpaid experiential learning opportunities during the summer. The program opens at the beginning of spring quarter.
- Immigrants Rising: Supplies a complete list of undergraduate scholarships that do not require proof of citizenship or legal permanent residency.
- Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships: Provides links to multiple scholarships offered by the university, departments, and private sources.
- Undocumented Student Services Scholarships: Offers scholarships every year to current students.