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Cornell University

Identity and Career Resources

Cornell Career Services is committed to serving our diverse populations. Many factors, such as your personal or social identities, can influence your career-development strategy. Career Advisors are dedicated to ensuring all students’ experiences, perspectives and backgrounds are respected and integrated into career planning and development. We strive to prepare historically under served and underrepresented populations for career success.

We love assisting students along their career path. This page is not an exhaustive list of resources, but rather a starting point for students and professionals with marginalized identities to learn how to navigate challenges in the workplace, and in a job, internship, or graduate school search. There is valuable information available in our Resource Library to help propel students toward professional success.

Individuals may have intersecting identities and may find themselves in multiple places on this page. Cornell Career Services encourage them to explore as many sections as they choose. Students should consider how their lived experiences and point of view could make them an asset as an employee.

There are no right answers or wrong questions; each student’s job, internship, or graduate school search is unique. CCS and other offices on campus are here to help you talk through your questions related to your personal identity and job-search considerations, including:

  • Considering the way your identity might show up in the job search.
  • Obtaining equitable access and identifying inclusive work environments.
  • Discovering unique identity-based job and internship opportunities.
  • Presenting your whole self in your career.

Our coaches are happy to have a more personal conversation about these topics. If you’re looking to connect with an advisor who is passionate about a certain topic or identity, reach out to career@cornell.edufor guidance in making an appointment.

Cornell Population Resources

First Generation and Low-Income Students

First-generation students bring valuable experience, knowledge, and skills with them to college. Learn more about how to leverage this in the career-exploration and job-search processes. 

Office for First Generation & Low Income Support
626 Thurston Ave, Room 305
sc2937@cornell.edu

Pathways Internship Program (College of Arts & Sciences)
The College of Arts & Sciences Pathways Internship Program provides funding for selected first-generation students to pursue a career-related experience of their choice during the summer after their sophomore year.

A few of our favorite resources:

  • I'm First – an online community providing inspiration, information, and support on the road to and through college for first-generation college students.
  • FirstGen Fellows – a 10-week summer program in the D.C. area for undergraduate students who are passionate about pursuing careers in social justice.
  • First In the Family – educational information from first-generation college students, for first-generation college students.

Individuals of Color

Office of Academic Diversity Initiatives
200 Computing and Communications Center (CCC)
OADI@cornell.edu

A few of our favorite resources:

  • National Association of Asian American Professionals – a non-profit organization that cultivates and empowers Asian and Pacific Islander leaders through professional development, community service, and networking. It offers a diverse range of professional development programs including a career center and job board.
  • National Urban League Job Network – an organization backed by the National Urban League, dedicated to helping diverse students find employment opportunities.
  • Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities – a compilation of internship and job boards sponsored by the association, which represents more than 400 colleges and universities committed to Hispanic higher-education success in the U.S., Puerto Rico, Latin America, and Spain.
  • Tribal College Journal of American Indian Higher Education – a magazine for Native Americans in higher education that includes a job board.
  • IMDiversity.com – a career and self-development site devoted to serving the cultural and career-related needs of all minorities.
  • INSIGHT Into Diversity – one of the most recognized resources for equal opportunity employers who are seeking to add diverse, qualified candidates to their workforce. Job postings include positions in academia, business, healthcare, and the government.
  • NACE Diversity Resources – the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) connects university career services professionals to recruiters and employers. It maintains a list of diversity resources accessible to students.
  • SEO Career – a free program that helps Black, Hispanic, and Native American students secure internships with partner organizations and gives them the best chance to land a return offer. 
  • internX – provides invaluable access to paid internships with leading STEM employers, networking opportunities with senior-level executives, and professional skill development courses. Open to rising sophomores through postgraduate students with at least a 2.8 GPA from ethnically underrepresented groups.
  • Career Resources for Students of Color - tips and resources from Cawley Career Education Center.

Individuals with Disabilities

An important aspect of career development for a college student with a disability is to consider the impact of one’s condition in employment and to begin and plan for a successful transition into the workplace. The same disability laws that ensure non-discrimination and equal opportunity in education apply in the workplace. There are many resources that students can use to learn more about employment and disability. Importantly, many businesses and organizations are quite committed to employing people with disabilities and take affirmative efforts through their diversity programs to offer opportunities such as internships, mentoring programs, and scholarships. Many businesses are very interested in offering these opportunities specifically to Cornell students. 

Student Disability Services
Cornell Health, Level 5
110 Ho Plaza
+1 (607) 254-4545
sds.cu@cornell.edu

A few of our favorite resources:

  • Job Accommodation Network (JAN) – can help with questions about workplace accommodations, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and related disability legislation.
  • Lime Connect – global not for profit 501(c)(3) organization that's rebranding disability through achievement. Work to attract, prepare, and connect high potential university students and professionals, including veterans, who happen to have all types of disabilities for scholarships, internships, The Lime Connect Fellowship Program, The Lime Connect Foundations Program, and full-time careers with corporate partners. 
  • Employment With a Disability Resource Guide - This guide covers the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and summarizes transitional programs, job seeking strategies, resources, organizations, podcasts and blogs. 
  • The National Business and Disability Counsel (NBDC) – a resource for employers and job seekers in integrating into the workplace. Also hosts the Emerging Leaders Program, a highly competitive program that places undergraduate and graduate students with disabilities in fulfilling summer internships and provides them with leadershipdevelopment opportunities.
  • U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) – provides information regarding your rights in a Fact Sheet for Job Applicants and the Americans with Disabilities Act.
  • Resources for Individuals with Disabilities Task Force – 19 resources Developed by the 2019 Careers for Students With Disabilities Task Force of the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE). 
  • College & Career Guide for Students with Disabilities from study.com covers rights, accomodations, scholarships, grants, and aids, and career planning resources.

    Individuals from Low-Income Backgrounds

    Office for First Generation & Low Income Support
    626 Thurston Avenue, Room 305
    sc2937@cornell.edu

    Funding Options

    • Internship Funding Options (coming soon) – a list of larger and broadly applicable funds and grants for internships, but is not exhaustive. Students are highly encouraged to check with their major department's website and/or staff to learn about other opportunities available. 
    • Research Funding – list of possible research funding put together by Cornell's Office of Undergraduate Research.
    • Professional Development Fund – Arts & Sciences students can apply to receive funding to support career-development pursuits: travel to graduate or professional school interviews or accepted student days, purchase of business attire for interviews, conference or networking event attendance, and additional career-related expenses.

     A few things to consider:

    • Consider the loans you’ve taken out. How much would you need to make in order to pay all your other bills and start paying down the principal on your loan (more than just keeping up with the interest)?
    • If you don’t have your own vehicle, consider how this might affect your job search. Do you need to work close to public transportation lines? Do you need to coordinate your hours with someone you share a car with?
    • Are there family members you need to care for? What is the policy on taking time off for the health of family members?
    • Look for grants and funding opportunities that might help you establish greater financial stability in your first few years of experience. For example, the JFK Memorial Award gives $15,000 to a graduating senior to help get started in a government public service career where remuneration may be low.

    LGBT+ Individuals

    LGBT Resource Center
    626 Thurston Ave, Third Floor
    +1 (607) 255-4897
    lgbtrc@cornell.edu

    A few of our favorite resources:

    • Corporate Equality Index – includes a searchable database for employment policies and practices pertaining to LGBTQ employees. Also reviews corporate medical benefits from a transgender inclusion perspective. “Your Stories” highlights stories from LGBTQ persons in the workplace.

    • Out & Equal – an LGBT workplace advocacy group designed to connect the LGBT community through resources, events, and support groups.
    • Pride at Work – a nonprofit organization and an officially recognized constituency group of the AFL-CIO (American Federation of Labor & Congress of Industrial Organizations).
    • National Center for Transgender Equality – a group that advocates to change policies and society to increase understanding and acceptance of transgender people. Also provides resources around health care coverage, ID documents, and transgender legal services.
    • Recent panel from June 2020 on Pride + Work hosted by Monster.
    • Career Resources for LGBTQ Students - detailed tips broken down by every step of the job search process.

    Industries and geographic regions may vary widely in their policies and support, and you will want to research your options carefully to meet your individual needs and goals. The following collection of resources is designed to offer a starting point in considering issues faced by LGBT people in the job or internship search and the culture of the workplace. Feel free to address questions on coming out at work and during the job search to career services advisors.

    Career and LGBT Resources

    • Human Rights Campaign - Source of information on workplace and corporate attitudes and policies surrounding sexual orientation.  Includes links to information about employee groups, organizations and companies offering domestic partnership benefits, and legal and discrimination policies. Also a bibliography of career related issues. 
    • ProGayJobs.Com - First e-Recruitment site dedicated to gays and lesbians to get jobs in gay-friendly companies. The website provides job postings from companies that promote diversity and provide safe and open environments for Gay and Lesbian workers.
    • Out For Work - A nonprofit dedicated to educating, preparing, and empowering LGBT college students and their allies for the workplace. Includes a Career Library of information, and conferences for students and alumni.
    • Out for Undergrad - Started by Cornell students 15 years ago. It offers career prep and conference opportunities. 
    • National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC) – business advocate for LGBT-owned and -friendly businesses, entrepreneurs, professionals, and corporations. 
    • Lamda Legal - National LGBT civil rights organization; web site includes information about workplace discrimination cases.
    • Transgender Law Center - non-profit organization dedicated to engaging in effective advocacy for transgender people in our society.
    • National Consortium of Directors of LGBT Resources in Higher Education - includes job listings for college and university positions.
    • National Gay and Lesbian Taskforce - nondiscrimination and other information from a national grassroots organization.
    • CEO Actions for Diversity and Inclusion - CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion is the largest CEO-driven business commitment to advance diversity and inclusion within the workplace.

    Religious and Spiritual Individuals

    Office of Spirituality & Meaning Making
    118 Anabel Taylor Hall
    +1 (607) 255-4214

    osmm@cornell.edu

    A few things to consider:

    • Will you choose to disclose your religious identity at work?
    • Do others in the workplace share your religion? Is this important to you?
    • What religious holidays are already observed in the official HR calendar? Would you have to take personal time off to observe your important events?
    • Are there dress code expectations that violate your religious beliefs?
    • Do people seem willing to accommodate religious dietary needs, for example at meetings with food?
    • How would you communicate your religious observance needs in the workplace?

    A few of our favorite resources:

    Undocumented and DACA Individuals

    When undocumented students graduate from Cornell, they are joining thousands of UndocuProfessionals all over the country. Ranging from careers in medicine, law, education, architecture, and entrepreneurship, undocumented professionals are thriving and uplifting their communities through their work and education. While the career journey can be challenging at times, there are many resources for undocumented students to utilize as they navigate life post-graduation.

    Office for Undocumented & DACA Support
    626 Thurston Ave, Room 301

    Undocumented/DACAmented Student Resources – additional campus resources including Scholarships, Grants, and Internships available.Cornell Latina/o Studies Program resources on scholarships, grants, and internships. 

    A few resources:

    • Immigrants Rising is an organization that empowers undocumented young people to achieve educational and career goals through personal, institutional, and policy transformation.
      • If you would like to speak to an entrepreneurship specialist, complete this form and one of the team members from Immigrants Rising will get back to you as soon as possible.
      • Their Entrepreneurship Fund (temporarily suspended) provides grants to undocumented entrepreneurs working to create positive social change.
    • New York State Youth Leadership Council (NYSYLC) was the first undocumented youth-led organization in New York. They work to empower immigrant youth through leadership development, grassroots organizing, educational advancement, and self-expression.
    • Additional resources are available for those interested in entrepreneurship.
      • Meet with staff at Entrepreneurship at Cornell.
      • If you’re looking for business loans, visit Venturize. It's a free online resource hub for small business owners who need help accessing tools and resources to grow their businesses.
      • Visit the e-learning hub at UndocuHustle.org.

    A few things to consider:

    • Filling Out Applications – On job applications there is usually a question that says: “Are you legally authorized to work in the United States?”
      • If you have DACA status, you can answer “yes” to the question and continue through the hiring process without having to disclose more detailed information about your background. See the section below for more information on DACA. 
      • If you do not have DACA or another work authorization status, there are other options you may consider for gaining experience and finding employment. See the section below for alternative employment options.
    • Income-Generating Opportunities for Students without work authorization or DACA

    Women

    Women's Resource Center
    209 Willard Straight Hall
    +1 (607) 255-0015
    wrc@cornell.edu

    A few things to consider:

    • Who is represented in leadership positions at the organization?
    • How are women treated during your interview by other employees?
    • Does the dress code have biased implications about women?

    Actions to support your professional success:

    • Learn how to negotiate for the salary and benefits you deserve.
    • Understand what constitutes an illegal interview question and how to respond.
    • Recognize the influence of gender on workplace dynamics.
    • Seek out a mentor who will support and guide you.

    A few of our favorite resources: