First-generation college students face further barriers to the job market

“I had zero clubs in college. I couldn’t give them time to go. I had to make money, ”said Miranda, who is now 25.“ Even paid internships don’t pay very well, ”he says.

“I don’t realize how many people are building themselves on the path to success before they graduate,” Miranda said. “Me and my friends were so late to the party.”

Until she found a way to a career preparation career as a junior, Miranda didn’t know how to start looking for a job. “None of us show us the way. We’re just going to college, trying to get good grades. We don’t have anyone who says, ‘Hey, you have to do your resume. You have to do branding. ”

By comparison, he said, “Those who have parents who went to college know things. First-generation college students have no idea what happens after college. For example, what do you do? I didn’t know how to network or who to network with. I didn’t have any. “

Miranda got a job as operations manager at an Amazon supplement center, taking a career path she said she hoped would eventually lead her to sales. (Braven has no special relationship with Amazon.)

Even small things like handshakes can travel to some college graduates, says Naspar Weintrab Stafford. “If you’re not in an environment that teaches you the traditional theatrical meaning of a handshake related to the corporate world, it’s going to be a brilliant experience for you and the person you meet,” he says.

Very few colleges and universities are recognizing the unique problems that first generation students face in finding their first job after graduation and adding programs to help them.

UC Berkeley now offers career counseling exclusively for first-generation and low-income students, including resume reviews, support on LinkedIn profiles, and a semester-long job course. The University of Toledo organizes a networking series to help such students connect with employers and alumni, and an internship preparation program to teach them new writing, networking, and other skills.

Last year, Cal State launched a program called Fullerton IM First, which brings first-generation graduates among the mentors of young colleagues who are still enrolled, said Jennifer Mozaro, director of the university’s career center. Among other things, the program teaches salary negotiation skills.

“It’s horrible to admit that you don’t know how to get a job after college,” Mozaro said. This is also stressful. “Their parents make them really excited about being college students, and it can also scare them away.”

A few nonprofits, such as Braven যা which brings its career courses to universities and community colleges where there is a large proportion of first-generation and low-income students হচ্ছে are teaming up with colleges to provide this kind of support.

Amy Ubanks Davis, founder and CEO of Briven, was working as a school teacher in New Orleans, whose students were first-generation and low-income when she realized she needed such help.

“I watched my students move out of college and was terrified of where they were landing,” Davis said. Although they earned the same credentials as their peers – often working much harder to do it – they were deprived of the “almost invisible benefits” that their parents were college educated and well connected to.

Braven matches students with coaches who work for participating organizations. “Often the coach is the first person the students know among the professional staff,” Davis said.

While it covers everything from what to wear to sending an appreciation note to an interview, the Braven method is primarily about building confidence, he said. “Many of these are often told externally with narratives and stories.” Students are reminded that “although their life experiences, even difficult and tedious and incomplete, actually make them really great and truly resilient.”

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