Student speaking to career mentor at an event

Identity Based Career Resources

At the Malone Center for Career Engagement, we respect, value, and celebrate the diversity of all Paladins. We strive to make every student feel welcome, safe, and included regardless of race, color, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, pregnancy, disability, age, religion, veteran status, or any other characteristic. By committing ourselves to support and advocate for students of all identities, we hope to foster a healthy campus environment where students can explore their career interests while making informed decisions about their majors and careers.  Our goal is to help all Paladins pursue meaningful lives and careers.

As a result of this commitment, the Malone Center has worked to collect resources directly related to specific identity groups. Our team is working hard to understand the experiences of each individual and the systemic challenges that coincide with particular identities in regard to Career Planning. We also recognize that not all identities and their intersections can be addressed on this page and, we welcome any and all recommendations for improving this resource. Please send recommendations to career.engagement@furman.edu.

Identities

Paladins of Color

The Malone Center for Career Engagement supports all Furman students and alumni of color. We recognize that your unique perspective and cultural background will prove to be an asset at any organization you choose to join as a professional. By helping Paladins of Color reflect on how their experiences have shaped their professional perspectives, we aspire to help highlight that knowledge during the pursuit of post-grad opportunities. At the moment, our team has been able to collect resources for members of the following communities: African, Asian, Black, Chicanx, Desi, Hispanic, Indigenous, Latinx, Native American, and Pacific Islander. We understand that this list is far from comprehensive and we may have inadvertently omitted a community of Paladins. That is not our intention. If your community is not represented on this page, please let us know so that we can find career resources to help you thrive professionally!

General Resources and Advice for Paladins of Color

Community Specific Resources: African-American and Black

Community Specific Resources: Asian, Desi, and Pacific Islander

Community Specific Resources: Latinx, Chicanx, and Hispanic

Community Specific Resources: Native American and Indigenous

Resources for Folks with Intersecting Identities

Campus Organizations and Resources

  • Center for Inclusive Communities
  • Disability Rights, Education, Activism, and Mentoring
  • Furman University American Sign Language Association
  • Student Office of Accessibility Resources (SOAR)
LGBTQ Paladins

The Malone Center for Career Engagement supports LGBTQ Furman students and alumni. We work to consider how intersecting identities might impact work and professional development. You may have questions about your job search that your Straight and/or Cisgender peers may not. The collected resources here along with support through Career Advising appointments may help you begin to navigate those questions.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I list my LGBTQ experiences on my career documents? 

It can be daunting to list and describe LGBTQ-specific experiences, awards, scholarship, and involvement, especially when such disclosures may also indicate your sexuality or identity. There is no perfect answer to this question, and how much you choose to disclose is entirely up to you. For example, you can choose to describe an experience with the Furman Pride Alliance, by listing it as a “Diversity-focused student organization.”

When would I indicate to a potential employer that my name is different from my birth name?

Deciding when to discuss your name and pronouns is entirely a personal choice with no right or wrong answer. Career documents like resumes and cover letters are not legal documents and you may list whatever name you decide is appropriate. Keep in mind, however, that employment documents (i.e. background checks, tax information, insurance paperwork, etc.) will require your legal or birth name.

What does “appropriate” professional dress look like for me?

Professional attire is historically very tied to gender expectations but your look does not have to adhere to those expectations. While you may choose to forego the classic suit & tie or blouse & skirt, there are some basic rules you should try to follow. Any outfit for a professional environment should be clean, wrinkle-free, fit well, and be intentionally matched. Ultimately, professional attire should make you feel comfortable and is a personal choice. If you need additional ideas or some inspiration on professional attire check out this site.

How can I know whether an employer, organization, etc. will be welcoming or accepting of my identities? 

Many organizations have begun to recognize that employees will be looking for this kind of information and value working for employers that support members of the LGBTQ community. Many organizations will have affinity groups for employees of various minority identities and will provide information about such groups on their websites. The Corporate Equality Index (link below) is another place to research a company’s culture and support for members of the LGBTQ community. The index is updated annually by The Human Rights Campaign.

Resources and Advice

Employment Rights:

Job Search Resources:

General Advice and Career Resources:

Resources for Paladins with Intersecting Identities

Campus Organizations & Resources

  • Center for Inclusive Communities
  • Furman Pride Alliance
  • Out at Furman
  • Religious Rainbow
  • Student Diversity Council
  • Transgender Student & Ally Resource Guide
First Generation Paladins

The Malone Center Team is hard at work gathering resources for the members of our community that identify as First Generation and we will be updating this portion of our site very soon. If you are a member of this community and you’re looking for some career guidance, please feel free to reach out to our team at career.engagment@furman.edu or schedule an appointment through Handshake.

Paladins with Disabilities

The Malone Center for Career Engagement supports Furman students and alumni with disabilities. We work to consider how intersecting identities might impact work and professional development. We also recognize that disabilities can make aspects of the job search and developing your career more complicated especially when a disability is not visible. The collected resources here along with support through Career Advising appointments may help you begin to navigate those questions.

Additionally, if you require accommodation during an appointment or to fully participate in a program hosted by the Malone Center for Career Engagement, please let us know by emailing career.engagement@furman.edu. Our team is more than happy to help!

Frequently Asked Questions

When should I disclose my disability?

This is a great question. When, and if, you disclose is completely up to you, however, there are times where disclosing may be beneficial or necessary. For example, you may need to disclose during the interview process if you need an accommodation to fully participate or when accepting an employment offer to ensure you can complete your required duties. Just remember that the employer that you are interviewing with should not ask you any questions that would force you to disclose unless relevant to an essential job function. If you do choose to disclose, you only need to discuss relevant information with those who need to know such as a direct supervisor. More information about this question is linked below from the Job Accommodation Network.

Can an employer as me about my disability status during the hiring process? 

No. An employer cannot force you to disclose your disability as that is a violation of federal law under the Americans with Disabilities Act. However, an employer can ask you whether or not you are able to perform the “essential duties” of a position as outlined in a job description.

What is considered a “reasonable accommodation” and when do I discuss that with an employer? 

The answer to both of these questions is it depends. Every employee and their needs will be different so accommodations can vary greatly depending on the need of the employee, the Job Accommodation Network (link below) has compiled an extensive database of potential accommodations. The Americans with Disabilities Act requires employers to provide accommodation to employees and applicants with disabilities so that those individuals can fully participate in a hiring process, perform essential job functions, and receive equal benefits and privileges of employment. Therefore, the timing of an accommodation request will depend on the type of accommodation requested. It is the employee’s responsibility to request an accommodation. The request does not have to be in writing, but it may be helpful to keep a record of the request in the event of a dispute. Finally, an employer can deny an accommodation request when the accommodation poses an undue hardship to the employer or the organization (e.g. too expensive, too extensive, too disruptive, etc.).

Resources and Advice

Employment Rights

Job Search Resources

General Advice and Career Resources

Resources for Paladins with Intersecting Identities

Campus Organizations and Resources

  • Center for Inclusive Communities
  • Disability Rights, Education, Activism, and Mentoring
  • Furman University American Sign Language Association
  • Student Office of Accessibility Resources (SOAR)
International Paladins

The Malone Center for Career Engagement supports Furman international students and alumni. Developing your career and searching for a job as an international student can be challenging, especially when faced with understanding the cultural differences, legal implications, and expectations of US employers. The collected resources here along with support through Career Advising appointments may help you begin to navigate this process.

Frequently Asked Questions:

When should I disclose my work authorization status?

It is recommended that students address their visa and work authorization status in the application (if asked) or in the first-round interview. Be upfront and honest, never lie about your status. Many times, employers need more information and education on the subject. Explain that you are authorized to work for 12 months in the United States on OPT. Be sure to meet with your DSO on campus to confirm your eligibility for OPT.

Know your visa status:

Center for Inclusive Communities International Student Regulations

Contact: MJ Larrazabal: mj.larrazabal@furman.edu

Assistant Director, Center for Inclusive Communities at Furman University

What is the best job searching strategy as an international student?

Networking:

Networking is three times more efficient than applying online. It is the process of interacting with others to exchange information and develop professional contacts. The goal is to expand your knowledge, access, and information by learning from professionals out in the field. Having brief conversations with contacts (i.e. Furman alumni) is a great way to explore careers, learn about available opportunities and gain advice. To connect with Furman international alumni, utilize the Alumni Tool on LinkedIn. Create your profile, visit Furman University’s school page, and select “Alumni” in the middle of the page to view thousands of Furman alumni on the platform. You can narrow your results by location, company, major, or keyword. Furman students can also submit a request to the Mentorship Office for a list of contacts. Fill out this form to receive a response in 5-10 business days.

For more tips and advice, check out this article to learn more about networking strategies for international students.

What are work authorizations (CPT & OPT)?

Optional Practical Training (OPT)

Optional Practical Training (OPT) is temporary employment that is directly related to an F-1 student’s major area of study. Eligible students can apply to receive up to 12 months of OPT employment authorization before completing their academic studies (pre-completion) and/or after completing their academic studies (post-completion). However, all periods of pre-completion OPT will be deducted from the available period of post-completion OPT.

Optional Practical Training is granted through the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) which is a component of the United States Department of Homeland Security.

 Curricular Practical Training (CPT):

Curricular Practical Training (CPT) work authorization allows F-1 students to gain practical experience in their major field of study prior to graduation. CPT is academically driven which means that the experience must relate directly to the student’s major area of study and be an integral part of the school’s established curriculum. One year of full-time CPT eliminates a student’s eligibility for OPT.

CPT should be used for any type of paid or unpaid internship and you must seek approval before beginning the employment. Total employment can be up to 20 hours during the week while school is in session or 40 hours per week during official university breaks.

More information can be found at the Center for Inclusive Communities.

Can employers limit their interviewing and hiring to U.S. citizens?

Employers can refuse to interview or hire international students who do not already have some form of permanent work authorization; however, most cannot stipulate that U.S. citizenship is a job requirement. As a general rule, an employer cannot legally limit job offers to “U.S. citizens only.” An employer may require U.S. citizenship for a particular job only if U.S. citizenship is required to comply with a law, regulation, or executive order; is required by a federal, state, or local government contract; or the U.S. Attorney General determines that the citizenship requirement is essential for the employer to do business with an agency or department of the federal, state, or local government.

Accordingly, employers should not ask a job applicant about his or her citizenship during a job interview, unless the employer is confident that the job falls into one of the lawful bases for requiring U.S.-citizen applicants only. The employer, however, can ask if the candidate is authorized to work in the United States, and on what basis.

Should I list my immigration status on my resume?

No, you do not need to list your immigration status on your resume. Focus on your relevant skills, accomplishments, and work history. You should never lie about your immigration status, but you are not required to disclose it on your resume.

Are there questions that are illegal for an employer to ask me?

An employer may NOT ask “What is your visa type, nationality, or place of birth?” or “Which country are you a citizen?” or “What is your native language?” or “What language do you most often speak?”

An employer MAY ask: “Are you legally authorized to work in the United States?” or “Will you now or in the future require sponsorship for an employment visa such as H-1B?” or “Which languages do you read, speak or write?” (provided that foreign language skills are job related).

 I am in F-1 status looking for my first job after graduation. What should I say when an employer asks about my work authorization?

Explain that you have the legal right to work in the U.S. for up to twelve months using Optional Practical Training (OPT) following graduation. The employer does not need to do anything in order for this to happen. Be sure to check with your Designated School Official (DSO) for your eligibility for OPT. Eligible F-1 students with STEM degrees who finish their program of study and participate in an initial period of regular post-completion OPT (often for 12 months) have the option to apply for a STEM OPT extension. Students may not apply for STEM OPT extensions during the 60-day grace period following an initial period of regular post-completion OPT.

After OPT, international students may decide to pursue H1-B sponsorship. An immigration lawyer is necessary to begin this process.

 

Databases and Helpful Websites

US Citizenship and Immigration Services

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services is an agency of the United States Department of Homeland Security that administers the country’s naturalization and immigration system.

Study in the States: Maintaining Status

Study in the States (CPT)

Study in the States (OPT)

 

Furman Campus Organizations

Student Diversity Council

Center for Inclusive Communities Student Organizations

Recruiting Information

Employers recognize that non-discrimination practices and policies have become essential to retain and attract quality applicants like you. As a result, many employers have adopted diversity, inclusion, or non-discrimination efforts and highlight them publicly. This can make figuring out which companies truly commit to those efforts a daunting task. As you research organizations for opportunities, here are some potential questions to help you get a better sense of their commitment to their stated values.

Evaluating Potential Employers

  • Review whether diversity, inclusion, equity, etc. are mentioned in a mission, vision, values, or goals statement
  • Look for a separate diversity statement or nondiscrimination policy
  • See if the organization or company has a Chief Diversity Officer or another senior-level professional with a similar function listed on their website or by looking on LinkedIn
  • Research whether the company hosts affinity groups and events for identity groups like the ones we have listed above
  • Investigate the benefits offered by the employer, are their special accommodations on-site or in their policies for special needs (i.e. lactation spaces, prayer rooms, maternity/paternity leave, etc.)
  • Using a search engine, look for news stories about the employer that include keywords like “lawsuit” or “discrimination”

Potential Questions to Ask a Recruiter or During an Interview

  • How does your organization or company promote diversity and inclusion in the workplace?
  • What do you see as the most beneficial aspect of diversity and inclusion in your work?
  • Can you describe how your organization uses the diverse perspectives or backgrounds of its employees?
  • Does your organization sponsor any employee affinity groups? If so, how active are they and can you describe to me what they have accomplished recently?
  • I saw that your company recently launched several diversity initiatives. Who is involved in that work and what are the goals of those groups?
  • How does your organization provide for members of its community who are in need? Does this extend to the local community outside of employees?
  • What types of professional development opportunities does your organization offer? Are there any opportunities that are tailored for members of underrepresented groups?