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A minority graduate’s guide to finding many opportunities

UTEP senior majoring in rehabilitation science, Jizelle Duarte was a research assistant at NYU under the Summer Health Academic Research Experience in Communication Sciences and Disorders program in Summer 2023. Photo credit: UTEP Career Center

Diversity in internship opportunities have expanded significantly, offering a wealth of options for minority students. Internships are a crucial pathway for minority students’ post-graduation. The leading Hispanic institute, UTEP’s career center helps students find these opportunities during their undergrad and post-graduation.   

“We start engaging with students since they come in for new student orientation freshman year,” said assistant director for internships at the UTEP Career Center Sandra Najera said. “We make sure that they know that they have us as a resource. One of the things that we are always promoting out there to students is to recognize that they’re part of the largest Hispanic serving institution.” 

The career center helps students with internship advising if a student does not know what career path they can take, and what skill sets they need to develop once they figure out what career to pursue. Skill sets can be developed through school and internships in order to thrive in a full-time or part-time job setting.  

“We help students with the search, and we have a lot of different resources that we can connect them with,” Najera said. “We also encourage student organizations, so they can get that peer-to-peer support and (reach) out to alumni working at their dream company. Resumé reviews and mock interviews are also provided to students in order to help them succeed in whatever opportunity they try to seek”  

Joining minority-focused professional organizations related to a field of study can also help minority students land internships and jobs after graduation. It can provide networking opportunities and access to exclusive internship listings.  

Some of these professional organizations include National Black MBA Association (NBMBAA), National Association of Asian American Professionals (NAAAP), National Association of Hispanic Nurses (NAHN), National Society of Black- Engineers (NSBE), Association of Latino Professionals For America (ALPFA), National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ), National Association of Hispanic Journalists (NAHJ) and more.  

Internship opportunities for minority groups can be found through various channels, including specific programs designed to promote diversity and inclusivity. Platforms like DiversityJobs, Prospanica, Minority Jobs, The Workplace Diversity Network, IMDiversity, Out for Work, HBCU Connect and other specialized websites often list internships targeted at minority groups. 

Many government agencies offer internships and fellowships aimed at minority groups. Some programs that provide these opportunities are United Negro College Fund (UNCF) and Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU).  

Other tips to help minority students when searching for internships and jobs is utilizing filters on job search engines like LinkedIn, Glassdoor and Indeed to specifically search for internships tagged with diversity, equity and inclusive keywords.  

Many UTEP students have gotten internships designed for minority students. One of these students is senior Jizelle Duarte who is majoring in rehabilitation science. This past summer she was a research assistant at New York University (NYU) under the Summer Health Academic Research Experience in Communication Sciences and Disorder (SHARE-CSC) Program. The SHARE-CSC program is a paid summer research experience that encourages applications from underrepresented groups in STEM and health sciences-related fields.  

“The most rewarding aspect of my internship has been the opportunity to be able to have further in-depth hands-on experience using brain imaging technology that allows you to view the oxygenated and deoxygenated levels,” Duarte said. “You never know how far life can take you if you don’t try applying to any type of internship. This was a life changing experience that I highly recommend to anyone that is trying to grow.” 

Alyson Rodriguez is a contributor and may be reached at [email protected]; @alyson_rod1127 on X. 

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About the Contributor
Alyson Rodriguez
Alyson Rodriguez, Contributor/Writer

Alyson Rodriguez is a senior at the University of Texas at El Paso, currently majoring in multimedia journalism with a minor in leadership studies. She is a contributor at The Prospector. She joined The Prospector in the Fall of 2020 as a contributor for the Arts and Culture section and has now written articles for the sports and news section and has done podcast segments as well. After discovering her passion for journalism through The Prospector, Alyson has gone to intern at El Paso Matters, NPR Next Generation Texas Newsroom and the Texas Standard. 

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