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Wednesday, January 23, 2019

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SDSU's inaugural Diversity Career Forum takes place on Saturday, Feb. 10. SDSU's inaugural Diversity Career Forum takes place on Saturday, Feb. 10.

SDSU’s Diversity Career Forum Slated for Feb. 10

The diversity forum explores the intersection of identity and careers.
By La Monica Everett-Haynes

San Diego State University is hosting its inaugural Diversity Career Forum to help educate students from historically underrepresented communities on ways their cultural identities can inform and enhance their career choices.

The event, “Connecting to Community: Growing Your Career,” will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 10, at Montezuma Hall in the Conrad Prebys Aztec Student Union. Interested students can register online via Aztec Career Connection.

“Connecting identity and career opens possibilities to connect to communities in the workplace that will serve as a basis for career advancement," said James Tarbox, executive director for career development and services for SDSU’s Career Services.

The 2018 Diversity Career Forum was organized with the participation of Career Peers, Career Services, the Center for Intercultural Relations, the Educational Opportunities Program and Ethnic Affairs, the Pride Center, Troops to Engineering and the Weber Honors College.  

First-generation college students

Jermaine Rocacorba, lead of the new Career Peer program at SDSU’s Career Services, said the event will be especially beneficial to first-generation college students, like herself.

She and her family immigrated to the United States in 2008 from the Philippines. The first in her family to attend college in this country, Rocacorba said she learned a lot about how to navigate the career process at SDSU and sees tremendous value in connecting with professionals who share her personal experience.

“From the student’s perspective, it’s important to see employers who look like us and are successful in their roles,” said Rocacorba, a senior communication major with a minor in leadership. “Seeing these people in successful positions allows me to dream even higher, and that is so important.”

The day’s events include:
  • A keynote address presented by Perette Godwin, the City of San Diego’s senior public information officer. Godwin, a SDSU alumna, is also a past president of the SDSU Alumni Board of Advisors.
  • Employer-led workshops presented by representatives of Northrop Grumman, GEICO, the CIA and other agencies and organizations on cultural influences, career management, professionalism, leadership, how to build a personal brand, ways to self-advocate in the workplace and how to develop and sustain a strong work ethic.
  • An SDSU alumni panel of professionals who will share insight about growing a career in marketing, nonprofits, entrepreneurship and science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields.
  • A networking mixer with employers who are currently recruiting positions for California Coast Credit Union, the City of San Diego, Nike, Sharp HealthCare, the Sweetwater Union High School District, Target Corporation and dozens of other agencies and organizations.
“All of this work is to help our students feel supported and to make sure they understand they are not alone,” said Ramona Acuña, career programming and outreach counselor at Career Services.

Career readiness

Brianne R. Wada, career development manager for Career Services, said the forum will allow students to identify career readiness competencies to help advance their careers.

Students will learn how to identify and articulate a personal strength related to their cultural identity and its impact on their professionalism and self-efficacy. The day’s intention is to help students leave with greater confidence in leveraging the strength of others to achieve goals—whether it is with support from those within their own communities or from others whose backgrounds and cultures differ from their own, Wada said.

“The existence of role models in a person’s life offers the opportunity to learn from current and past actions as well as achievements and failures of people with similar experiences,” said Wada. “This is important and necessary for the success of our students.”