First Generation Resources
boston college career center
According to the National Association of Colleges and Employers, first generation college students are students whose parents matriculated, but never graduated with a bachelor’s degree and those students whose parents never persisted past a high school diploma. If you identify as a first generation college student, we want to help you become career ready and provide you with the knowledge and skills necessary to reach your career goals.
We hope the resources provided below will give you the information you need to explore career paths that align with your interests, skills, and values.
Looking for a job? Highlight your ability, not your experience
This TED talk by Jason Shen, Co-founder and CEO of Headlight, discusses how few of us hold jobs that line up directly with our past experiences or what we studied in college. In this quick, insightful talk about human potential, Shen shares some new thinking on how job seekers can make themselves more attractive — and why employers should look for ability over credentials.
Career Information for First Generation College Students
Find answers to your career questions. We have identified frequently asked questions and provided answers to assist you with navigating your career journey. Please visit our office to discuss these questions more in-depth.
We do a lot of work to help students as they figure out which career is right for them. You can make an appointment with a Career Coach to help you during your career search.
If you are still in the early stages of their career discovery, we encourage you to make an appointment with a career coach to help you identify your skills, values, and interests through self-assessment, explore options for your major, and investigate different career paths.
If you have more of an idea of your career direction, make an appointment with a Career Coach to explore a specified field or industry, search for full-time and internship positions, prepare for interviews, and evaluate job offers.
Along with making an appointment with a Career Coach, you can have your career questions answered during drop-in appointments. Drop-in appointments are 15-minutes long and are perfect for quick questions, learning how to use EagleLink, resume and cover letter reviews, and more.
If you’re unsure of what you want to do, we have a few web resources that could help you. Since arriving at BC, you’ve probably been asked the three questions— what am I good at? what do I enjoy? and what does the world need? Take the time to discover the answer to these questions and explore more about your interests, skills, and values. After completing the assessments, make an appointment with one of our staff to have a conversation about what you’ve discovered.
You can also get an idea of what you can do with your major by seeing what BC alums have gone on to do with the same major.
If you want to have a more in-depth conversation, make an appointment through EagleLink.
If you’re ready to take the plunge and start searching for internships, we have several search strategies for you to use as you begin to find the internship that’s the perfect fit for you.
You can also use EagleLink to search through the many job and internship postings that are exclusive to BC students.
- Begin building your network. There are many opportunities available on-campus to engage with alumni and employers, including information sessions, workshops, career chats, and Expert in Residence appointments. You can use EagleLink to search for upcoming opportunities under the “events” tab.
We have several online guides for those interested in:
We also have some information about how to finance your graduate degree
- If you have any specific questions about your grad school search or want someone to review your application, we will be happy to help you. Make an appointment with a Career Coach.
If you need some help improving your resume, we have several resources to help you, including sample resumes and instructions on how to write a resume.
- We can also review your resume for you during a 15 minute drop-in appointment. We have drop-in appointments at different locations and hours to make it more convenient for you.
We offer rising sophomores, juniors, and seniors the opportunity to apply for the Eagle Intern Fellowship. If you are selected, you can receive $3,500 in fellowship money to support you during your unpaid summer internship.
There are also many opportunities available beyond the Eagle Intern Fellowship, both on and off campus, to receive funding towards your unpaid internship.
Congratulations on receiving the offer! Review our guide for students on how to evaluate your job offer and salary. We encourage you to make an appointment with a Career Coach through EagleLink if you have any questions about a job offer.
Your Linkedin account can be a great way to network and learn more about different industries and companies. We have some tips on how to make your profile as strong as possible before you start networking.
- After setting up your profile, we have a step-by-step guide on how to use Linkedin professionally.
Networking is a way to connect with professionals in your field of interest and learn about the professional world.
There are many opportunities for you to network in your life. You can talk to your relatives, family friends, members of your religious community, and members of organizations you belong to.Your professors, classmates, and on campus organizations are also great resources to learn more about your career field.
You can also make use of social media sites like Linkedin and the Boston College Career Community where you can access a network of thousands of BC students and alumni to ask questions and make connections.
For more information, please check out our tips on networking.
Learning To Learn is an office at BC dedicated to helping low-income, under represented, first generation college students, and students with disabilities succeed while they attend college. This office offers a lot of programs to help students who are first generation, and they would be happy to connect with you.