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Diversity First Showcase offers students scholarship opportunities, networking with diversity-focused employers

OHIO students will have the opportunity to meet with diversity-focused employers at the Diversity First Showcase on Tuesday, March 9, from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Co-hosted by the Career and Leadership Development Center (CLDC) and the Division of Diversity and Inclusion, this virtual networking event allows students to ask questions of representatives at respected organizations to learn about their diversity programs, recruiting initiatives and potential positions. 

Undergraduate students are encouraged to apply for over $30,000 in Diversity First Leadership Awards, which will be presented at the event. The deadline for these applications is Tuesday, March 2. The Diversity First Showcase will include a welcome, award presentation and breakout rooms for students to network with employers by industry.

One of the employers attending the event is City Year, an education nonprofit where AmeriCorps members serve as role models, tutors and mentors in high-need schools. 

“At City Year, we believe that developing the skills and mindsets of K-12 youth will empower them to be successful, thus bridging the gaps between both social and educational inequities. The organizational values we collectively uphold are deeply rooted in this belief and in our commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging (DEIB),” said recruiter Lauren Toomey.

City Year understands that commitment to diversity and inclusion goes beyond a mission statement. 

“City Year leadership is actively working to make our organization an anti-racist one, through anti-racist white learning spaces and various affinity groups for intersectional identities among staff,” Toomey said. 

Other organizations attending the Diversity First Showcase—such as PNC, UnitedHealth Group and Marathon—provide similar trainings and support for their employees. 

Personal identity is a big consideration when students look for a job or internship. Candidates want to know that they can bring their authentic selves to work, and that their identities will not just be tolerated, but embraced. 

“(At City Year), everyone feels comfortable being themselves,” Toomey said. “As a member of the LGBTQIA+ community, I always feel comfortable expressing myself at work, and feel valued and celebrated as an employee for all of my identities that I bring to the table. At City Year, we understand that it takes a diverse team of individuals to serve our diverse student population.”

To gauge a company’s culture, Toomey recommends talking to a recruiter. “We want to make sure that you are not only a good fit for our organization, but also that our organization is a good fit for you,” Toomey said.

Conversations during the Diversity First Showcase can help students understand what companies align with their values. 

Students are encouraged to register for the Diversity First Showcase through Handshake, and they can attend the event through Microsoft Teams. 

To be considered for Diversity First Leadership awards, candidates must complete the application process by March 2, which includes registering on Handshake, completing a career coaching appointment and conducting a mock interview through Big Interview. 

Students can direct any questions about the application process or the event to Tamika Williams, assistant director for diversity and inclusion, at williat8@ohio.edu.