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Stony Brook Career Center hosts first ever National Diversity Recruitment Panel 

By Amaya McDonald 


On Sept. 17, Stony Brook students from underrepresented minority groups were given the opportunity to participate in Stony Brook’s first ever National Diversity Recruitment Panel. Hosted via Zoom by Career Coach Jia Wei Cao, the panel included five companies dedicated to helping students of color reach their goals and find work experience in media. 

At the panel INROADS, SEO Careers, T. Howard Foundation, Management Leadership for Tomorrow (MLT), and the Emma Bowen Foundation were each represented by enthusiastic recruiters who emphasized the importance of diversity in the workplace.

"We are excited to see that despite the different circumstances we are under this year that our employer partners were able to help us put together this event to further extend their reach out to our students," Cao said. 

In a conversion about the need for diversity and representation in the media, Internship Program Manager Raphael Richard Jr. of the T. Howard Foundation said, “It is really important for young people of color to see themselves on camera and in the industry. So, I'm happy to share all the different routes you can be engaged in the industry.”

Each company representative discussed the opportunities available for students in their internship program and encouraged attendees to take what they learned at the panel, and take charge. 

Screenshot of Zoom meeting showing panelists.

SBU alum and Alumni Association President of the Emma Bowen Foundation, Delia McGee said, “All of these programs are amazing programs, but you don’t just have to be in one of them.  A lot of people that went through Emma Bowen were also in MLT or INROADS, and so I would encourage you to explore all of these opportunities and it doesn’t have to be isolated to just one of us.

Students were then put into breakout groups with one of the five companies where they could ask more specific questions about each company. 

Dabney Villasenor, a marketing intern from the SBU Career Center said, “This smaller group setting allowed me to get a more personal and in-depth understanding of the company’s mission and their employee partners.” 

The panelists gave students some helpful advice about the internship application process as the event came to an end. INROADS Senior Program Manager Allison James said, “You have to begin to think differently about yourself. And so the question here is really being ambitious, pushing through, and not giving up when you don't hear something right away. Follow up and follow-through. Really, to me, those are the qualities of success. Your GPA, yes, all of those things [are important]. But if you don't want it bad enough, then there are others who will, so you know, be aggressive and assertive.”