The Career Development Center will be operating remotely from May 20-24. Schedule a virtual appointment through Handshake or email

First Generation

Flyer describes Career Educator drop-in hours at Dorsey Way. Career topics can include resume and cover letter help, networking strategies, and interview prep. A Career Educator will be at Dorsey Way from 1 to 3 pm on Nov. 3, Nov. 10, Nov. 10, and Dec. 1. The event is hosted by the Career Development Center and Student Diversity and Inclusion Services.

Who Are First-Generation Students?

A first-generation college student is an undergraduate student whose parents did not complete a 4-year degree. For many first-generation students, attending college means having to navigate a whole new realm of systems and processes without anyone to show them the ropes. This can feel lonely, confusing, and frustrating. If this sounds like you, know that your experience doesn’t have to end there. St. Thomas has lots of resources that can help you take charge of your journey and adapt mindsets and strategies to succeed in college and beyond.

“Your story is what you have, what you will always have. It is something to own.”

Michelle Obama, former First Lady and first-generation students

On this page you’ll find career-specific advice and resources for first-generation students at St. Thomas. Here are 3 reasons you should engage with career services today:

  1. Find answers to career questions. Career Edge, the website you’re on, is brimming with resources and information to help you land your dream career after college. Scroll down to the “Recommended Resources for First-Generation Students” section to learn how to navigate these tools.
  2. Get tailored support. As a Career Educator, I find that meeting with a first-generation student more than once helps me understand the range of their experiences — career and otherwise. This knowledge enables me to offer relevant advice, give tailored recommendations, and enter into career conversations in more depth. Meet with a Career Educator early and often!
  3. Make the most of your education. Your tuition at St. Thomas pays for more than just your courses. It pays for all sorts of services and amenities on campus — from flu shots to water fountains to lifelong career appointments!
A group of 17 students stand in 2 rows on a sidewalk. They are the participants of the 2023 Career Trek in Chicago.

  • Tommie Link: Find all kinds of events, gatherings, and student organizations at St. Thomas. Bookmark the Proud To Be First organization page to keep up-to-date on campus events for first-generation students.
  • St. Thomas Connect: Reach out to Tommie alumni for advice, mentorship, and networking opportunities. Claim your student account today!
  • Excel! Research Scholars Program: Considering grad school? This program is designed to equip first-generation and/or low-income and/or underrepresented for graduate school. Students in this program receive a stipend, dedicated assistance and mentorship, and travel and research opportunities.
  • Center for Well-Being: Financial burdens and family pressures are just some of the challenges that first-generation students face during their time in college. If you’re struggling, don’t hesitate to schedule time with a counselor. Find a variety of services from Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) including individual counseling and group therapy.


Featured Articles

How mentors help first-generation college students get a job and succeed in professional career growth

How mentors help first-generation college students get a job and succeed in professional career growth was originally published on College Recruiter.

Resilient first-generation students who graduate with degrees report positive outcomes throughout their college-going years, and upon graduation, throughout their …

By Anna Smith de Yoma
Anna Smith de Yoma
Read more

Ten Diversity in the Workplace Facts Leaders Should Know

Diversity and inclusion are top of mind for many managers and C-suite executives in the workplace. But it’s no secret that these workplaces still have much work to do to make employees feel represented, heard, and supported.

In fact, according …

By Ivy Exec
Ivy Exec is your dedicated career development resource.
Read more

Decoding the ‘Why Change Jobs?’ Conundrum: Craft Your Perfect Response

In the realm of job interviews, one question frequently takes center stage: “Why are you looking for a new job?”

The query demands a thoughtful response, especially in today’s competitive professional landscape. This question often arises because prospective employers want …

By Ivy Exec
Ivy Exec is your dedicated career development resource.
Read more

3 Tips for Building a Strong Reference List

When a hiring manager asks for your references, it’s usually a sign that you’ve made it to the final stages of the hiring process. So how can you choose references that will help you seal the deal and not give …

Read more

Top 10 Jobs for Engineering Majors (of All Kinds)

Over the last decade, the popularity of STEM careers (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) has grown, and with good reason. In 2021, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that while the annual median wage for non-STEM careers was $40,120, the …

Read more

Career Resources

From professional development and career advice, to ideas for taking action in your community, Idealist is here to help you …

An award-winning podcast. The first and #1 show in the world for first-generation scholars and professionals. New episodes on Thursdays …

Contact & Location

(651) 962-6761

MHC 123
2115 Summit Avenue
St. Paul, MN 55105

Career Service Hours

Monday 9 a.m.- 5 p.m.
Tuesday 9 a.m.- 5 p.m.
Wednesday 9 a.m.- 5 p.m.
Thursday 9 a.m.- 5 p.m.
Friday 9 a.m.- 5 p.m.

Drop-ins Monday-Friday 10am-4pm