First Generation

Did you know that over 50% of students at California State University, Long Beach (CSULB) identify as a first-generation student? First-gen students are those whose parent(s)/legal guardian(s) have not completed a bachelor’s degree in the United States.  

The Career Development Center (CDC) understands that as a first-gen student you may face hurdles in your educational and career journey, but there are diverse resources and services available to help you succeed while in school and upon graduation.  We are able to support you in-person and virtually through our online career content to help you plan your future and that offers recorded career development webinars.

Feel free to stop by our office in Brotman Hall – 250. We’re excited to meet you!

First-Generation Career Planning

Are you ready to start planning your career but feel unsure about where to begin? The Career Development Center (CDC) is here to help! Our Plan Your Future page will walk you through how to make a decision about which career to pursue, how to prepare for your future career by building the skills needed to succeed in your chosen field, and how to find a job or internship. Review Plan Your Future for information and resources for every step of your career journey.

First-Generation Career Questions

First-gen students often have unique questions and concerns related to their careers. Here are some common career-related questions that first-gen students can discuss while meeting with their career counselor.

  1. What career options are available to me with my degree?
  2. What is the importance of internships, and how can I secure one?
  3. How can I build a professional network while in college?
  4. How do I create a resume and cover letter that will stand out to employers?
  5. What interview skills do I need to develop, and how can I prepare for job interviews?
  6. How do I navigate the job search process, including finding job postings and applying for jobs?
  7. What are some strategies for managing work-life balance as a college student?
  8. What financial considerations should I keep in mind when pursuing a career after college?
  9. How do I overcome imposter syndrome and self-doubt in the professional world?
  10. What are the potential challenges I might face as a first-generation college graduate, and how can I address them in my career?

The Career Development Center (CDC) is here to support you throughout your college journey and beyond. Get the help you need to succeed in your career as a first-gen student by making an appointment with the Career Development Center. 

First-Generation Jobs and Internships

Getting experience is an extremely important aspect of the career development process to see if the job function or industry aligns with your skills, interests and values.  The CareerLINK Job Board offers both on- and off-campus jobs and internships from employers looking to hire CSULB students and alumni. View instructions for accessing the CareerLINK Job Board on the CDC CareerLINK page.  The College Job & Internship Feeds display active CareerLINK postings targeted to each of California State University, Long Beach (CSULB) seven colleges.

First-Generation Career Resources

California State University, Long Beach (CSULB) recognizes the challenges that first-gen students face and provides on-campus resources and support to help first-gen students succeed academically and socially.

Additionally, there are external resources available to support you in your career journey as a first-gen student. Review the articles, resources and videos below for helpful advice and insights.  

A Career Road Map for First-Generation Professionals
First in your family to pursue a white-collar career? Find role models and a support system.

Career Advice for First-Gen Students – From a First-Gen Professional
Read advice for making the transition from college to career a successful one.

Career Tips for First-Generation Grad Students
A first-gen grad student offers six key pieces of advice.

How to Build Your Network as a First-Generation Student
Learn four strategies to help you get started in building your network to increase your chances of being hired.

America Needs You
America Needs You fights for economic mobility for ambitious, first-generation college students. We do this by providing transformative mentorship and intensive career development.

Career Spring
A free, online networking and job placement platform to help first-gen and/or low-income students find high-quality employment and launch meaningful careers.

First Gen Fellows
The First Generation Civil Rights Fellowship Program, or FirstGEN, is a paid summer program for undergraduate students who are the first in their immediate families to attend college and who intend to pursue careers in social justice.

First in Family Scholarships
First in family scholarships or “first-generation” scholarships prioritize students whose parents did not attend or graduate from college.

Rise First
Curated resources to empower first-gen, low income students and professionals to succeed in their education and career.  

Career Development Center (CDC) YouTube
Watch recorded career development and employer webinars at any time of the day!

First-Gen Message from Michelle Obama
Former first lady Michelle Obama - a first-generation college graduate - message for first-gen college students: "I want you to know that Barack and I are proud of all of you. And we can’t wait to see everything you go on to achieve."

I am First
YouTube video testimonials from first-gen students and graduates from across the country.

Need Help?

The Career Development Center (CDC) is here to help you throughout your career journey, from exploring what you want to do to building skillsets to engaging in an internship/job.

Meet the career counselors who are excited to partner with you on your career journey at CSULB.

You can also check out all of the great career development workshops, events and job fairs that are available to students.