For the fourth consecutive year, multicultural alumni returned to campus to participate in Bridging the Gap: An Alumni of Color Panel. The audience – students of similar backgrounds – heard from six alumni who talked about their experiences and discussed how to prepare to enter the workforce as a person of color.
“Being able to navigate among different groups of people here at Bryant and getting to know different people is important,” said Shirley Carrington ’18, a second-year law student at New England Law. “Once I started reaching out and getting to know people outside of my friend group, I was able to get a better grasp on where I wanted to go and build my network.”
"You need to make very clear what makes you good at what you do and what makes you especially unique and valuable in your area.”
Nicole Yong ’16, an experienced finance associate at AEW Capital Management, echoed that advice.
“Don’t always be in a bubble with your friend group,” she said. Though reaching out to different people can be uncomfortable, "that can be good," she said. “It makes you develop and grow and figure out what you want to do in life.”
Continue to engage with Bryant resources
Jasmine Perkins ’19, a Sports Industry Management graduate student at Georgetown University, urged the audience to take advantage of all of Bryant's resources.
“I still reach out to a lot of people at Bryant,” such as the Amica Center for Career Education, she noted.
The panel also discussed difficulties a person of color might experience in the workforce. Anthony Thomas ’10, an artist and community organizer, encouraged students to be true to themselves.
“You have to be uniquely you,” he said. “When I came to Bryant, I didn’t know how to handle it. But I’ve learned how to pick and choose my battles, and how to highlight myself, and let my uniqueness shine and not dim that light. Us being different is that light.”
Sometimes you have to use your unique aspects to your advantage, said Dylan Zhou ’14, a data science software engineer at The Hartford.
“No one wants to be that 'diversity hire.' That undermines what you’re about," he said. "You need to make very clear what makes you good at what you do and what makes you especially unique and valuable in your area.”
As an example, Matthew Yong ’17, a corporate financial reporting analyst at Eaton Vance Management, said he has become a resource among his colleagues.
“They like to ask about my culture,” he said. “It allows them to gain a little more understanding of who I am.”
“We are honored that our panelists returned to campus today,” said Matthew Caruso ’21, moderator. “Their insight, guidance and advice ... is valuable.”