Supporting BIPOC Young Professionals in the Workplace: an Intern’s Perspective


Zoe Hardwick

Internships have become crucial to Rainier Scholars’ career development and in many cases, they are required for a student to advance in their desired profession. For this reason, internships can be exciting, nerve-wracking, and confusing for many students. Securing an internship is only half of the equation, and often is the most familiar part. For many, the truly uncharted territory is the start of the internship. A new environment paired with being “the one who makes it” requires a special support system, one that our scholars deserve.

Rainier Scholars has crafted a guidebook on Best Practices for Supporting BIPOC and First-Gen Students in the Workplace, which offers tangible strategies companies and programs can implement to create an environment in which scholars can thrive. Our guidebook is tailored to the experience of First Gen and BIPOC students and is useful for companies who are employing or looking to employ Rainier Scholars. Cultivating an equitable and inclusive work environment takes real work, and following these recommendations is a good start!

Our Best Practices Guide is also part of a larger conversation around building healthier and more inclusive workplaces. We encourage current and future employers to read our guidebook and generate new ways to strengthen and expand strategies geared towards accommodating various needs in the workplace.