Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Queer, Intersex, and Asexual (LGBTQIA) Students

  • Student in front of a rainbow flag

Things to Consider

  • As you think about your career, consider what value your diverse background brings to a position and organization. Remember many employers appreciate the unique insight LGBTQIA students can bring to their position.
  • Check organization rankings regarding general commitment to diversity at DiversityInc.
  • Check out The Human Rights Campaign’s “Workplace” page.  It includes many resources, including HRC’s Corporate Equality Index Survey, which rates organizations based on how their policies and practices support and protect LBTQIA individuals and families. 
  • Read organizations’ diversity statements and human resources policies on their web sites.  Check to see if organizations offer domestic partnership benefits, or other LGBTQIA-friendly policies.  Look to see if organizations have LGBTQIA “affinity” or “resource” groups for LGBTQIA employees and/or have LGBTQIA-friendly benefits and workplace cultures.

Getting Your Career on Track

Getting Your Career on Track

Landing a great job after graduation, or getting into graduate school, takes more than simply going to class each day. A few tips and facts are listed below to give you some insight on what you can do now to succeed after graduation!

  • Explore your Options. Explore your interests, strengths, personality, and values and how these relate to major and career options. Start by making an appointment with a career counselor in your career office.
  • Get Experience. 50% of employers expect students to have 2 or more internships by graduation, and graduate schools like applicants who have conducted research. Don’t know where to begin? Your career office can help you get started!
  • Visit Career Services Career services staff members are experts in helping students reach their career goals.  Because we regularly talk to employers in your industry, we have more insight than you will find through general online resources.  Contact your career services office to schedule an appointment.

Career Resources

Career Resources

While there are countless online career resources for LBTQIA individuals we have summarized these four high-quality resources to help you as you search for jobs and internships:

TJobBank Employment site specifically designed to bring inclusive employers together with transgender candidates

Diversity Working Diversity working is a job search engine that offers 550,000 active and non-replicated diversity jobs

LGBT CareerLink Out & Equal Workplace Advocate's job search and employment networking website.

Out for Work OFW’s programs, resources and services provide assistance to students in the cultivation and enhancement of skills to explore career options, master search techniques and strategies, and research employment opportunities.

Connect with Professionals and Peers

Connect with Professionals and Peers

Meeting with LGBTQIA professionals or others who work in your career area of interest can be a great way to get career advice and find leads on positions.  Below are a few ways you can find people in industry who might be able to help.

  • Ask family, friends, advisors, career counselors, community leaders, or instructors if they know any LGBTQIA professionals who you can speak with for advice on your career plans.
  • Professional associations are groups of people who work in a similar industry that meet to conduct professional development and to network.  Attending organization meetings can be a way to find professionals eager to help you navigate the world of work   View a national listing of organizations created by the Human Rights Campaign at LGBTQ Professional and Student Associations.
  • The University of Minnesota’s LGBTQIA Programs Office has a mentoring program specifically designed to help you find a mentor.  For more information, see LGBTIA Mentor Program.
  • Join student groups that relate to your professional goals.  This is a great way to network with your peers and many groups bring in professionals in the field to speak with students.
  • Attend career fairs, organization information sessions/networking events, and employer panels to expand your professional network.  View campus events at GoldPASS , or for Carlson School of Management students, visit The Edge.

Feeling overwhelmed at the thought of contacting a professional? You’re not alone!  Calling a stranger and asking for advice makes most students a little nervous.  To get some tips to help you through this process, simply call your career center and ask for an appointment with a career staff member.  We will coach you on what to say when you call a professional, what kinds of questions to ask and how to make the best impression.

Your Legal Rights

Your Legal Rights

As LGBTQIA student, you may have concerns about experiencing discrimination within your job search or career and how to handle this should it arise.  Below you will find some resources to help you understand your rights if you encounter discrimination in a job interview or in the work place.

  • To learn about what constitutes an illegal interview question and how to handle it if the situation happens in a job interview read the article title Handling Improper Interview Questions written by career experts from the National Association of Colleges and Employers.  Also see the St. Paul Campus Career Center’s online workshop to help you decide if and how to disclose your gender identity or sexual orientation on a resume, in an interview, or on the job.  A career staff member can also discuss these issues with you and help you make decisions.
  • Laws protecting you from discrimination: Minnesota law prohibits discrimination in employment, housing, public accommodations, public service, education, credit, and business based on “sexual orientation,” which is defined to include transgender individuals.  Although federal law does not protect employees from discrimination based on real or perceived gender identity or sexual orientation, many cities, counties and states do have such protections.  To see if a state in which you are considering working has discrimination protections, see the Human Rights Campaign’s list of state laws