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From First-Gen Student to First-Gen Professional: Navigating the Transition

Learn how to move from a first-gen student to a first-gen professional.
By Alumni Career Team

First-generation professionals are trailblazers, forging a path into professional work environments that might be very different from those experienced by their families or loved ones. And while the experience might be supportive for some, the transition might feel insurmountable for others. It can be fraught with complexities as professional and personal worlds collide and sometimes even contradict.

Watch as first-generation professional advocate Bernice Maldonado talks about her research on the first-gen experience and has a supportive conversation with others who have experienced this transition firsthand. You will also learn how to understand whether an organization’s culture is inclusive to first-gen professionals when choosing to take a job or starting a new role.

About the Speaker

As a first-gen college student, Bernice didn’t have a roadmap on how to transition from her working-class roots to professional workplaces. Without mentors, role models, or career guidance, she had to use her curiosity and grit to make it in corporate America.

Bernice is now a strategy consultant and advisor with expertise in working with first-generation professionals or professionals from working-class backgrounds. She is CEO and Principal Consultant of Catalyst Era, a Los Angeles-based strategy consulting firm dedicated to inclusive change and talent development. She also founded First Gen Talent to research the socioeconomic class impacts on career mobility and provide data-driven insights to drive inclusive change in the workplace.

Bernice now combines her lived experience, consulting expertise, and research to provide strategies and insights on what it really takes to successfully break through the glass ceiling.

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