Career Resources for First Generation Students

Career Resources for First Generation Students

Navigating college resources can be complex, especially if it’s new for you and your family. Career Education is dedicated to supporting our students who are first in their family to attend college in the United States, and below you will find resources that illuminate pathways to success, as well as some financial, community building, and career opportunities geared toward first generation college students.

Front Office



Meet with your Advisor for Career Exploration (ACE) to begin exploring possibilities

From day one on campus, every student is paired with an Advisor for Career Exploration (ACE). Your ACE is your main point person in Career Education from first year through junior year. They will give you tools, guidance, and support to discover a career path that’s right for you. First year students are matched with Ariane Baker; sophomores with Marisa Crowley, and juniors with Hayley Meredith McIlvaine. You can schedule a new appointment for career exploration, reflection, and general guidance.


Find industry-specific guidance

Industry-specific Career Advisors will provide industry expertise and guidance about specific fields that interest you. You don’t need to know exactly what you want to do to meet with a specialized Career Advisor — simply having curiosity about a field or industry is a great place to begin. You can make appointments with Advisors across the following areas, exploring as many fields as you like:


Arts & Media
Consulting, Business, Finance, & Marketing
Education, Nonprofit, & Social Impact
Health Professions
Science, Technology, Engineering, & Public Health
Government, International Affairs, & Law

Further Career Education Resources

More Organizations Supporting First Gen Students

The Wellesley Hive is one important way to discover mentors and gain your footing as a first generation college student. Below, we've listed a few other organizations that can help you along your journey.

Breaking Cycle  is a project dedicated to helping first-generation college students succeed, founded by Liza Marie Arias ‘16. Cheers to being the first!

America Needs You is a professional organization that fights for economic mobility for ambitious, first-generation college students. They do this by providing transformative mentorship and intensive career development.

First In The Family provides educational information from first generation college students, for first generation college students.

The Council on Legal Education Opportunity (CLEO) is a national organization that was founded in 1968 to expand opportunities for minority and low-income students to attend law school. Since its inception, more than 10,000 students have participated in CLEO's programs and joined the legal profession.


Internships & Fellowships

There are hundreds of funded opportunities for
Wellesley students. Begin exploring below!

Signature Internships & Grants, Sponsored by Career Education

Career Education Signature Internships span across the country and the world, in a variety of industries. We also offer funding through grants for self-identified, unpaid internships. If you find an unpaid internship, a grant can support your travel, housing and food costs throughout the summer/duration of your internship.

Additional Wellesley College Sponsored Internships

In addition to the opportunities above, Wellesley offers internships co-sponsored by Career Education and Academic Departments and other campus entities (like the Davis and Botanical Gardens). Learn more by expanding the resources below.

Expand Related Resources

Academic Department Internships:

Additional Wellesley sponsored internship opportunities include:

Internships Beyond Wellesley

First Gen Fellows

FirstGen Fellows is a ten-week summer program in the D.C. area for undergraduate students who are the first in their immediate families to attend an institution of higher education, and who are passionate about pursuing careers in social justice.

For more internships beyond Wellesley, for women, LGBTQ, Latinx, Students with Disabilities, and Students of African, Asian or Arab descent, check out our resources for Distinct Populations.

Fellowships & Scholarships

Fellowships & scholarships provide funding for opportunities like studying a language, completing a service project, pursuing graduate study, or executing an independent project.

Expand Related Resources

There are hundreds of fellowship opportunities available to you, and this brief introduction is a great place to begin learning about the range of options. Additionally, some fellowship & scholarship programs specifically for first gen students are highlighted below.

I’m First! Scholarship Resources
The Center for Student Opportunity I’m First! provides resources about scholarships relevant to first generation college students.

McNair Scholars Program
The McNair Scholars Program at Wellesley is a two-year research program for students majoring in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) fields interested in pursuing the PhD. Supporting first-generation, low-income, and students of color, the McNair Scholars Program helps scholars pursue their academic and professional goals to graduate school and beyond! 

Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship
The Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship Program (MMUF) was founded to increase diversity among minority faculty scholars in higher education. MMUF supports underrepresented minority students and others who have demonstrated commitment to eradicating racial disparities in academia by encouraging talented students to develop their academic interests, pursue and complete their doctoral training, and thrive in their faculty careers in higher education.