The Career Center’s annual Diversity Recruitment Networking Event attracted a record number of students as well as employers on Nov. 5, providing students a valuable opportunity to build connections with employers who are focused on diversity, equity and inclusion in the workplace.
“The Career Center has been developing diversity recruitment initiatives and programs for 20 years,” said Director of Employer Engagement and Diversity Recruitment Kimberly Joy Dixon. “That is what makes this event so special, the opportunity for students to connect with companies and organizations who are dedicated to these efforts and who are building a space this generation is excited to work in.”
The event, now in its 14th year, had been traditionally held in person with about 25-30 employers, but the switch to virtual last year — combined with the increased focus on diversity and inclusion among companies and organizations who value diversity — has led to a dramatic increase in participation. Close to 90 employers took part in the event this year, and all employers who attended have a diversity mission statement and ongoing diversity and inclusion efforts in the workplace and recruiting strategies.
Student attendance for the Diversity Recruitment Panel more than doubled last year’s total, with 157. Companies including Stony Brook University Hospital, Henry Schein, Moody’s, Societe Generale, Amazon, and PSEG spoke about the importance of diversity, equity, and inclusion, and how each of their companies create spaces for conversations around this topic. The panel was co-hosted by several student groups, including ColorStack, the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE), Women in Computer Science (WiCS), C-STEP Club, Society for Women Engineers (SWE), Delta Sigma Pi, Latin American Student Organization (LASO) and Jubilé Latino.
The panel was followed by the Diversity Recruitment Job and Internship Fair, where students met with recruiters from more than 80 companies looking to hire Stony Brook talent; each company attending the fair has demonstrated a commitment to diversity. Students met one-on-one or in group virtual sessions with companies like GEICO, Canon USA, Northwell Health, Brookhaven National Laboratory, Moody’s, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and many more.
Angel Velazquez ’22 “had a fantastic experience” attending the event. “I loved how employers were able to communicate how important diversity and inclusion are to them and how different perspectives have helped define their strategies in hiring equitably, and ensuring that their company provides an environment where people from all different backgrounds can be successful.”
“The Diversity Recruitment event opened my eyes to the progress companies are taking to make the workplace more diverse and inclusive,” said Destiny Dialene ’23.
Added Amaya McDonald ’22, “I realized the importance of diversity in the workplace and having an employer who values people’s differences.”
Employers who participated in the recruitment panel explained the importance of diversity to their companies.
“Part of diversity is bringing your whole self to work and being able to be welcomed in the totality of your experience,” said Irene Muldowney of PSEG. “There is a two-fold thing that needs to happen: Absolutely, we want the best of the best out there, that’s why we want to reach as many pools of talent as possible. But the second part of that is, once we get folks in, how do they feel? Are they going to stay? Do they want to stay?”
Added Dave Rodriguez of Henry Schein, “One of the important things is to be curious. Being curious drives learning. If we’re curious in our careers, it will be a healthy, long, successful one.”