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Cultural Career Network connects diverse students with employers

Students at Cultural Career Network event

Cultural Career Network typically hosts three major events for Illinois State students and employers.

The Cultural Career Network (CCN), offered through Illinois State University’s Career Center, prepares students for the workplace in areas of networking and career awareness.

Serving students of diverse backgrounds, CCN brings students and employers together to participate in a variety of events designed to connect them and to share resources about the employers’ available internship and career opportunities.

Since its inception in 2003, the Cultural Career Network has been providing programs and events to help students to connect with various employers who are seeking candidates of diverse backgrounds.

“The Cultural Career Network was created because employers saw a need for diversity in their businesses and organizations,” said Pamela Cooper, Career Center associate director for employer relations.

CCN typically hosts three major events for Illinois State students and employers. First, the annual alumni panel roundtable event held in the spring connects current students with alumni to discuss career-related issues and create networking opportunities. Second, CCN continues to host its popular annual networking event, also in the spring, featuring various employers who are eager to engage with students on campus. Lastly, the Cultural Career Network participates in the OutforWork network, of which the Career Center is a member. This national program assists students who identify as lesbian, gay, transgender, or queer, with career development and exploration.

Currently, the Cultural Career Network is working to implement new programs and increase student and employer involvement. One program that is the planning stages is the Diversity Fair, scheduled for this spring. According to Cooper, it is a pilot program that will enhance employer diversity initiatives and opportunities for students with diverse backgrounds. CCN is also looking to cosponsor events with diverse student organizations on campus.

Students can get involved with CCN by contacting their career advisor or the Career Center. Employers interested in the Career Center’s diversity initiatives should contact Cooper directly.