First Generation Students

A graduation cap and book with the text, "first generation college student"

The Hiatt Career Center recognizes that first-generation students bring a breadth of experience, knowledge, and skills including initiative, persistence, focus, motivation, self-awareness, resilience, responsibility, independence, resourcefulness, risk-taking, and problem-solving. We are here to support your successful college experience.

Ernie Aranda"You can do it! Being first-generation is representative of a family seeking to better themselves and the lives of everyone around them. Continue to be proud and know that you've already accomplished many milestones. You're a story of overcoming obstacles, perseverance and drive. Leverage your story as employers, schools and people seek to learn more about you. Your community is always there to support you."

Ernie Aranda ’18 | fixed income securities middle office analyst, JPMorgan
Major: economics, business

Aeisha Lima
"Being a first-generation American has shaped every part of my journey. The sacrifices that my parents and community made to enable me to be successful, drive me to be the best so that I honor that struggle. Being first-generation comes with its own challenges, but the unique perspective is an added value to any organization. When you see one first-generation student/employee, know that they have a community of 10,000 behind them."

Aeisha Lima ’12, MA’13 | leadership recruiter, Facebook
Major: HSSP, AAS, IGS / MA in international and global studies


John Novas

"As a first-gen, I can attest to the great value you’ll bring to an organization. Your perseverance, optimism and curiosity are all job-ready traits that an employer looks for. In addition, your determination to overcome adversity also speaks to your resiliency, and that will serve you well in your future endeavors."

John Novas ’19 | technical project manager, Akamai Technologies
Major: computer science


Andrea Beltran Vega"As a first-generation college student, and now a recruiter, I’d love to say how proud I am of you. At Teach For America, where we deeply understand the intricacies of systemic educational inequities, we value your perspective and your being. We understand that being first-generation comes with lots of expectations, lots of tribulations and even bigger celebrations. We know that when you walk into any space, you walk in with so many experiences that we appreciate, celebrate and elevate. This is why we recruit and welcome first-generation students; because we know you are great and have the potential for so much impact in our classrooms, in our communities and in leadership roles."

Andrea Beltran Vega | recruitment manager, Teach for America

Career Help

As the first member of your family to attend college, your experience at Brandeis may include challenges that are different than other students.  

While at Brandeis, we encourage you to:


General Resources



Answers to Common Questions

Meet with Us

Hiatt is here to help you navigate the process of exploring career options and making decisions about where to begin.  Schedule a meeting with us to talk about questions including: