Multicultural Career Conference History

The Multicultural Career Conference (MCC) has provided students of color and low-income students an opportunity to bridge the gap between the university and careers by connecting with alumni of color. Students establish mentor relationships with alumni who have successfully made it through UC Santa Cruz and into the workplace or graduate school. One of the most striking aspects about the conference is that students network with alumni, in person.

The conference is organized annually by a team of students and staff from the Career Center, EOP, the Alumni Association, the Ethnic Resource Centers, Baskin School of Engineering, and Student Affairs. It is usually held during Winter quarter.

Each year we invite alumni of color from various career and professional fields, as well as alumni who are currently in graduate school. Students have the opportunity to network with alumni often resulting in leads to internships and career opportunities. Approximately, seventy-five to one hundred UCSC alumni and 150 students of color attend the conference each year. 
Many alumni come back to the conference year after year. Alumni leaders have been identified through their participation in the Conference. Over the years, more than ten UCSC Alumni Council members have participated in the MCC. 

The Multicultural Career Conference day consists of a brunch/lunch, entertainment, ethnic community sessions, alumni panels, and network opportunities for alumni, focus on mentorship, and a reception. 

  • Alumni Networking session -Alumni gather before the students arrive to network and hear a campus update from the Chancellor. 
  • Ethnic Sessions -The ethnic break out sessions provide students with an opportunity to discuss important community topics with alumni from their same ethnicity. Alumni learn about issues and concerns facing students today while students have the opportunity to build rapport with alumni. 
  • Alumni Panels -The day features alumni panels that are divided as follows: Arts and Media, Business and Management, Health, Higher Education-Teaching & Administration, Law, Public/Social Service, Science, and Teaching-K-12, and Technology-including Liberal Arts Majors. These alumni panels focus on the careers of alumni and create an opportunity for alumni to discuss the importance and availability of internships within their fields. 
  • Topical Discussions -These discussion groups provide students and alumni an opportunity to discuss topics that may cross ethnic and career lines. Topics have included; making your passion your career, seeking out and building effective mentoring relationship, promoting diversity and cross-cultural understanding, and building creative collaborations. 
  • Closing Reception -The day ends with a reception that includes good food and raffle prizes! 

The conference is unique; special efforts are made to reach out to those students who usually have a difficult time getting acclimated to the university. Alumni of color provide genuine support because they too have had similar experiences. Alumni are excellent role models and mentors, and it is not uncommon for students to connect with alumni and develop lasting relationships at this conference.

To find out more about this years annual Multicultural Career Conference contact Sheila Rodriguez, (831) 459-2184;