Undocumented and DACA students face a number of difficulties associated with job and internship searches. The University of Washington Career and Internship Center believes in the integrity and value of every student and is available to support students of all immigration statuses. All DACA and undocumented students are eligible and encouraged to participate in career programming including workshops, career and internship fairs, small group coaching sessions, drop-ins in MGH 134 and the Instructional Center, and individual coaching appointments.
Career Suggestions for Undocumented and DACA Students
Gain Experiences: Participate in internships, mentorships, career site visits, volunteering opportunities, and student clubs to learn more about what you’re interested in and build career skills. We provide strategies for finding formal internship and informal shadowing opportunities.
Build a Network: Use your existing network and gain connections. This network can include friends, relatives, faculty, staff and University of Washington alumni. Use the LinkedIn alumni search tool to connect with alumni in fields of interest to learn more about opportunities in those areas. More than 80% of jobs are found through networking and it can be helpful to talk with working professionals who may have stories similar to your own. You can also build a network by connecting nationally with other undocumented students through groups like UndocuUndergrads National Network and UndocuBlack Network.
Grad School: Many grad school programs offer funding to help with cost through scholarships, research positions, or teaching assistantships. Check out the website My (Un)Documented Life for tips on how to apply to graduate school and a list of scholarships open to undocumented students.
Disclosing Your Status: Knowing when, how, or if to disclose your DACA or undocumented status can be challenging and varies with every opportunity and organization. As a general recommendation, DACA recipients do not need to disclose their DACA status to current or potential employers. It is the employer’s responsibility to verify your work authorization status when appropriate, and it is your responsibility that your work permit remains valid. Also, as a student, you are protected under the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) which means faculty and staff cannot share any information about you with people outside of the UW. We encourage you to talk with trusted advisers, mentors, or a career coach to discuss the nuances of this conversation and to develop an appropriate plan.