Business & Finance

Facts About First Generation Professionals

4 Facts About First Generation Professionals

The first person from a family to attend university or have a white-collar job is a first-generation professional. They differ from continuing generation professionals who have at least parents who attended some college.

First generation professions are often people of color, immigrants, or individuals who come from low-income, blue-collar families. Their parents had very little education and performed manual labor such as farming, construction, manufacturing, custodial work, waste collection and disposal, mining, etc.

The parents or guardians of first generation professionals could not adequately support their children during their tenure in college because they did not have any experience themselves. Therefore, many universities and colleges offer mentorship programs to first generation professionals to tackle the many challenges they may face. One such mentor, Jonathan, who is also an educator and non-profit leader, has planned and executed strategic activities to ensure that students have access to the right tools to achieve their goals.

Parents or guardians of first generation professionals also cannot provide insight into how to behave in a professional setting. Many first-generation professionals have issues or face barriers after they graduate from college and enter the working world. They cannot navigate the work environment because their parents have no experience with working in an office or sitting behind a computer.

Facts About First Generation Professionals

Here are four facts about first generation professionals that are good to know and understand:

1. Many first generation professionals, like Jonathan Osler, have immigrant parents. Because of their immigrant status, many of them could not attend or afford to go to college or university. Twenty-four percent (24%) of first generation professionals in the US had parents who did not have a tertiary level education. Currently, there are many scholarships for children of immigrants or individuals who need financial support. Osler has helped secure millions of dollars for educational initiatives so that students can access learning resources.

2. First-generation professionals can now access resources and attend mentorship programs in order to navigate college and the working environment. Majority of the mentors or advocates are first generation professionals themselves who want to empower other first generation professionals. A number of these programs offer classes on how to:

• Write a resume

• Network

• Dress appropriately for job interviews

• Behave in different social settings

• Communicate effectively

• How to be inclusive in the working world

• Financial management

3. First generation professionals sometimes have more work experience than continuing generation professionals. They had to get jobs early either to help support their family or pay for their education. Many also had jobs on campus or related to their major.

4. They often possess skills and qualifications that bring value to an organization. Many of them speak multiple languages and can relate to people from all walks of life.
Jonathan Osler wants to point out that first generation professionals may face hurdles such as lack of resources, new age distractions and a lack of support. But they have proven to be motivated, smart, resilient, and hard-working when it comes to achieving their goals and dreams.