I’m a campus hire in tas fdd and just wondered if you all had any tips on navigating spaces in my firm while being the only black person in my service line.

I feel like at the end of the day I’m spending too much time trying to figure out if I’m tripping or if something was a micro aggression and it’s tiring.

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As a black person who used to be in your shoes when I started in PA. Sometimes it is a micro aggression or sometimes it’s not. All you can do is control the controllable i.e. be the best professional you can be and don’t be afraid to ask questions and set boundaries.Also be prepared for people to always question your intelligence. I wish i could tell you it will get better but it never does. I have left PA since and worked for 2 different companies in private (both financial services) and i still get that look and the same passive aggressive remarks. I had a senior and a manager who were black in my practice when I started. That helped a lot I suggest you do the same. Find a support group to vent.

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I’ve been in your shoes before. It is an isolating experience and impacts a lot. The way you communicate, think, etc. When I had my experience, I found myself over compensating. I was doing more than required because I thought certainly my white counterparts must think I don’t know what I’m doing. One tip is to just be yourself and don’t go the route of over projecting. Does your firm have DEI groups that you can get involved in? If so, I’d get involved, the only way forward is having the masses have their experiences and perspectives known.

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We do. But from what I can tell they’re not as active given the whole wfh thing. I even tried to connect with the Chicago naba chapter and nothing.

Use this group. Bounce ideas, vent, network, etc. The more you connect and the more you share, the more you'll learn that you're not alone in that a lot of us have gone through or are going through similar experiences.

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I was in this situation a year and a half ago. I went by my last name. I made sure I was in conversations that only had to do about the weather and the stock market. Do not get into any deeper conversations. I left after one year to a place with more diversity. Don’t get mad at yourself it’s not you, just get cracking on that resume and fly away as soon as possible. Your are the token hire. It is what it is get paid learn a thing or two amd move on. Hopefully someone cares enough to teach you something as a minority new hire don’t be mad if you don’t learn anything, be grateful if you do even though your going to have to eat a lot of crap that may come with your education.

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You were right on the money. Unfortunately. Almost 7 months here and I feel like I’ve spent more time on the bench than actually learning and progressing.

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