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AMERICAN LIKE ME: Careers and Culture

American Like Me by America Ferrera

Change is Good

Are Corporate Cultures becoming more inclusive?

Geena Rocero (narrative starting on page 133) describes how participating in transgender beauty pageants allowed him to finally feel accepted.

Do you feel businesses are making positive changes to their corporate culture to be more inclusive, diverse, equitable, and accepting?

Take the stance for or against, and talk about specific examples in your chosen career path that support your position.

Can you use some of the resources and skills you used in your library research section to find changes in statistics, laws, policies, job titles...? 


pew research graph

Setting Boundries

Setting Healthy Boundaries in the Workplace

Roxanne Gay (narrative starting on page 59) states, “Haitian parents don’t believe in boundaries.” Read the article ‘Some people struggle to create boundaries – here’s why it’s important to say no’ by Lindsay Dodgson (

After reading the article, devise an action plan that details how you will establish boundaries in your current and future relationships, specifically work relationships. 

The Importance of Mentors

Bambadjan Bamba emigrated from West Africa (his narrative begins on page 29). The school he attended assigned him a mentor, Alpha, to help him navigate his new environment. Instead, Alpha makes Bambadjan’s transition more difficult by ‘tricking’ him and by enticing him to fight.

In contrast, Coach Pat provided a positive mentoring experience for Carman Perez and her fellow basketball players (narrative begins or page 65).

Building on these experiences and your own, describe how important the mentoring process is for those individuals entering a new business career. Include a discussion of how mentoring is especially important for first generation college students and students belonging to minority cultural or socioeconomic groups.


In several essays, the authors discuss their personal awkwardness and their cultural clashes. For example, Issa Rae, admitted to referring to Tupac as Two-Pack when she was younger, and even though, she had the courage to speak-up and ask about him, her peers were rude and dismissive (p. 84).

Talk about how this relates to college interactions as well as future career paths. When and why might people be afraid to speak up, provide input, get assistance, or just be heard? 

  • College or Education in General (Students and Teachers)
  • A Health Sciences (Hospitals, ERs, Dentists, Physical Therapy)
  • Business  (Banks, Insurance, Real Estate)
  • Public Safety (Police, Fire, EMT...)


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