Native American / Diversity? - Help Please

Hi everyone, I'm a rising sophomore in a bit of a unique situation. 

I am of Nepalese origin and most of my family immigrated to the states years ago. However, my grandma on my mom's side is 1/2 Native American, which makes me 1/8 Native American.

I was wondering if I could use my 1/8 Native heritage for diversity recruiting programs, but I'm not sure if I'd qualify because 1. I'm only 1/8 Native, and 2. I look South Asian and have a South Asian / Nepalese first name (so don't know if HR would believe me even though I'm not lying). 

I understand that diversity recruiting is looked down upon, but given that I come from a lower tier semi-target, I'd like to make use of every opportunity I can get. Any advice is appreciated. 


Okay thanks, I just don’t want to be auto rejected while on a diversity track or event because I obviously look South Asian. Who do I give the dna test to btw? HR?

Most Helpful

So, there’s a possibility, if you make it past a resume screen, that the recruiters will set you up with networking / interviews with someone from the diversity group. In your case, Native American. If you’re ok with that, go for it, but I wouldn’t recommend it. 

Do you do anything for Native folks? Student groups, Tribal organizations, etc? A lack of those type of activities will stick out if you’re applying as a Native American. Playing lacrosse for a prep school doesn’t count.


To be frank, I’m not at all involved with my Native Heritage, so I wouldn’t really know how to navigate the diversity interviews, and I don’t have anything Native-related on my resume. I’m just worried about having to have to put down ‘Asian’ on all of my junior summer IB applications and being in an ultra competitive applicant pool when I could technically ‘make use’ of my Native Heritage (sorry if this sounds bad / insensitive).


TBH your best bet is to work on being the best candidate you can be (knowing your technicals cold, networking with everyone you can, gaining relevant experience, getting comfortable with the qualitative part of the interview). Being a diversity candidate won’t compensate for serious deficiencies in any of those areas. If you’re as strong as you can be in all of those (you’d be surprised how few candidates - diversity or “regular way” - can do all of those well), and it doesn’t work out, eff it. 


As per your own post history, you're an incoming freshman at Emory, so how could you possibly know this? lol


Man don't be tryna pull that Elizabeth Warren Pocahontas nonsense.  Are Native Americans even a target for banks?  I know of course that colleges value that box . . I think we all had that blond blue-eyed person in our HS class who got into a top school by providing their 5th cousin's tribal affiliation number.

But I've done some diversity events at banks and never seen anyone who wasn't Black or Latino.


Coming from a Nepali guy, please don't ruin our reputation. If you want diversity, tell them you're bi or free-spirit or one of the 100 other things. Don't unfairly use the native card when you have no direct connection to the culture and heritage.

Our passport is already weak making us forego internships and secured jobs. Don't need a tarnished Nepalese reputation as an added barrier on top of the uphill battle we already face.

My recommendation is just work for it. We're generally very smart. If you network well, are likable, and have decent technicals, it's not hard to land an offer since you're already at a semi-target and are a US person.


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