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I have an internship at a public agency. A few weeks after I started the people I share an office with confided in me that I was selected over another candidate for whom English was not their first language. Then someone mimicked the person and they all laughed.

Possible Responses

  • Be curious. “Is that a legitimate reason not to select someone for a job or placement?”
  • Take your concerns to the supervisor, whether or not that person was part of the conversation. Share your discomfort and disappointment.
  • Talk about the incident with your internship coordinator or other university officials. Is this the type of site they want to use for placements?
  • “This conversation makes me think of XYZ agency in a whole new light. Is that how we want to be?”
  • “Even though I wanted to work here, I wish it hadn’t been under these conditions.”