Beans Academy - Empowered by Student Beans

The Top 10 Professional Networks for Underrepresented Students and Graduates

Meet like-minded peers and get access to some incredible opportunities.

Finding a community of fellow students or graduates with the same experience as you can really help to build your confidence, develop your networks and even connect with potential employers. This is especially true if you identify with a community that has historically been marginalised, minoritised or been excluded from opportunity.

It’s long been known that a sense of belonging has a direct impact on your university experience, so it should come as no surprise that this is true for the world of work too.

There are some incredible communities out there for students and recent graduates. Here are our top 10. 

1. Black Young Professionals Network

The mission of the Black Young Professionals Network is to empower black professionals. It has a 150,000 strong membership community and over 1000 leading industry partners like TikTok, eBay and Google.

Who is it for? Anyone who is Black. The focus is on existing professionals, but anyone can become a member.

Why join? For their incredible line up of events from their annual Leadership Conference (taking place October 6th and 7th 2022) to their regular webinars hosted with businesses from Gartner to eBay.

Top tip: Look out for their local groups BYPeers in your area and join for local connections

Find out more and join here.

2. National Diverse Student Network

Set up in 2020, the National Diverse Student Network (NDSN) is an empowerment platform for students from ethnically diverse backgrounds. The network aims to provide access to mentoring programmes and training and create a virtual community of fellow student members and professionals.

Who is it for? Students from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic backgrounds and those with an interest in equality, diversity and inclusiveness within education and work.

Why join? As well as being student-led, the NDSN boasts a stellar list of advisers from the professions (careers requiring specific types of qualifications and education, like law, education and psychology) who support the community.

Top tip: As the NDSN is fairly new there are great voluntary opportunities to be involved in the running of the network so check them out!

Find out more and join here.

3. The 93% Club

The 93% Club is a nationwide social enterprise representing the UK’s largest community of state educated students.

The club is tackling the growing gap between the privately educated and their state educated peers. Currently, they have over 45 branches in universities across the UK. They run development workshops and outreach activities that have impacted over 10,000 students.

Even better, the 93% Club are our key charity partner here at Student Beans!

Who is it for? Anyone who was educated at a state school and their allies.

Why join? The 93% Clubs are highly active at each university with talks, workshops and socials. Their annual Social Mobility Factory event is a unique opportunity to meet potential employers, hear from inspirational speakers about their experiences and get a free headshot for your LinkedIn!

Top tip: If your university has a 93% Club why not get in touch and see how you can be involved? And if it doesn’t, why not become the founder of your institution’s very own 93% Club?

Find out more here.

4. MyPlus Students’ Club

More of a careers platform than a network strictly speaking, but nonetheless, becoming a member of MyPlus Students’ Club will undoubtedly open doors for you if you have a disability.

15% of students in the UK have a disability and yet at age 25 disabled young people are 18% less likely to be in employment. The MyPlus Students’ Club provides essential advice on applying for a job with a disability, employer contacts and runs a very popular series of events with employers.

Who is it for? Any student with a disability including but not limited to conditions such as: visual and hearing impairments, mobility impairments, autism, diabetes, epilepsy, dyslexia, dyspraxia, mental health conditions, speech impairments and major illnesses such as cancer and MS.

Why join? This is a great resource if you want to to be part of a network that champions people with lived experience of a disability and how to see your differences as a strength.

Top tip: Once you join, check out their Disability Careers Guides covering everything from ‘Embracing Your Strengths’ to ‘Writing a Cover Letter’.

Find out more and register here.

5. EmployAbility

EmployAbility was set up in 2006 to support disabled university students in their transition to employment. They’re still at it today and have supported 15,000 talented neurodivergent and disabled students into great careers. 

Who is it for? Any students with a neurodiverse condition or disability. Also aimed at graduates with 2+ years experience.

Why join? This is potentially the biggest network out there of its kind. Register and you’ll be able to meet other students and graduates trough their events and receive personalised advice during your application process.

Top tip: Find out if your university is one of EmployAbility’s Next Generation Inclusive University Partners to access enhanced support.

Find out more and join here

6. The People

The People is a global community of change-makers. They recently launched The Pentland Collective with Pentland Brands (the company behind Berghaus, Ellesse, Kickers, Lacoste, and more…) to help young people from Black, Asian, minority ethnic and underserved communities develop their skills, confidence and network.

The People Community will not only support you with early access to jobs, opportunities and resources but also network with like-minded change-makers passionate about social and climate justice.

Who is it for? The community is open to anyone aged 18-30 years old who wants to become a changemaker. 

Why join? The opportunity to effect change among brands and create a better future as part of their community of changemakers.

Top tip: This is a particularly good network if you’re looking to break into the creative industries.

Find out more and join here

7. My G Work

This is a huge one-stop shop for LGBTQ+ professionals and students globally. You name it, they have it- networking events, job board, job fairs, employer reviews, mentoring opportunities and more. It’s a must-join network to build up your contacts and find great work where you can be your true self.

Who is it for? Students and graduates who identify as LGBTQ+

Why join? They have a busy schedule of community events and more than 300 business members with reviews of what it’s like to work there.

Top tip: Don’t miss their upcoming free online conference – WorkPride which will host dozens of sessions across 5 days covering allyship, networks, wellbeing, business and careers

Find out more and join here.


MOBOLISE is a new community backed by the MOBO Awards and Accenture that was founded by Kanya King CBE (the founder of the MOBO Awards).

Their mission is to correct the racial imbalance in the creative and tech fields. There are three key sections to the community which will help you find a job, connect with like-minded people and find your tribe, and grow through participation in their community events.

Who is it for? Black students and professionals who have an interest in the creative and tech fields.

Why join? They are just getting up and running and have already launched some impressive activities including MOBOLISE Mentors in partnership with Advertising Week.

Top tip: Get in there quick as they are launching new opportunities all the time!

Find out more and join here.

9. Common People

Common People is a community for people who are from a working class background and want to work in the creative industries. Their vision is to ‘change the creative industries for the better, by making Common People more common’.

Who is it for? Anyone from a working class background who wants to get into the creative industries or is already in the industry.

Why join? Common People was created by industry insiders at Spotify, Snapchat and other top brands so there’s a chance to make some great connections.

Top tip: Look out for their recently launched programme with The 93% Club, The Creative Club, which will work with organisations in the creative industries to set up more pathways into industry for state-educated students

Find out more and join here.


According to LinkedIn, women around the world are 14%-38% less likely than men to have a strong network.

I LIKE NETWORKING was set up to create a more approachable form of networking for those of us who get the ick when we hear the word. This community provides workshops, panels, mentoring and membership to help create a more inclusive creative industry.

Who is it for? Women and non binary people who want to work in the creative industry.

Why join? 95% of participants in their programmes reported a massive increase in confidence.

Top tip: Sign up to their newsletter for a taster of what they offer.

Find out more and join here.

Finally, some of the best networks can be found right under your nose, at your university or educational institution. Check out student clubs and societies and if there’s nothing that speaks to you, why not create your own?

Looking specifically for job boards? Check out our list of inclusive jobs.