Ten Steps to International Student Career Success
(click on any step to learn more!)
- What do you want to do? Graduate school? Employment? Internships?
- Where do you want to be? In the US? Back in your home country? In another country?
- What career path are you interested in? What career fields are associated with your major, minor, cluster or certificate?
- What can you do to establish and articulate career, job search, internship, or graduate school goals?
- What barriers are there?
Be specific, yet patient regarding time frames for reaching goals!
- The Career Center – Career Center Professionals can help you with choosing a major and identifying potential career paths, connecting your major to career options, getting experience through internships or work, with conducting a job search in the US or abroad, and with graduate school admissions efforts.
- ISO – ISO staffers can provide information regarding documentation, timelines, and change of status, applying for CPT and OPT, as well as all visa status questions.
- Attend Career Center and ISO Events and Workshops: Learn more about job search, internships, and network with alumni in informal settings.
3. Understand Visa Issues and How They Impact Your Work Eligibility: Develop a plan for how to talk to an employer about being an international student and about how much information you wish to share in any documentation you provide.
4. Create Documents: Resume, Curriculum Vitae (CV), Cover Letters (Letters of Introduction, Letters of Application and Networking Notes), Writing Samples, and Graduate School Statements.
5. Identify Lists of Graduate School Programs and/or Potential Employers: The Career Center has resources to help find graduate school programs, employers who hire international students, employers by geographic location and those within specific industries.
6. Build Networking Relationships: Make sure everyone you know is aware of what you are looking for. Share your goals with professors, friends, family, and supervisors in your home country, in your targeted country, or here in the U.S. Everyone can help you if you state your goal and carefully request consideration, referrals and support!
7. Apply to Graduate Schools and Employment Postings, and then Follow up: Once you have a clear strategy, a list of schools and/or employers, and all documents are written, it’s time to start applying! After you make initial contact, you must follow up by phone, or via email. Always check the status of your applications. Do employers and/or graduate schools have all the information needed, when will decisions be made, and how will you be informed of decisions?
8. Check Your Status: Be aware of deadlines and make sure to stay in the appropriate visa status!! Deadlines for Curricular, Practical and Academic training can be months before you start your position, so be aware of them early!
9. Interview: There are different types of interviews, and different strategies for each. Speak with a Career Center professional or schedule a practice interview to prepare! Remember, the job search and graduate school admissions efforts do not stop at the interview. Call or email to let those you communicate with know that you are still interested in the position or program, and check if they need any other documentation from you.
10. Accept an Offer: Once you receive a job or graduate school admission offer, there are still questions to ask yourself. Let ISO know about your change in status, make sure to file status change paperwork ON TIME! Once you accept an offer, all related job search and graduate school admissions efforts should stop!