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Career Services
A Job Today, A Career Tomorrow

Students » International Students

We understand your unique career concerns as an international students studying in the United States You may consider either going back to your country after graduation or staying in the U.S. and pursuing your career here. You may be undecided, or already have the determination to follow a certain direction…

We are here to assist you in this career finding journey!

Questions and Answers

Q: I don't have a work authorization from the INS yet. Can I submit my resume?

A: Yes, you can. However, to legally work in the U.S., you will need a work authorization from the INS. Most international students are qualified to work through two options: Optional Practical Training (OPT) and Curricular Practical Training (CPT). If your degree program allows CPT, you can apply through your foreign student advisor.The process usually takes less than a week. However, if you plan to use OPT , we highly recommend that you apply for it 2 to 3 months before you expect to look for a job.Why? First, because it usually takes at least 2 months to get an authorization from the INS. Second, you don't need to have a job when applying for OPT. So, you can start the application process while still in school.

Q: Will employers be willing to sponsor me for an H1-B or a Green Card?

A: You will have good chance of H1-B sponsorship, because most employers we work with are familiar with H1-B issues. However, obtaining sponsorship still depends on several factors, including how open your employer is, and how well you perform. Getting a Green Card depends mainly on your relationship with the company, because the Green Card application is usually submitted after at least 2-3 years of employment.

Q: What if I don't have any work experience in the U.S.?

A: This concern is one of the most difficult obstacles international students face when looking for a job. Increasingly, employers provide less training and prefer employees to start working right after they are hired, so experience has become more important as a recruitment criterion. Work experience back home does help, so try to present your past work experience as professionally as possible. Even if you don't have any work experience, school projects or student activities may help. If you developed a functional web site or a consulting project for school, emphasize it in your resume and interviews.

Q: What if I don't speak or write English well?

A: The importance of your English skills depends on your field. If your job is in a technical area such as bookkeeping, database administration, or engineering, employers don't expect you to have perfect communication skills. English skills are tied to fields requiring communication skills, such as management, marketing, and customer service.

Q: How about if I interview with a U.S. Company?

A: Follow these tips:

  • Be punctual. Arrive five to 15 minutes prior to appointment.
  • Eye contact is expected and shows confidence.
  • Interviewer styles vary. Some may begin with direct questions or minimal small talk.
  • Interviewer may do most of the talking or may expect the candidate to do most of the talking.
  • Questions regarding age, race, sex, and marital status are illegal.
  • Expect direct questions regarding competency and experience.
  • An open discussion of accomplishments and skills shows confidence.
  • Show clear self-knowledge, career goals, and long-term plans.
    Note: To initially obtain employment, an international student may find it important to be flexible.
  • Interviewer may expect immediate competency and look for a two- to five-year commitment.
  • Disclosing strengths, weaknesses, personality, leadership, problem-solving may be appropriate.
  • Research the organization and show knowledge, initiative, and interest during the interview.
  • You can ask at the end of an interview about the status of the interview process, and when you might expect to hear back from them demonstrates interest in the position.

Q: How about if I interview with an international company?

A:

  • Personal relationships may be more important than time. Being late may not be a problem.
  • Eye contact, especially with persons of higher status, may be disrespectful.
  • Interviewers commonly start with small talk, seeking information as to character or personality.
  • Interviewer may talk for the majority of the interview.
  • Age, race, sex, or marital status may be issues in the interview. Males may be expected to dominate interactions with females. Younger people expect to show deference to older people.
  • Expect indirect questions regarding competency and experience.
  • Citing accomplishments and skills may be considered boastful, self-serving, or too individualistic.
  • Jobs may be assigned by government or family.
  • Questioning one's role in a company may be seen as disloyal.
  • Companies sometimes expect individuals to accept what is available.
  • Interviewer may not expect immediate competence, instead will look for a long-term employee.
  • Researching an organization in advance may show too much initiative and independence.
  • Asking an employer during an interview where they are in the interview process and when you can expect to hear back from them may be seen as too forward.
  • Inquiring about the status of an application after the interview may be seen as rude.

Q: Should I attend a Job Fair?

A: Attending Career Services’ job fairs is one of the best ways to meet potential future employers.

Q: What are the best ways to find job openings?

A: In some countries, people find jobs primarily through the government or family members. In the U.S., self-reliance is more the rule, and it is important for everyone, including international students, to use a wide variety of resources to identify jobs. About 20 percent of the jobs that exist in the U.S. are advertised in newspapers, trade magazines, or on the Internet. The other 80 percent of job openings are in the "hidden" job market and never advertised. These positions are filled by word of mouth. For this reason, it is important to contact as many people as possible to find out about job openings. This contact, or “networking,” can include friends, classmates, neighbors, family members, professors, alumni, and community members. Career Services has more information on the job search and networking. Students and alumni are encouraged to attend our job fairs to network and meet employers.

Q: Why do I need an internship and what are the requirements?

A: Students who lack experience in their career fields should complete one or more internships while working towards their degrees. The Career Services assists students in locating internships at local companies in order to gain experience and build their resumes. According to "US Multinationals and the Foreign MBA," more than 53% of foreign survey respondents received a job offer from an American company where they completed an internship. Obtaining an internship is important not only in terms of resume building, but in terms of its potential to translate into a full-time job after graduation. Also, International students must visit and meet with the Office of International Admissions and Services.  Your degree plan will be reviwed and you will be advised if you qualify.  Degree plans must state that you have an internship component on your degree plan or that you can also use a free elective (if it has not already been used).  Visit the Office of International Admissions and Services located at the Learning Assistance Center in Room 156 on Monday, Tuesday, or Thursday from 3-5 pm.