As the fall semester is all winding up, there would be quite a lot of students graduating this semester. A happy time indeed! Graduation is undoubtedly an excellent achievement, but this joy comes with pressure, anxiety, and responsibility. All this towards finding a ‘job’! Your hard work in classes and those sleepless homework nights are finally over, but another zeal that awakens you is to get a job and put all your education in place towards achieving your ultimate goal. It is time to pull up the socks, start researching extensively, applying and then following up.
Finding a job might not be an easy affair, especially for an international student. The immigration rules and strictness might narrow down so many opportunities, but one should put in constant and consistent effort towards looking for a career prospect. Some students are go-getters while some have a slow pace in getting to know the job market. With an individualistic approach, one piece of advice is to just follow your ambition. Look for a job that you really want to do not just for the sake of doing it. There might be rigorous competition out there in the job world, but your persistence and motivation will keep you on top. There could also be other factors that you should keep in mind while looking for a job.
First: Understand the US Immigration Laws for F-1 Students.
You can consult the DSO in your college or read the instruction manuals online. The rules might seem a bit complicated, so it’s important to seek advice from the advisor in the college. If on an OPT (i.e. Optional Practical Training), do mention to your potential employer about the duration of your OPT and that you will need to be sponsored after it expires. The laws and policies should be strictly kept in adherence when seeking employment in a foreign country.
Second: Networking is imperative.
Seek help from the career center in your college to rebuild your resume. There are workshops all-round the semester that prepare you for interviews and help you in building connections. Today, social media- specifically LinkedIn- connects so many employers to job seekers. Here again, a pleasing and updated LinkedIn profile facilitates in getting great connections and might even put you in the right fit pretty fast. Social media plays a great role in introducing you as a person, and nowadays employers take your first impression through your social media activities. Indeed and Glassdoor are two strong job portals that stay up to date and closely align the job seekers to the employers. Apart from that, most college career centers have strong networking opportunities. One should try asking for help regarding recommendations and references from the career center.
Last but not least: Be patient and don’t get disheartened.
Because of the strict immigration laws under the current administration, a huge chunk of employers might require you to have naturalization of the country. This might restrict a lot of great opportunities for international students. But one must not be disheartened at any point. It’s important to keep building your profile, enhancing your networks and patiently keep applying. There are a lot of employers out there who have friendly policies or contractual positions for international students. The job market in America is constantly evolving and looking for fresh talent especially the ideas from young minds and budding pupils from abroad.
Aanchal Tangri from India is pursuing a degree in English at Truckee Meadows Community College in Reno, Nevada.