A number of international students approach college in the U.S. with one thing in mind, landing an H-1 sponsoring job soon after graduation.
With limited time in hand, international students have to use the time and resources efficiently to land into the dream job.
Here are some of the issues international students face during their transition from student to professional:
- Some companies prefer not to hire people on Optional Practical training.
- Some companies are reluctant to sponsor a work visa (also known as H1B) after Optional Practical Training (OPT- Work Authorization of up to 12 months after completing degree)
- Need to find a job within initial 90 days of OPT to avoid any future issues related to work authorization.
In the current economic climate, with unemployment decreasing very slowly, finding jobs as well as competing for positions in banks and other institutions can be very difficult. Often times, students are forced to head back home, where the wages they earn pay a very low return on the high investment cost of an education abroad.
Establishing a close network of friends, as well as professionals around the college that one belongs to is almost essential to landing a permanent job after graduation.
In cases like Computer Science majors, some companies offer 6 available jobs per person; nevertheless, other fields often have it the other way around. Some high paying business jobs require three rounds of interviews to narrow as many as 300 applicants down to 1.
Networking with professionals is not just useful for jobs, employers also look for college students who would be willing to represent their companies on campus, or increase their presence by forming teams that they could then lead.
There is no ‘formula’ for networking, but there are definitely some characteristics that people should be aware of. Students should always be polite, inquisitive, and curious, since being intrusive often has a negative impact on professionals.
However, students should make it a point to stand out at career fairs by carrying business cards and resumes.
Connecting over social media and following up on first time acquaintances is also crucial to increasing one’s chances of clicking with professionals. Regardless of whether the professional you meet is from your field of interest, networking and adding these people to your ‘i-know-them’ list is always resourceful at some point in time.
In order to stay ahead when it comes to recruiting and jobs, international students should start networking with professionals by using platforms in universities and through organizations on campus.