Students interested in international career opportunities should visit Going Global.
Select the five steps below for more information on becoming a successful international student.
Set Goals, Conduct Research and Meet with Career Services Staff
Having a clear understanding of your strengths and your career goals will provide more clarity on which steps you’ll want to take while studying at UW.
For example: Do you want to pursue a graduate degree? Work in the US? Work in your home country? Get into a specific career?
Based on these goals, conduct research on what preparation you’ll need to be more qualified to meet these goals.
For example: If your goal is to work in the US upon graduation, start researching which companies have applied for H1B Visa in the past, companies that hire international students, and for what types of positions companies will submit H1B applications. This will help to narrow your choice of major and types of companies to start networking with.
The Career Services’ team is available to provide assistance and advice on how to go about this research. Foster students, feel free to contact us to make a one-on-one appointments to discuss.
Get to Know Your ISS Adviser, Your Visa Status and Work Eligibility
The UW International Student Services office is the best resource of questions regarding your work eligibility, visa status, and rules/regulations for employment. It’s important to know when and where you are allowed to work in the US and how to apply for permission to work.
It is recommended that you connect with your ISS adviser.
For questions about Curricular Practical Training (CPT), which allows you to work as an intern, and Optional Practical Training (OPT), which allows for limited post-graduation employment, review the F-1 Options website.
For additional information about your employability, review the government’s information: U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS).
It is important you understand your visa status and work eligibility options. Employers may ask about your employability and you will need to confidently respond to their questions, as they may not be familiar with the rules/regulations.
Access University Resources and Prepare Application Documents
There are several resources available that will help you succeed while at UW and in your internship/job search.
Foster Academic Advisers can provide advice on balancing class loads, academic/graduation planning and succeeding in the classroom.
The Writing & Research Center, located in Odegaard Library, is an excellent resource to polish written communication. Written and verbal communications are important aspects of the job search process as well as in professional work, and this resource offers assistance by reviewing documents and tutoring to improve written communication.
Foster and UW offers classes to further improve communication skills. A few classes to try are Nonverbal Communication (Arts & Sciences, Communication), Introduction to Public Speaking (Arts & Sciences, Communication), and Mastering Leadership Communication (Foster, BCMU 491). Because communication and language skills can be a barrier to hiring international students, it is recommended that students engage in additional opportunities to enhance these skills.
To apply to positions in the US, a resume (PDF) and cover letter (PDF) will be needed. It is recommended that students create a LinkedIn profile page, participate in mock interviewing, and attend workshops/seminars to gain further professional development and a better understanding of US cultural norms as well. Companies are looking for well-rounded candidates with leadership experience, a strong understanding of their skills/talents, good communication and the ability to work on teams. Your ability to represent this in your application documents and in person will be a critical piece of your success in securing any practical learning experience outside the classroom.
Networking will be a critical aspect of your experience at UW. While it will be very helpful in building community, it also helps build (professional) connections. Professional networking is quickly becoming one of the best ways to get jobs and internships. Through networking you may find out about the hidden job market/unadvertised open positions that aren’t posted, be recommended by a contact at a company, or identify companies that fit your needs that you didn’t previously know about. Remember that the purpose and goal of networking is to connect with other individuals, not to get a job. A job may be a byproduct of creating a connection with others, but shouldn’t be the only reason to participate in networking.
You can engage in in-person networking by joining a student organization (Foster student organizations and UW Student organizations), attending professional development and networking events and participating in career fairs and opportunities to meet employers.
Having an online web presence for virtual networking is also important. LinkedIn is a place for professionals to highlight their expertise, work history, and connect with other professionals. For assistance on starting a LinkedIn profile, click here (PDF)
Internship search, job search and additional resources
Searching for an internship or job can be a long process for any job seeker, not just international students. Having a high quantity of job applications isn’t a measure of success, instead we recommend that you search with intention and an understanding of how you are uniquely qualified for the open positions.
Your knowledge of another language, or business practices in the US or abroad, may help you to be a standout applicant. Perhaps you’ll want to look for jobs with companies that do business with your home country. Or you may want to search for jobs that will be needed both here in the US or in your home country. Finally, you may want to do a comprehensive job search that includes a variety of locations or flexibility in the type of work you are willing to do. While your internship/job will need to match your academic degree, you may find that broader job search will help you to better reach your intended goal (see Step 1).
- Going Global: Provides country-specific career and employment info, as well as H-1B employer listings.
- The Riley Guide – International Job Opportunities: Directory of job, career, and education information.
- US Citizenship and Immigration Services: *U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is the government agency that oversees lawful immigration to the United States, this site provides information on working in the US, as well green card and citizenship information.
- Monster.com Country Search: This monster site gives you access to a variety of positions across the globe. Here you will have the ability to search jobs by country.
- myvisajobs.com: This site provides analytical data services (what companies hired international individuals) on H1B Visa, H2B Visa and Employment based green care (PERM).
- Foundation for International Understanding through Students (FIUTS): Connects university students to local and global communities through programs that build international awareness, cross-cultural communication, and informed leadership. FIUTS hold events such as English conversion groups, social support, networking opportunities and more.
- AIESEC: AIESEC (translated from French is: International Association of Students in Economic and Commercial Services) is the global youth network impacting the world through leadership development experiences. AIESEC has been facilitating youth leadership activities as well as international internships & volunteer experiences for over 65 years, developing a global learning environment across 124 countries & territories.