JOB SEARCHING FOR INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS
Before we dive into tips for international students searching for jobs and internships, we wanted to (re)share an encouraging video that members of the iSchool community recently put together. A special thanks to Kidus Yohanes, Harshitha Akkaraju, Katie Goulding, August Carow, Joseph Tsai, and Torey Tokita who took the initiative to ideate, film, and edit!
We also want to remind you of the iSchool recruitment policy for students, specifically with regards to accepting offers and reneging. Once you’ve accepted a job or internship offer, it’s important to terminate all other job search activity. Reneging on an offer can be seen as an ethical violation of your commitment to the employer — potentially affecting your reputation and the greater iSchool community’s. Ultimately, if you’re not ready to make a commitment, do not accept a job offer.
CHALLENGES INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS MIGHT FACE
Job searching is difficult no matter your connections or credentials. International students, though, face a unique set of obstacles that can further complicate things: confusion over work authorization, employers hesitant to do extra paperwork, concerns about non-native English-speaking abilities, and so on. These aren’t always fair, but it’s important that international job seekers anticipate the challenges and prepare accordingly.
Challenge: The (assumed) complexity and resulting confusion of hiring international students
Many employers lack experience with hiring international applicants and, as a result, make incorrect assumptions — that the process is too time consuming, costly, etc. To counteract this, we recommend becoming informal experts on work visas. Attend F-1, Optional Practice Training (OPT), and Curricular Practice Training (CPT) workshops put on by UW International Student Services. You may also want to research the H-1B visa program. Practice explaining these topics in just a few sentences. Continue reading