International Student Services
The Wasserman Center helps international students navigate the U.S. work environment and acclimate to American work culture through individual career coaching and specialized programs. Career resources for international students include tools to identify opportunities for career exploration and employment.
U.S. Work Culture
Prepare for the Job Search
- Clarify your career goals. American employers seek candidates who are goal-directed and focused. Know what you want to do and be able to discuss your goals with employers.
- Examine issues of cultural differences. Cultural values reflect personal and lifestyle choices, cultural perspectives and how individuals relate to one another. International students should closely examine inherent cultural values that could impact the effectiveness of your American job search.
- Network to obtain contacts in your field. Networking is a process through which we develop and maintain relationships with professionals in order to solicit information, advice and referrals which will facilitate the job search. Maintain contact with peers, relatives, professors, and past employers to unlock information that can lead to job openings.
Interviewing in the US
- Employers are interested in hearing about specific accomplishments and career goals. Elaborate on your achievements and focus on your strengths using examples from your past performance.
- The quality of the interview for an international student can also be affected by cultural variables, such as language proficiency, nonverbal communication style, body language, and overall appearance. Interviewees are expected to be well groomed, to be able to communicate self-confidence, goal-direction, flexibility, and independence. Speak directly and clearly. In addition, communicate your self-confidence with a firm handshake in the greeting and closing, and maintain eye contact during the interview.
- Know your work permission guidelines and be able to discuss them confidently with the employer. However, keep the focus of the interview on your skills and qualifications.
Handling the Visa Question
- Only apply for positions that are available to individuals with foreign status. Do not waste your or the employer's time pursuing positions with organizations that only can hire U.S. citizens.
- Be prepared and knowledgeable about your visa status before the interview. Know your eligibility and conditions under which you are permitted to work. Respond to any questions regarding your visa in a direct, clear, and confident manner. Avoid excessive detail that may give the impression that hiring you will be too complicated and confusing. Do not let the visa issue take over the interview. The purpose of a job interview is to demonstrate your skills and expertise related to the available position.
- The decision to introduce your visa status and work issue is a personal and individual one. It is not required for you to bring up this topic. However, if the interviewer introduces the issue, address your visa status and work eligibility directly and confidently.
Office of Global Services
International students should utilize the career services at the Wasserman Center in conjunction with the visa and immigration services available at the Office of Global Services in order to fully address the complexities of working or interning in the U.S.