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Navigating Career Exploration and Success as an International Student

Tori Zhou
August 26, 2019

Student diversity is a distinguishing element of Rutgers’ academic and social landscape. Classes are composed of students that not only hail from other states but other countries, and Rutgers University boasts an international student population of approximately 13.5%.

As an international student, whether you’re looking to maximize your experience at Rutgers or prepare for your professional life post-graduation, Career Exploration and Success (CES) offers a variety of services for your career development success. We’ll answer your questions on improving the marketability of your resume and cover letters, finding an on-campus or off-campus job or internship, learning the standard practices of an American interview, and mitigating any confusion on work eligibility. “CES works with Rutgers Global to ensure that counseling and advising don’t contradict their visa information,” says Paola Puerta Dominguez, International Career Development Specialist. The first step is meeting and knowing your international advisor and understanding your visa. Another must for international students? Visit the upcoming Career & Internship Mega Fair, a university event that may not occur in your home country and provides direct exposure to the hiring process.

InternationalStudentsAlready visit us in person and looking for some digital resources? Activate your Rutgers Handshake account, a platform with thousands of job listings of which you can filter based on your visa. Junhao Dong, an international graduate student, recently accepted a Packaging Engineering internship at Tesla after using Rutgers Handshake. He gives his two cents on what has helped his career journey, “Building a resume is really important. I got help from friends in the same major and went to resume drop-in clinics.” He recommends, “Put more detail into your resume, especially for international students when it comes to using professional wording and vocabulary.” Another aspect of Rutgers Handshake is GoinGlobal, a resource catered towards students studying abroad and equipped with a job, internship, and visa application database. Specifically, its users can research which employers are sponsoring in the United States as well as field and research trends. Less commonly known is that certain majors have more sponsorship opportunities in a specific geographic area, which GoinGlobal can help you identify.

An international status may house more limitations compared to a domestic one. Thus it’s all the more pertinent to visit CES as early as possible. Paola cites delayed visitation as one common mistake she sees international students making. She stresses how visas have a time clock, and meeting advisors late leads to less flexibility and fewer options. Additionally, another misconception is that what works for a classmate or friend will work for you too. However, this isn’t always the case. Every career journey and university experience is unique, and there is no one trajectory or fixed timeline. Navigating the waters of a new country and all that comes with it can provide a lot to absorb. However, Career Exploration and Success supplies you with the needed professional tools and resources.

Paola says, “Come to Career Exploration and Success knowing what you can and cannot do so we can lead you to what you can do.”

International Student Resources

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