One of the greatest strengths of the Questrom School of Business and Boston University is its rich, diverse student body. BU has over 7,000 students representing 130 countries. As with our domestic students, the Feld Center is committed and a partner in your success. The following resources can be helpful as you look at work authorization, networking, internships and full-time jobs.
For more help in your job search please reference our International Student Job Guide resources and below is additional Information.
As an applicant submitting a resume, it is very important to eliminate all assumptions from the resume. As an international applicant, this includes a few key points:
- Use a (617) or US area code as your phone number. Delete the +1.
- If you have a preferred English name, use that on your resume.
- Be sure to put a US address on your resume if applying to jobs in the US.
A U.S. resume includes:
- Personal information such as full name and contact information (cellphone & address)
- Links to personal website, blog, or LinkedIn profile (optional)
- Education (highest degree first)
- Experiences including volunteer work, research, club leadership, sports leadership, part-time work and internships
- Language and computer skills
A U.S. resume does not include:
- Personal information such as age, gender, marital status, race/ethnicity, country of origin
- Immigration status
- English as a language skill
- International permanent address
- Grammatical or spelling errors
- TOEFL or SAT scores
To learn more about the Questrom format including how to craft impact statements, take a look at our Resumes page.
Looking for jobs in the U.S. requires a sense of the cultural attitudes there. For example, bowing to show respect may be commonplace for a job in China; however, in the U.S. it would be more common and the cultural norm to provide a firm handshake. Before you begin networking, consider these cultural norms…
- Greetings are most often a firm handshake while making clear eye contact.
- Nonverbal gestures help illustrate your interest and engagement with what another party is saying or asking.
- Answering questions regarding likes/dislikes and strengths/weaknesses, or other areas that might be taboo in your home country, are acceptable and standard in most interviews.
- Talking about yourself and having confidence in your personal goals and achievements is expected. You can work on feeling more comfortable with this through interview prep with the UDC and by meeting new people!
Networking is a major factor in all job search processes. Networking is the practice of interacting with other people to exchange information and develop contacts. Being comfortable during networking conversations can take practice, so attend as many events as you can to help you become a networking expert! Here are a few tips to help with your networking efforts!
- Know your goal: you will most likely find your networking conversations a challenge if you don’t know what you’re trying to get out of the conversation. Figure out what you’re hoping to learn more about and what you can offer. If you know what you are looking for then it is easier to ask specifics!
(Note: DO NOT ask for an internship or a job in these conversations!)
- Who do you already know? Build a list of family, friends, professors, previous and current supervisors, co-workers, student organizations, alumni, professional associations, sports, fraternities and sororities, volunteer commitments and religious affiliations that can help you
- What do you say? Start by saying “hello!” If you are at a networking event put on a smile and walk up to someone and introduce yourself. Get to know the person you are speaking with. Don’t be afraid to spend the first minute getting to know them and trying to find common ground to help you connect to that person better. Curiosity is one of the biggest factors in helping to get to know someone.
- Create and Take Opportunities: Networking events can happen anywhere! Some companies or organizations will hold prearranged events on campus, while some may happen off campus. Whether you are meeting people at a pre-arranged event, through personal contacts, student organizations, or randomly having a conversation with someone new, there is always the prospect to learn something new. Make sure to take every opportunity to practice your pitch, your language skills, and continue to learn about the industries and positions that interest you.
Appropriate small talk topics
- Current job title and company
- Current events that are not political or religious in nature
- Popular television shows and movies
Topics to avoid
- Personal finances
- Gossip/Bad talk about others
It’s important to remember that you can try and be friendly and occasionally people may not respond with equal interest. That can happen, recognize it and move on. Try your best to not feel rejected by it or take it personally. Small talk and going to social events can take a lot of energy! Try your best to create a positive experience for both yourself and the person you speak with.
Share your pitch: This is your chance to integrate your experience and passion into the conversation and see if they, or someone they know, has a connection that would be helpful in your career pursuit. It’s also your chance to showcase your interests and skills to impress your new connection.
Follow up: Now that you have had a good conversation, be sure to do the appropriate follow up. Send the person you spoke with a thank you email within 24 hours while the connection is still fresh in both of your minds. If during the conversation they offered to refer you to one of their connections be sure to mention it in the thank you. Should they provide you the connection’s information, be sure to reach out to that person right away and try to set up a time to connect. Also, be sure to send an update to your original connection letting them know what happened to keep them informed. Did you get an internship? Great! Let them know! Did they give you resume feedback? Great let them know! Sharing developments and progress can help to make this into a long term professional relationship that you can keep in the future as you move through your career.
Informational interviews are conversations with people that work in your career interest area. These are often conversations that happen due to your networking efforts. These are NOT conversations where you would ask for a job or an internship. They ARE a great way to learn more about career options, how to grow your career, professional development opportunities, company information, and even insider interview and resume tips for your job search. Here are some great resources to find professionals to connect with:
- LinkedIn: A social network for professionals to connect through common school, company, and career interest affiliations.
- Personal Network: Your family, friends, professors, and work colleagues are great resources to help you engage with new professional contacts in your field of interest.
- Career Advisory Network: An online directory of 8,000+ BU alumni eager to share career advice with current students
- Research and preparation is crucial for any job seeker. Confidence can be gained by simply knowing more about a company. Preparation can help to familiarize you with common industry words and phrases or interview practices. This information can all be very useful to help you feel more prepared and assured.
- Speak slowly and clearly. Make it easy for the interviewer to understand the messages you are conveying, even if this means speaking differently than your usual style.
- Talk about achievements.Some international students may find it difficult to talk about achievements. However, your interviewer(s) have most likely never met you, so will not be aware of your achievements unless you explain them. Try listing your accomplishments to see them on paper and then practice talking through them to help get comfortable discussing each.
- Understand your business value as an international student. Your resume, cover letter, and life experiences can all help showcase to an employer that you are adaptable, independent, have language skills, and possess a knowledge of a non-U.S. culture. These are great selling points and are areas that companies need someone proficient in.
- English Proficiency & Skills: improve your conversational English skills by practicing regularly with English-speaking friends, in class, or with a tutor. Should you prefer or desire something more in depth, BU offers a 4 to 6 week Summer Program to help improve your communication and overall listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills. For more information, please visit the Center for English Language & Orientation Programs (CELOP).
These resources can help you: build a target company list (based on work authorization and country), find people to network with, identify jobs, and understand visas and work authorization.
BU and Questrom Resources for US and International Searches
- BU Center for Career Development – Information and statistics about the international population at BU as well as resources, suggestions, and other offices on campus that are available to help support your career discovery and preparation for the job and internship markets.
- The Pardee Library – Access databases, create target company lists, and expand your industry research utilizing tools available online.
- Uniworld Online – Search for American Firms Operating in Foreign Countries and Foreign Firms with Subsidiaries in the United States.
- GoinGlobal – Employment information organized by country. Also provides samples of resumes by country, VISA application information, and a job board of available positions in various countries. For more information on how to use GoingGlobal, please see the user guide here.
Information for working in the US
- MyVisaJobs.com – This website has the most current listing of employers that offer H1B visas and you can use the search function based on company name or location
- US Citizenship and Immigration Services – Government information about visas and work authorization
- US Department of State – Travel information and advisories, information about visas, and listings of U.S. consulates abroad
- US Immigration and Customs Enforcement – Maintaining your visa status and port of entry information
- American Job Search Video Series
Information for working outside of the US
- Riley Guide for the International Job Search – Useful site for targeting specific countries
- International Jobs Center – A not-for-profit corporation that identifies international positions with in multiple sectors
- 4International Careers and Jobs – Top job listings 2,200 websites and 190 countries
- Times Jobs – Job search site for jobs in India
- Careerforum.net – Job search site for English-Japanese bilinguals
As an international student, you have access to excellent internship and job opportunities here in the U.S. and in your home country. While both scenarios come with their own set of challenges, The Questrom School of Business has a robust international network of alumni that work both in the U.S. and abroad! They are eager to give back and share their job search insights. We’ve captured some of their stories and advice in the videos below, so please check out our 30 minute videos if you’d like insights regarding:
- An overview of what their internship and job search process was like.
- How they found companies that sponsor.
- How to stand apart from domestic students in the interview process.
- How to talk with employers about the sponsorship process.
- What their future career plans are currently, including:
- Individuals on OPT who may not receive sponsorship.
- Individuals working in their home country, or abroad, and how the culture can be different in the country you are working in.
Different industries look for talent at various times throughout the year. Below is a timeline of when certain industries tend to be most active in recruitment of undergraduate students.
Undergraduate Academic & Career Development Center
Rafik B. Hariri Building
595 Commonwealth Avenue, Suite 104
Boston, MA 02215