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 Search 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 of the U.S. For example, bowing to show respect could potentially work for a job in China, however, a firm handshake in the U.S. is the cultural norm for showing respect and salutations. Before you begin networking, consider these cultural expectations…
- Begin with a firm handshake while making clear eye contact.
- Be confident in discussing your goals, dreams and achievements.
- Compose yourself with a relaxed posture.
- Be prepared to answer questions regarding likes/dislikes and strengths/weaknesses, areas that might be taboo in your home country.
- Be knowledgeable about yourself. Interview prep with the Feld Center and certainly meeting new people can help challenge you to think about what you want out of life.
- You must create opportunity for yourself.
- Practice your English.
- Highlight how your international experience sets you apart.
Networking is key to landing your ideal job! Networking is the practice of interacting with other people to exchange information and develop contacts. Developing the comfort in networking conversations takes some practice so attend as many events as you can so you can become a networking expert!
Know your goal: you will 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 after, is it a finance internship or a full-time market research job? If you know what you are looking for then it’s easier to ask for it!
Who do you already know? Build a list of family, friends, professors, previous and current supervisors, co-workers, student’s 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: Spend the first minute getting to know them and try to find some common ground to help you connect to this person better.
Appropriate networking event questions
- 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
You can try and be friendly and people may not respond with equal interest. That’s their problem not yours, recognize that and move on. Try you best to not feel too rejected by that, if you’re making the effort good for you! Small talk-go to social events and meet new people. It takes energy! Really try as best you can as a positive experience. CURIOSITY is one of the biggest factors of getting to know someone. Share your pitch: Remember your goal? It’s time to make it known. 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 a built about your interests and skills to impress your new connection which will encourage them to want to help you further and share their personal connections. Here is an example: “I really like watching basketball too, I actually attended a Celtics game recently and they beat the Bulls 63 to 45! It was a great game! I’m actually really interested in sports, specifically sports marketing. I recently completed a social media and marketing internship with Play works which is a nonprofit that helps raise money to integrate team building and physical activity into public school programs. I helped to increase awareness with my social media efforts and increased donations by 15%-it was a really great experience! I’m hoping to connect to an internship that does more direct work with professional teams, do you know anyone that does that type of work?”
Now that you have had a good conversation with your networking connection be sure to do the appropriate follow up. Send them a thank you email within 24 hours while the connection is still fresh in their mind. If they offered to refer you to one of their connections be sure to mention it in the thank you. If you do end up getting a connection, be sure to respond to that person right away and try and set up a time to connect and find out more about opportunities. Be sure to reach back out to your original connection and let them know what happened. Did you get an internship? Great! Let them know! Did they give you resume feedback? Great let them know! Anything your new connection may have helped you with let them know where you landed which will help to make this into a long term professional relationship that you can keep in the future as you move through your career.
The following are a sample of organizations that have local chapters in which you can attend events and meet new people. Many of these organizations offer free or reduced student rate memberships
- Black Business Association
- National Association of Black Accountants
- National Hispanic Professional Organization
- Association of Latino Professionals in Finance and Accounting
- National Association of Asian American Professionals Boston Chapter
- Asian American Professional Association
- Association of Asian American Bankers
- Association of Asian American Investment Managers
- Asian American Advertising Federation
- Asian Women in Business
- Network of South Asian Professionals Boston
- Network of Indian Professionals North America
- Korean American Finance Association
- Connect with Other International Job Seekers – From Stanford, this resource lists professional associations for international students to connect with other international students.
Informational interviews, which can be the direct result of your networking efforts, are conversations with people that work in your career interest area, industry or company. They are a great way to learn more not just about career options but you can also learn about how to grow your career, professional development opportunities, company information and even insider interview and resume tips for your job search. The more certain you are about your future career goals the better prepared you will be to build relevant skills to showcase on your resume and the better you will be in the interview as well. Here are some great ways to find professionals to connect with:
- Research and preparation is crucial for any job seeker. Confidence can be gained as a result of simply knowing about a company. Preparation can help you to familiarize yourself with industry words and phrases, which can also help to boost the confidence.
- Speak slowly and clearly. Make it easy for the interviewer to understand you, even if this means speaking differently than your usual voice. If this occurs, the language barrier should not be an issue and so then they will be more focused on your skills and abilities as they relate to the job.
- Talk about achievements. Some international students find it difficult to talk about achievements due to a home country’s emphasis on modesty and respect. However, your interviewers are not mind readers and thus will not know of your achievements unless you explain them. Try listing your accomplishments to see them on paper and then talk through them to help you get comfortable.
- Understand your business value as an international student. By simply coming to the U.S. to attend BU, your resume, cover letter and life experiences will showcase to an employer that you are adaptable, you are independent, you have language skills (not everyone can speak multiple languages) and you have knowledge of a non-U.S. culture. This is incredibly empowering. Remember these as you prepare and especially in the few minutes before the interview. Companies need these skills in their employees, right?
- English Proficiency & Skills: improve your conversational English skills and overall listening, speaking, reading and writing at a 4 or 6 week BU Summer Program. For more information please visit the Center for English Language & Orientation Programs (CELOP).
- Check out Common Cultural Barriers to the US Job Search for additional information about employer expectations.
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.
- Pardee Library International Business Career Guide
- Pardee Library American Firms Operating in Foreign Countries
- Pardee Library Foreign Firms Operating in the U.S
- Pardee Library Going Global Country Career Guides
- Riley Guide for the International Job Search – Useful site for targeting specific countries
- Goinglobal.com – Employment information organized by country
- 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
- Foreign Labor Certification – Searchable database of companies that have requested the H1B Visa
- 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
- http://istudentcity.com/ – “Feel at home in America” is their tagline. Information on housing, careers and immigration
- AbroadPlanet.com – Online community of international students helping other international students thrive in the US
- Foreign-Born.com – Information on visas, immigration, money and careers
- Latpro.com – Site geared towards Spanish/English and Portuguese/English bilinguals in the Americas
- Megajobs.com – Job search site for jobs in India
- Careerforum.net – Job search site for English-Japanese bilinguals
- H1Base.com – Paid site but has many frequently asked questions regarding the H1B Visa
- 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
- Embassyworld.com– Directory of embassies and consulates around the world
- As an international student looking for a job in the US, where should focus my time? Research, research, research! Find employers that hire international students using the various resources on this webpage. Connect with international alumni through LinkedIn and SMGConnect to get further company insight.
- Why should I network? It has been said that 80% of all jobs in the US are found through networking. People hire who they know. Register with Questrom Connect and use the alumni search feature in LinkedIn to connect. Don’t forget to talk with professors as many of them have worked and continue to work in industry.
- Can I be guaranteed a job in the United States? No. Employment for anyone cannot be promised nor guaranteed.
- Do English skills matter? Yes! Working in the United States requires English and American cultural competency. However, as an international student, your business value for that American company is that you understand the world differently and that can translate into dollars for the company. Highlight your international background as a way to differentiate yourself when you get to the interview. You, not the employer, must connect the cultural gap to sell yourself.
- What are the qualities that employers most admire in international students? Technical skills, cultural fluency, affinity and loyalty.
- Where should I look for opportunity?
- Connecting with alumni
- Meeting people through professional associations and conferences related to your industry/concentration
- US companies active in your home country
- People from your home country who are owners of companies
- Alumni/people from your home country who have jobs here in the US.
- Smaller companies
- Your home country consulate
- International job fairs
Undergraduate Academic & Career Development Center
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