A Letter to Our International Students – How to successfully get a job/internship in the U.S.!

Dear International Students,

It has been a daunting adventure—your big move from home, adjusting to the new culture, language, school, friends, environment, and the Goliath of it all—looking for jobs and internships in a foreign country, the U.S.

The year 2018, with its various immigration and visa uncertainties, also dragged along understandable anxiety and doubts about your career futures in the U.S.

So the million-dollar question, once again, is—“How do I get a job/internship in the U.S.?” To this question, our response is excellent communication skills.

The National Association of Colleges and Employers released its Job Outlook 2018 report and ranked what 201 surveyed employers highlighted as top attributes (competencies) they seek in hiring new college graduates.

The following is a snapshot of the top six:

Ability to work in a team 82.9%
Problem-solving skills 82.9%
Communication skills (written) 80.3%
Leadership 72.6%
Strong work ethic 68.4%
Communication skills (verbal), Analytical/quantitative skills, Initiative 67.5%

Source: National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE), “What Employers Seek on a Resume,” chart, Job Outlook 2018, December 11, 2017, http://www.naceweb.org/talent-acquisition/candidate-selection/what-employers-seek-on-a-resume/.

Do you see communications skills (both written and verbal) ranked as two of the top attributes? What does that tell you?—how important it is for U.S. employers to find candidates, whether domestic or international, who are skilled and capable of clearly and effectively communicating their accomplishments, ideas, skills, and stories.

We understand learning and mastering a foreign language is difficult—it is for anyone and everyone. What could we do to improve and become more comfortable with it? There’s no secret sauce—it’s through PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE. The more you listen, speak, and put yourself in situations where you NEED to speak English (both conversational and professional), the better you are going to become.

The following are some FREE IU resources you can use to polish those English-speaking and English-writing skills:

–       Practice English Tutorials: Improve Your English-speaking Skills

–       Conversation Partners

–       Writing Tutorial Services

Haven’t been able to make use of these resources? No worries. Get involved in various student groups/organizations, spend more time with your friends (both domestic and international) and faculty speaking English, volunteer and/or get part-time jobs on campus.

Don’t forget to listen in on how our international Kelley alumni succeeded in their U.S. job/internship searches at https://careers.kelley.iu.edu/channels/international-students-academic-categories/.

Yours truly,

The Kelley Undergraduate Career Services

By Sara Ko-Ada
Sara Ko-Ada Associate Director of International Student Services Sara Ko-Ada