Just for Our International Students – Freshmen and Sophomores – Wondering About This Summer?

Building meaningful experiences is key to setting yourself up as a competitive student in the current recruitment landscape. If you have not already sorted out your plans for the summer, here are some ways to have a productive summer.

Think of transferrable skills and personal goals, and do not forget that you can be as creative as you like with your plans for the summer!

All experiences are good experiences, whether it is a corporate internship at a Fortune 500 company or your local restaurant. Many companies are doing just-in-time hiring before the end of the summer – keep your eyes open and you may find some great internship opportunities. Also, do not forget to look out for opportunities in your hometown!

Learning new skills is always a great way to keep busy! Consider taking classes over the summer to get ahead with your coursework, or perhaps an online course to learn a new skill. Both are great opportunities to develop useful skills and demonstrate your love of learning. Think about taking a language class or enrolling in a coding camp. LinkedIn, Khan Academy, Coursera, Skill Share, Lingoda, EdX are some of the resources our students love. Also, don’t forget to check out IU’s summer class offerings and schedules.

Volunteering is a great option to give back to the community while learning new skills! There are many ways to get involved in your community – for starters, check your local city or state’s online volunteering portal. If you plan ahead, you can get placed into some of Kelley’s own programs such as the Institute for Social Impact, which has service opportunities around the world. Note that volunteering may require CPT authorization, so be sure to check with UCS before committing.

There are plenty of study-abroad or international internship opportunities during the summer! These are a great way to have an immersive travel experience, learn from different cultures and perspectives, and demonstrate your ability to adapt to different situations. Kelley has over 20 different summer programs, from Barcelona to Paris to Shanghai. There are also other providers you can check out online. If you plan ahead, you can score some great scholarships for your experience.

Get creative and start an independent project! Whatever floats your boat, make a fun summer project out of it. This is the time you have to catch up on any lost projects or pursue a passion you don’t quite have the time for during our busy semesters. Be your own boss this summer and start a newsletter or podcast, code a website, or build out a portfolio of that art project you have always been meaning to start. This does not have to be related to your major – you can take on a summer reading challenge, train for a marathon, start a fundraiser for a cause close to your heart, or even lay the groundwork to open a local chapter of a national organization such as Girl Up.

Use the summer to sharpen up your professional skills! Summer is the perfect time to get ahead in practicing your professional skills. As an international student, use this time to find out which employers sponsor internships and fulltime positions, if your goal is to get professional experience in the US. Take the time to start networking with upperclassmen and alumni and master the art of cold emails to connect with employers and others. As you cultivate these connections, you will open doors to valuable internship opportunities that can kick-start your career journey.

There are so many options to boost that resume this summer!

UCS Peer Coaches’ Tips

  • Update your information on LinkedIn and be an active user. Add any new experiences, skills, and achievements to your profile – and work on your connections with different professionals in your industry. A strong LinkedIn profile can help you stand out to potential employers and expand your professional network.
  • Upwork and Parker Dewey are great resources for shorter commitments like micro-internships and freelance projects. Still, never start employment without the required authorization!
  • Get ready for Fall 2023 before it is here – update your Handshake profile and resume!

Your Action Steps for this Month:

  • Graduating? OPT FAQS
  • Actively applying? Just applying is half of the work! Make sure to network and follow up with a professional or a recruiter from the company. Your follow up should be unique and interesting – try to articulate why the company should hire you?
  • Have you just received an internship or full-time job offer? Here you can find guidance on evaluating & negotiating job offers.

Key Dates:

International Students: Maximize Your IU Network, April 20, 2023, 10:00 am, Virtual

Login to Handshake for a complete listing of all UCS related events!

Helpful Resources

Labor Market Insights – Use this real time employment data from across the country to help inform your career decision making.

Employer Recruitment and Offers & Acceptance Guidelines

Lockin China – Career Search in China

Sign up or sign in to the IU’s Virtual Alumni Network

Help Chart a Path to Bloomington’s Zero Carbon Future

By Irena Otten
Irena Otten Associate Director of International Student Services & Career Coach