Marcelo Barros is the founder of The International Advantage, LLC, a firm that helps international students in the US achieve their career goals. He has a strong passion for helping international students be successful. Barrow, along with Lundquist College of Business and International Business Association, conducted a webinar that taught international students about job search strategies.
Barros believes there is no general advice for everyone because everybody has a different experience. For example, the strategy for those who have had multiple internships and those who have no working experience are completely different. Students who have no experience may have to start with some volunteer jobs.
Here is a summary of the webinar with Marcelo Barros about strategies that international students can utilize in the US.
Know Your Interest, Skills, Experience, and Language (ISEL):
- Interest: Tell employers about what gets you excited. Additionally, tell them why you want to work for their companies and the values you have that align with their companies.
- Skills: Tell employers the skills you have, especially when the company is looking for technical skills.
- Experience: You have been exposed to different cultures and most of you have cross-cultural communication skills. Tell them how your diversity will be an advantage to the company.
- Language: Many of you are multilingual, a great asset in the working force these days. When you speak a different language, you also think differently, and companies need this because the world is becoming more international.
Know Your Values
Once you know your ISEL, learn how to present your uniqueness. Know what your international advantages are and what can you do better than others. For example, if you speak Japanese and apply to a Japanese company in the US, make sure to communicate your language skills. Tell them that language is important for the company to keep their cultures and values, and by hiring you, you can help them to embrace their cultures. Companies want to know the results that you will bring by hiring you. Be excited when you tell them about yourself.
International students need to be knowledgeable about both OPT and H1-B visa rules. You need find the right sources from official government sites. Once you are comfortable with the rules and regulations, you can have more confidence when you meet employers, giving you a better chance to present your best.
Know the differences between small, medium, and large firms. Many large firms have completed their hiring processes by now, but some are still open. Make sure to know which ones those are. Medium companies are usually still hiring, and are a good opportunity for you to take greater responsibilities. Small companies will also give you the opportunity to have more direct training from the employers with higher positions. If you apply to all of those, make sure to make a list and keep yourself organized.
Ask for Help
Barrow believes that it’s important to use the resources we have on campus. The Career Center and the Lundquist College of Business Career Services are the core places that help students to strategize on their career path. Professors are your friends in the job search process; make sure to go to their office hours. Also, reach out to alumni and recent graduates, and remember that we have the Student Alumni Association on campus to help you with that.
For more information about Marcelo Barros, check out The International Advantage, LLC website. He has also published a book, The International Advantage, about career strategies for international students.
Finally, the UO Career Center helps all students to succeed during their college career. Make sure to drop in or make an appointment in our office. If you are a business student, the Lundquist College of Business Career Services focuses on business students’ development.
UO Career Center
220 Hendricks Hall
Lundquist College of Business Career Services
Sonia Herman, Employer Relations Intern