International Students: 4 Ways Hanging Out Can Help You Land That Job!

Cartoon of two friends hanging on a wire together

Welcome to Vermont and UVM. The time has come to get involved in your college experience and get to work. Many students will be looking for jobs and internships in the coming months and hanging out* with other student or community members can help you gain job skills.

  1. IMPROVE COMMUNICATION: When you join a club or become a part of the UVM Buddy program you get an opportunity to talk with native English speakers. Just talking gives you the opportunity to learn local sayings and ways of navigating campus and the community. Improving communication helps convey thought and ideas to help you express yourself.
  2. BUILD RELATIONSHIPS: The majority of jobs are found through networking. The more people you meet and connect with the more likely you are to learn about cool opportunities. Having shared interests helps build those relationships. Connecting with people can reduce stress, create comfort when living abroad, and I bet you will have fun.
  3. GET THAT JOB: Being able to connect with people and communicate well allows you to walk into an interview or work with a team effectively and confidently. As an international student you have a lot to bring to an organization, learning US expectations of social skills will help you demonstrate what you bring.
  4. FIND JOY: When hanging out with people you develop skills that gain you self-assurance in your communication, a sense of place, and maybe a new interest. When you are happy it shows and when applying for a job or internship.

There is no time like the present to make a good impression and many opportunities at UVM to get involved and meet new people. The Career Center is here to support you in developing your skills and navigating your job search, so go hang out.

* to hang out means to spend time with other people

Welcome the World to Vermont

Drawing of several people surrounding a giant globe

Many want a life with purpose and greater meaning although fear often stops them from taking their next step, whether it is choosing a major of interest or traveling to study and immersing in a new culture or a new way of learning. The growing UVM international population has overcome fear and shown initiative, independence, and ability to be flexible. These are the skills the global community depends on and could shape the international landscapes.

International students in particular have a task of navigating the US and business culture. The coming semester there will be opportunities for all UVM students to learn job skills, hear from experts, and network with professionals in their field.

International students CAN:

  • Get paid to work on campus
  • Join a club and practice communication skills
  • Network with the people you meet on campus and at Networking events and on LinkedIn (the new International Student and Alumni group is a place to start).
  • Participate in one or all of the 3-part Skill Series—check the Career Center calendar

You’ve flown across the world, worked hard for years, learned a tremendous amount and experienced a world you never knew. The Career Center can help you navigate your next professional move. Participate and reach out to build skills to create the life you have been working toward.


Finding Opportunities Abroad

Country Signs

As unemployment continues to remain high in the U.S, many Americans are looking abroad for new opportunities. Aside from the opportunities, a change in landscape will offer a new and exciting experience to grow and learn in a different culture, gain valuable skills – learning a new language – and expand your global network. But moving to a completely different country is a big and risky decision. Here are a few steps to consider:

Setting Goals: Where do you want to work? In what industry or field? What are the skills you want to gain? When do you want to go?

Finding the Opportunities: Begin researching and connecting with organizations you want to work for. Even if an organization is not hiring, it is still beneficial to build connections and gain insights about living and working in that particular country. Other options to consider are: teaching, “paid” volunteer programs (Peace Corps and UN Volunteers), teaching or research fellowships, and study abroad (graduate or undergraduate programs).

Evaluating Your Options: While landing an opportunity is important, considering other challenges that you may face will help you make a more informed decision. What are the costs (airfare, housing, etc.)? How do you apply for a work visa? How long should you stay abroad?

Like finding any other job, it all takes time. Take the necessary time to learn what kind of career you want to develop and your reasons to go abroad. In the meantime, you can learn a language, save up for your trip, and network with people who have studied or worked abroad.

~Hai Chi, Career Peer Advisor

Guest Post: Networking and Partnerships

We’re glad to be able to open up this space to a guest blogger, Kailee Brickner-McDonald, a former practicum intern with Non-Profit Programs here at Career Services, for this Doing Good, Doing Well post. We are glad she was able to share this story of networking with us!

UVM’s Alternative Winter Break and Vermont Institute on the Caribbean–Partners since Career Services’ International Non-Profit Career Panel in 2009

In the spring of 2009, UVM Career Services hosted an International Non-Profit Career Panel. Similar to the networking panels offered this semester (link to calendar for those kinds of events), it brought together alumni and local employers in the non-profit field and students with all levels of interest.

Among the students who participated, Leondaro Badia, ’09, showed up. He shared how he was going to be interning with the Vermont Institute on the Caribbean (VIC) that summer. At the time, UVM Student Life’s Alternative Winter Break’s (AWB) leaders were looking for a new hosting community for their international service trip.  Talking with Leondardo about his connection to VIC’s Baseball Exchange Program through a service-learning class, it seemed like a good match for AWB. Thanks to the connection, AWB started to work with VIC. In the winter of 2010 the 11 UVM students on the AWB trip helped with the Healthy Neighborhoods, Healthy Kids initiative and a park building project with 4th and 5th graders in Los Dominguez, a marginalized neighborhood in Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic. This year another 11 UVM students returned to the same school to lead workshops on girls’ self-esteem and leadership. AWB plans to continue the partnership with the community and organization into the future.

Check out this photo of the 2011 Alternative Winter Break group in the park that the 2010 group helped to build:
2011 Alternative Winter Break Group

This fruitful connection at the International Non-Profit Career Panel demonstrates how “networking” is truly a community-building experience. Peer-to-peer student collaboration and information -sharing that night was just as important as the relationships which also began among employers, alumni, and students.