MBA internships for international students: a timeline

internships for international students

It’s summer time which means incoming international MBA students are already preparing for their big adventure abroad. If you’re an international MBA student moving to the US, your adventure will include landing a US internship to get US work experience. The MBA internship search is a competitive process, combining equal parts strategy, creativity, and luck. It’s unlike anything you’ve experienced before.

Each year international MBA students succeed in finding their ideal internship in the US. Successful international MBA students start early. They build relationships with everyone, from their career services offices, to campus clubs, to employers and alumni who visit campus. They learn everything they can about how to search for internships in the US.

Finding your dream internship in the US requires more than a good resume or attending a good school. You must learn about work authorization, practice networking skills, and build relationships with companies that offer internships for international students. At the MBA level, international students are expected to match the level of preparation and professionalism of their American peers who have spent many years to preparing.

Developing a process and checklist makes the internship search for international students a little bit easier. After all, moving to a new country is full of unknowns. This timeline is designed to take the mystery out of the MBA internship search process. It will keep you organized and on track so you don’t wait until April to start your CPT internship search. This timeline is aggressive. But that’s because the MBA job search is competitive. This timeline is designed to make you more competitive and help you get the skills you need to compete in the MBA internship process.

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Study in the US: 4 Career Questions International Students Should Ask Admissions

If you are interested in studying in the USA you are already planning for a global career. Many international students study in the US to get experience working in US companies. When you study as an international student you have the opportunity to participate in internships. Internships for international students are a strong foundation for an international career.

As you explore your list of universities in the USA for international students, pay attention to how those schools prepare you for a career. Start by creating a list of questions to ask your university admissions representatives about career help for international students. Below are four questions to help you learn how American universities help international students achieve their career goals.

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Interview preparation: Understanding American interviews

Navigating American interviews is a large part of your internship search.  Interviewing for an internship in a new country is a learning experience. As an international student American interviews are an opportunity to practice new communication and cultural skills. Interview preparation helps you plan what to say, how to act, and how to leave a good impression. Focus and preparation helps you succeed in your interview.

Start your interview preparation by understanding the American interview structure.

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Informational interviews: How to email strangers

As an international student your job search requires a lot of informational interviews. Speaking with people inside of companies helps you understand American business culture. It also helps professionals learn about you. Informational interviewing is intimidating when you first do it. Emailing someone you don’t know to ask for their time without an introduction might feel uncomfortable. Fortunately with a bit of training you can get comfortable with it. You can learn to be successful at it. All you need is an email template and a bit of motivation.

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GPA isn’t the most important part of your search

International students often focus on GPA in the job search. I hear a lot of questions like:

Does GPA matter for engineering jobs?

Do employers look at your GPA? 

How important is GPA in the job search? 

The truth is that GPA isn’t nearly as important in your job or internship search as you think. Companies that hire international students and sponsor h1b aren’t looking for a good GPA. They’re looking for experienced students with specific skills. Even entry level OPT jobs for students require more than just a GPA.

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5 easy ways international students find internships

If you’re searching for your dream internship, you will want to use multiple methods to find them. Many students limit their internship search to submitting resumes through a single platform. But there is more than one way to find international student internships.

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5 things you need to know before starting your internship search

After the rush of fall term starts to settle down international students start planning for the CPT internship search. January through March are peak CPT internship search times. Finding internships for international students takes some planning. The earlier you start preparing for the search, the more successful you will be. Here is what you need to know to prepare for international student internships.

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