If you’re a new international student, it can be a challenge to find internships or job openings. Luckily, there are several ways for you to find internships or opportunities that build your professional skills.
Company websites post their job and internship openings. They are easily found on their career pages. Here’s an example of Microsoft’s career page for global opportunities.
Search platforms aggregate job openings from across companies. Popular sites in the US include indeed.com, glassdoor.com, wayup.com and LinkedIn.com. Wayup.com is targeted specifically at college students like you. For students who want to be discovered by employers, Portfolium is an platform that helps you create a portfolio to show your work. Employers search portfolium for students who are showing off their skills.
Personal or professional contacts
When a company has an job opening, employees usually know about it. Employees working on the team or in the department will tell their friends about the opportunity. If they know you are searching for a job and you are a fit for the job, they will encourage you to apply. When you apply, they often tell the hiring manager so you stand out. This is known as an employee referral.
As you build professional contacts, let them know which opportunities interest you. When there’s an opportunity that matches your background, your contact will reach out to you and encourage you to apply.
An offer from an existing project or internship
If you work on a volunteer project or an internship, you may get a full time job offer. Large companies like Microsoft, Walmart and Amazon have internship programs. They plan to hire a certain number of interns as full time employees. They hire the interns who do the best job. When students work on projects outside the classroom, such as helping startups or nonprofits, their work gets noticed. Sometimes organizations will reward their volunteer work with a job offer. Many startups are open to students who propose short-term projects. If the project goes well, the startup may offer you a job.
Your Career Services Office
Your career services office has relationships with employers who want to hire students from your school. They bring those employers to campus or host career fairs where you have the opportunity to talk with recruiters about opportunities. While not all companies hire international students, your career advisor may know upcoming job or internship opportunities that you haven’t seen. Get to know your career services office so they can help you find opportunities.