Whether you want to earn income to finance your education or gain professional experience, there are several benefits to working while in college. However, as an international student, navigating the world of work in the United States may be overwhelming. This is why colleges offer various career resources to help you succeed. Keep in mind that resources and regulations for working as an international student can change, and it’s always best to check the most updated information from the Berkeley International Office, or BIO or other appropriate offices. Here’s our guide to career resources for international students.
There are two types of work: campus and off-campus. Campus work refers to work that is done on the premises of your college or for organizations affiliated with your college. For example, a manager at a campus bookstore and research assistant at a lab affiliated with your college are both examples of campus jobs. Off-campus work refers to work that is done off the premises of your college, such as an internship at Amazon.
There are various ways of finding on-campus jobs. University departments generally post job opportunities on social media, so make sure to follow the official accounts of the departments you are interested in working for. You can also visit the official websites of different departments to see if they are hiring. For example, you can find information about tutoring positions on the Student Learning Center website. Many colleges also post jobs on professional platforms such as Handshake and LinkedIn. Asking other students, GSIs and professors is another way of learning about available opportunities.
As for off-campus opportunities, there are a plethora of job postings on websites such as LinkedIn and Indeed and social media platforms. Additionally, the Career Center has compiled some reliable internship listing websites for easy access. Networking is another great way of landing opportunities — you can sign up for coffee chats with recruiters during career fairs or cold email them to set up a meeting.
Career counseling allows you to get advice regarding your career. Most colleges generally have a career center that offers counseling to students. Some even offer counseling specifically for international students. You can speak with a counselor for international students to clarify any doubts you may have about the rules of your visa, applying for Optional Practical Training or Curricular Practical Training and so on. At campus, you can make an advising appointment by going to the UC Berkeley Career Center’s website. Apart from career counseling, you can also speak to other international students as well as your GSIs and professors to learn from their experience.
Attending career-related events conducted by your college and other organizations is a great learning opportunity. One example of a career-related event is a career fair, where recruiters give students information about their companies. One website where you can sign up for career fairs is Handshake. You can also attend workshops organized by the career center or international office at your college (at UC Berkeley, this is BIO). Colleges typically send information about such events via email, so make sure you’re signed up for any relevant newsletters.
Take advantage of the career resources offered by your college! We hope you found this guide useful as a starting point for exploring these resources.