Plan and Research
There are several ways that you can focus your internship and job search as an international student:
- The Office of Global Programs maintains a list of companies who have specifically hired Penn State students for CPT and OPT.
- The Business Career Center maintains a list of U.S. and international employers who have hired international students from Smeal for internships and full-time jobs by major.
- Students who will need a visa sponsorship for positions located outside of their country of citizenship should look for positions for which the employer is willing to provide visa sponsorship. In Nittany Lion Careers, click on the “job postings” tab, select the “more options” tab, and choose YES to search for jobs that can provide visa sponsorship.
- Going Global USA has a large database of employers who are hiring international students. Penn State Career Services has an account with Going Global USA so that you can access this resource.
- Uniworld allows you to search two directories–American firms operating in foreign countries and foreign firms operating in the U.S. Covering over 200 countries and 20,000 industries, Uniworld provides contact information to help you seek employment with multinational firms. Use your PSU user ID and password to log in.
- MyVisaJobs lists the top 100 visa sponsors by year among other resources.
- Use LinkedIn to connect with Penn State alumni who have worked/worked abroad. Conduct informational interviews to learn more about their job search.
- There are third party providers who can provide you with a professional unpaid experience for a fee. These entities are NOT affiliated with Penn State. You may schedule an appointment with Smeal’s Office of International Programs to learn more: Schedule an appointment. Options include:
- You may also plan to target corporations and organizations that do business in or with your home country. Knowing the native language may prove to be a a critical factor when it comes to landing the job!
- If you find an internship that interests you, be sure to reference our Internship Evaluation Database to learn about previous student experiences with that particular company.
Educate and Advocate
Some companies will say that they don’t hire international students simply because they are unfamiliar with hiring policies and the legalities of hiring international students. Be knowledgeable about visa restrictions and your individual eligibility in order to advocate for yourself.
You want to be sure that you practice your conversational English as much as possible if you plan to work in the United States. Joining a student organization is a great opportunity to network, gain leadership experience, and practice your communication skills.
Be sure to enroll in and highlight any English and/or communication courses you’ve enrolled in on your resume as additional evidence of your ability to communicate effectively.
Lastly, utilize the Business Career Center to practice your interviewing skills and become more aware of your nonverbal communication.
You bring a unique global perspective to the workplace as an international student. Be ready to promote your language skills, cultural knowledge, and additional skills to employers in a manner that is appropriate for the country and company that you plan to work in.
Give context to explain your international experiences and be sure to submit a resume that is appropriately formatted given where the company you plan to work for is located. Going Global USA gives examples of what your resume should include for different countries.
Have a Plan B
According to recent surveys, some 80 percent of international students intend to work in the U.S. after graduating, yet less than 30 percent obtain an internship or full-time job offer in the States. It is critically important that you network with professionals and research companies in your home country or in other foreign countries.