Certificate program helps international students learn career skills


Madeline Pierce

International students talk in groups about job hunting and networking on Oct. 1

By Xin Ding, Contributing Writer

After moving to a new country and being immersed in a new culture, networking and applying for jobs and internships can be challenging for the University’s sizable international student population.

The Career Certificate — International Students program, specifically designed to help international students develop career skills through weekly workshops and activities, is working to address these challenges.

Shoptorshi Rahman, professional graduate assistant at The Career Center, said it’s difficult for international students to find a job in the United States because of culture shock and language barriers, among other factors.

“International students are basically struggling with their speech, so they are very intimidated talking in front of (the) public,” Rahman said. “So this year, the main focus for the CC-I program is to help students come out from their shells.”

Un Yeong Park, assistant director for career and professional development for international students at The Career Center, said most international students, especially Asian students, do not realize how important networking is in the United States.

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    This year, The Career Center is adding more activities to help international students improve their public speaking and communication skills, including having students practice mock elevator pitches and interviews.

    Park said they’re going to dedicate more time to interactive activities this year than previous years, with a focus on public speaking and developing self-confidence.

    The completion rate for the program increased from 25.3 percent in spring 2013 to 89.2 percent in spring 2018.

    Shuang Wang, graduate student in Labor and Employment Relations, former participant and current volunteer of the CC-I program, said she became more confident in her English, communication and networking skills with employers after going through the CC-I program.

    “I would highly recommend this to our international students. If you want to learn something, just don’t stay at home,” Wang said. “Although this is my first time to be a volunteer, I can feel the differences of the workshops from last semester and this semester.”

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