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Gaining Employment in the U.S.

As an international student at Northwestern University, studying under a F-1 or J-1 Visa there are many options or ways to obtain legal work in the US outside of working on campus. The Office of International Student and Scholar Services offers workshops and information on what is called practical training or more specifically OPT and CPT. Please visit their office located at 630 Dartmouth Place for more information.

Tips for Looking for Employment in the U.S.

It is vitally important that international students utilize all job search strategies in obtaining employment in the U.S.:

  • Know the current laws and policies regarding your status (i.e. H1B caps, OPT etc.)
  • Target organizations and fields that hire international students. An NCA staff member can assist in identifying key organizations.
  • Be aware of any cultural differences (e.g., communication methods) that may affect your job search.
  • Be prepared to coach employers on immigration laws and procedures.
  • If needed, work to improve your language skills. For example, use NCA to improve interviewing skills through mock interviews or contact the Office of International Student and Scholar Services to find ways to practice your English in the community.
  • Network with those in your fields of interest or with recent alumni from Northwestern who were also international students, but are now employed in the U.S.

Researching Companies

As part of the process in finding the right places for employment it is to your advantage to practice your researching skills by locating companies or organizations you may want to work with. Many international students decide to find internships and jobs in the U.S. NCA suggests searching for foreign companies with operations in the U.S. These companies may be more open to hiring diverse candidate.

U.S. Companies Doing Business in Your Home Country

Look for companies that have a presence in your home country. These companies are sometimes willing to provide employment for international students to work in the U.S. for a year and then return to their home country to continue working at that company.

Look for Internet Career Fairs

Check the internet for information on virtual job fairs targeting international students studying in the U.S.

U.S. Chamber of Commerce Branch in your Home City

Find out if a branch of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce exists in a major city of your home country. International Chambers of Commerce exist to promote local or national economic development in many countries throughout the world. They can be a valuable source of information on companies operating in a particular country.

Recommended Internet Sites for Locating Foreign Company Information