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iCareer is a series of informative discussions, presentations, and strategies to assist international students in showcasing their diversity and unique skill sets as they prepare for their academic/career paths  (whether in the US or anywhere in the world) beyond James Madison University.

It is never too early to start thinking, planning, searching, and applying for the next step in your academic/career path after you graduate from JMU, whether you plan to remain in the US or not. To help those who are just starting, as well as those who may be more prepared, please refer yourself to the steps below to help best plan your strategy.

Do your research and create a strategy
What is your basic career strategy?

Did you know that the type of jobs/internship need to be directly connected to your major? Did you know that if you major in certain fields, you will benefit from a 24-months extension?

=> Did you choose the right major? handout

Do you know your academic strengths? What are your skills and knowledge and how can you use them in your favor when looking for a career? How does your personality affect the type of job you are looking for? 

=> Watch this videoclip for a brief intro. 

=> Take a series of self-assessment tests: FOCUS

Do you have a resume? Is it updated? Whether you are looking for jobs/internships on-campus or off-campus you will need a resume. Attend a workshop obtain some tips and advice or have some critique your resume so that you 

=> Create, update, and receive advice on your resume!

Working on-campus: knowing where to start and how to proceed is simple, as long as you how to go about doing so, and what is expected.

=> Familiarize yourself with the immigration implications of working on-campus

=> Watch this videoclip to learn about working on campus

Working off-campus: Off-campus employment must be approved by either USCIS or ISSS before you are legally allowed to work. Find out what your options are (CPT, OPT, and the work visa) and how to proceed.

=> Familiarize yourself with the immigration implications of working off-campus

=> Watch this "Working off-campus: OPT & the work visa" recorded session

What other visa options will allow me to work after OPT? Tell me more about the H-1B work visa.

=> Watch this overview of the working visa options for F-1 Students, and gain specific details about the H-!B Work Visa

=> Look over the pdf version of the work visa presentation used in the video.

How can you further develop your career strategy?

Cultural attitudes and behaviors related to job hunting may affect your job search in the United States; however, knowing some of the most common cultural barriers can help you overcome them.

=> Learn about common cultural barriers in the job market

Can you articulate/express how you possess the required qualities and experiences for the job? How would answer the “interview death question” for international students? 

=> Learn how to market your international experience to set yourself apart

Can you articulate/express how you possess the required qualities and experiences for the job? How would you answer the “interview death question” for international students?

=> Watch this videoclip and find out how these international alumni answetred the "interview death question"

Are you seeking the companies that are looking for short-term employees and who will hire individuals on OPT?

=> Communicate that you want to work with them for the period of your OPT. Be upfront about it.

What can you learn from rejections

=> Negative news does hurt but don’t let it discourage you. Take the outcome as a learning opportunity.

Did you know that chances of acquiring an H-1B visa after you obtain a Master’s or doctoral degree are greater than if you only have a Bachelor’s degree? Did you know that Graduate Assistantships cover your tuition* and some incidentals?

=> Consider pursuing a Master’s degree 

* Please go to the Cost of Attendance Calculator to see the estimated cost of attendance for your program of study.

What are your resources?

FOCUS is a great resource to conduct some self-evaluation tests. Assess your career planning readiness, and your personal characteristics to find the most relevant major and job for you.

=> Watch this videoclip for a brief intro.

GoinGlobal is the one resource for you, whether you decide to go back to your home country, go to an entirely new country, and/or stay in the US. Look for jobs anywhere in the world, understand different ways of conducting business, and find local or country specific information and networking opportunities, as well as US business and companies that have previously sponsored individuals for work visas.

=> Watch this videoclip for a brief intro.

Many employers are not necessarily familiar with terminologies like CPT and OPT nor with the process of sponsoring someone for a work visa. 

=> Download the Guide to Hiring Foreign Graduates. This guide can assist future employers and you in understanding your immigration situation better.

Handshake is the University Career Center’s platform. You can look for jobs and use filters to see if employers “accepts OPT/CPT” or “whether or not an employer requires US work authorization.” This is particularly helpful when attending a career fair.

=> Watch this videoclip for a brief intro.

In addition to the country & city specific information found in GoinGlobal, the following organizations provide ongoing information and career fairs as they specifically look to recruit students from China and Japan who studied in US universities.

  • Career DISCO Forum Resources [for Japanese citizens & Japanese speakers].
  • Lockin U Career Resources [for Chinese citizens & Mandarin speakers]

Join the JMU International Dukes' LinkedIn group- This group is a platform for JMU international students and alumni to network with one another and to share career development opportunities.

University Career Center is your number one place to seek assistance for your job search. The office is located on the 3rd floor of the Student Success Center | (540) 568-6555 |


Alumni Showcase

What are some the companies that JMU international students have worked for in 2018-9?

Career Banner

Oumar '14
Erika '10
Linn '11
Nam '14

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