Taking a Tour

By Sharon Fleshman

Ok, so I’m not referring to a quick getaway to the Islands or even a great bargain on a last-minute trip overseas.  I’m actually suggesting that you take a “tour” of the Career Services website. (Gotcha!)  Based on our recent analysis of Career Services’ website use, it seems that many visitors find information by way of Google or some other keyword search.  While this is certainly an efficient way to go, it’s easy to miss valuable resources if you always take this approach.  Assuming you have some down time during the remainder of the summer, try to explore our website a bit more.   Admittedly, we have so much information, it may seem a bit overwhelming.  So just start somewhere, perhaps setting aside a little time each week to browse.

On the undergraduate side, a lot of our resources are useful across schools, though we also have some school-specific information.  On the graduate side, most of the resources are organized by school or academic program.   As you go along, take some “snapshots” by bookmarking web pages with resources that will be the most useful for you going forward.  And while you’re at it, do enjoy the last days of summer and get a little touring in (offline, of course).

Visions of sugarplums… For December grads and alumni

To the tune of White Christmas…

I’m dreaming of a job market,
Just like the ones I used to know.

Where the postings glisten,
Employers listen,
To hear – all I have to show.

I’m dreaming of a job market,
With every letter that I write –
May you find me merry, and bright,
And may you, please, hire me tonight.

All of us in Career Services send our sincerest congratulations on your graduation!  We know that these are anxious times, but we want to reassure you that Career Services is available to you.  Did you know that as an alum, virtually all of our services are available to you?  Here’s a list of services that you can use whenever you need them – right now, or in the future.  You are welcome to:

1 – Make an appointment with a counselor (in person, or on the phone) to talk over  career issues;

2 – Talk with a graduate study advisor whenever you are thinking about getting an additional degree;

3 – Send in a resume, cover letter, personal statement or other graduate school essay for critique;

4 – Obtain a lifetime @alumni.upenn.edu University of Pennsylvania e-mail address go www.alumni.upenn.edu to and click on “Quakernet” for complete information.

5 – Attend most Career Fairs, Graduate School presentations, and any other workshops, seminars or presentations offered through Career Services – our Spring Career Fair is coming up in Feb!;

6Join the Career Services “LinkedIn” group and follow us on Twitter and like us on Facebook!

7 – Access PennLink where we post individual job announcements we receive from employers;

8 – Sign up for one of our many alumni e-mail job posting lists (yeah – more e-mail from Career Services!).  For complete information, check our Web site for your school;

9 – Access our extensive on-line job subscriptions through the Career Services library – and click on “on-line subscriptions”; (note:  these are different from PennLink listings)

10Connect with Penn alums through the Penn Alumni Career Network (PACNet).

11 – Continue your personal career exploration through the “Career Exploration” section of our Web site.  For a modest fee, a Career Counselor will critique career inventories (Myers-Briggs and Strong) for you;

12 – Use On-Campus Recruiting for one semester/year after your graduation.  NOTE THAT YOU MUST BE IN PHILADLEPHIA AND AVAILABLE TO COME TO INTERVIEW.

ONE FINAL WORD:  remember your Pennkey and Password – since you’ll need them to get into our protected job sites!

From all of us in Career Services:  congratulations, have a very happy holiday and wonderful 2011!  And let us know if you need our assistance – we’re here to help.

An International Student’s Job Search

Once you understand your work permission, have carefully developed a resume and practiced your cover letter writing and interviewing skills, you are ready to engage in the job search – right? But, how do you find jobs not restricted to U.S. Citizens or Permanent Residents? Career Services is here to help!

by  Jamie Grant

Are you an F-1 (international) student, working diligently towards your degree, and find yourself, like many other students, thinking about internships, or your life after Penn?  Perhaps you have already starting “job searching” (aka clicking through PennLink) and are dismayed by the number of job postings that clearly state applications are “limited to U.S. Citizens or Permanent Residents.”  You are confident that you have strong skills, motivation, and could be an excellent worker, if only given the opportunity.  What can you do to be considered, interviewed and hired?

Let’s consider what it really means to be “F-1.”  An F-1 is a student, non-immigrant visa – just one of many visa types offered by the U.S. Government.  Your F-1 visa was offered to you so that you may complete a degree in the U.S.   Your status as an F-1 student requires that you understand the exact rules and restrictions as to what you can and cannot do while in the U.S.  You most likely remember signing an official-looking legal document that required you to state that you will return to your home country after graduation.  So, how can you possibly stay in the U.S. to work?

While it’s certainly not a secret, many F-1 students that I’ve met in my years of career counseling don’t realize that the F-1 visa has significant training benefits attached to it, otherwise known as “work permissions.”  If you don’t know what terms like pre- or post-completion OPT, the STEM extension, or April 1st might mean to you and your career – keep reading!

To fully understand your potential ability to be hired by a U.S. organization, you have several great learning resources.  Your first stop should be to visit with your advisor for International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS) in the International Programs office here on Penn’s campus, or to spend some considerable time studying the ISSS website at http://global.upenn.edu/isss.  Their webpage on F-1 Student Information – http://global.upenn.edu/isss/f1 – has details on just about everything you need to know about your visa and work/training options.  You should become very familiar with your work permissions if you’re serious about applying what you’ve learned and working legally in the U.S.  It is more than likely that you will need be able to clearly explain your permission, either in writing or during an interview, to your potential employer.

Once you understand your work permission, have carefully developed a resume and practiced your cover letter writing and interviewing skills, you are ready to engage in the job search – right?  But, how do you find jobs not restricted to U.S. Citizens or Permanent Residents?  Career Services is here to help!

There are several key resources and events targeted to F-1 job seekers brought to you by the Career Services office.  While you might find your search a bit more challenging than searching and submitting applications through PennLink, as a Penn student you have access to a database of U.S. companies with a history of hiring international candidates – like you – called GoinGlobalBy researching in GoinGlobal, and cross-referencing your findings with PennLink, company career websites and other job posting resources, you are more than likely to find opportunities in which you have great interest, and for which you may very well be a top candidate.

In addition, each year Career Services hosts a presentation by representatives from the legal firm McCandlish Holton, designed to help you understand all the rules, regulations, requirements, and best strategies to successfully manage your search and career.  http://www.lawmh.com/practice_areas/immigration.htm.  Handouts from their program held throughout the years are available in Career Services for your review.

Other resources maintained by Career Services and accessible through the Career Services Online Library include The H-1B Online Job Databases for Foreign Students/Postdocs (fairly self-explanatory), and Uniworld. 
Uniworld offers two online directories – one of American organizations with International subsidiaries and one of International organizations with American subsidiaries.  This could be especially helpful, much like using GoinGlobal, in guiding you to identify organizations more amenable to hiring international candidates.  In addition, should you not be able to secure a job in the U.S. after graduation, using Uniworld will help you to identify American companies operating in your country of origin – companies that may highly value the educational and cultural experience you have gained by studying in the U.S. and may perhaps consider you for a U.S. post in future years.

You can easily access the resources and directories mentioned here through the Career Services Library On Line Subscription Database:  http://www.vpul.upenn.edu/careerservices/library/  – look for “Online Subscriptions…”

Also, consider types of employing organizations that have greater capacity to hire foreign graduates, such as universities, non-profit organizations affiliated with universities (such as research facilities or hospitals), non-profit research organizations engaged primarily in basic or applied research, and governmental research organizations.  These types of organizations are not subject to the same restrictions on the numbers of foreign graduates for whom they can obtain authorization to hire with H1-B visas, and as such are some of the more common employers of F-1 students.