Dan Beaudry is the former head of campus recruiting at Monster.com and former associate director of corporate recruiting at the Boston University School of Management. On October 10, Beaudry presented “How International Students Can Find Employment in the US” to students at Drexel University, and shared his knowledge of the job search system which he has used to help international students.
Drawing on his own experience, Beaudry shared innovative networking ideas that are valuable for both international and American students. For many international students, the word “networking” is an intimidating term that begins following them the moment they set foot on campus, evoking images of overwhelming career fairs at which they find themselves jockeying with dozens of other students for the recruiters’ attention.
This association can prove especially daunting for international students. After all, how are international students supposed to compete with their American peers when they are often conversing in their second or third language? According to Beaudry, you may not have to.
Beaudry reports that international students often assume that American students have been taught the concept of networking since birth; however, this isn’t the case. Even American students struggle with putting themselves out there and attempting to be witty, likeable, and knowledgeable all at the same time.
Beaudry advises students struggling with these fears to make use of informational interviews. Unlike regular job interviews, informational interviews are interviews that you initiate yourself. They are not about a specific job; instead, their sole purpose is to gather information. This takes the pressure off you by allowing you to be in control of the agenda and to interview an experience professional about the career field in which you are interested. In contrast to career fairs, informational interviews allow you the opportunity to stand out as an individual person, as opposed to being just another student in a crowd.
Beaudry advises students to find business professionals in your career field through resources such as the alumni databases of your college, professional networking sites such as LinkedIn, and friends and family. Professionals you find through these networks are often happy to talk because of the “basic human need to tell your story,” according to Beaudry. Make sure that you take advantage of that need by being an attentive and respectful listener throughout your interview.
For more advice on networking and building professional relationships, read Beaudry’s “Power Ties: The International Student’s Guide to Finding a Job in the United States.”