Ask yourself the following question and write down the answer: How are you making the most of the experience of being an international student in your new home country?
Don’t overthink. Trust your gut!
Get rid of all distractions for 3 minutes and reflect on what you just wrote because it seems to be your biggest motivator; think about the desire you are going to fulfill by starting a career somewhere new and think about the problem that is solving for you.
Now, thinking about your future career and prospective employer, ask yourself another question: what is the problem that it solves for them?
Write it down.
Most students go through their programs without thinking in depth about their process and what they want to do upon graduation – they go with the flow and don’t develop the self-awareness that is needed to make sound career choices that will lead to growth and ROI for the time and money invested in their education.
Students can resort to career services at school or external resources for career guidance. LinkedIn is a great platform as well to start having conversations with people that can provide insights into how to break into the industries they will be applying for, so they proactively hone their skill set in order to gain a competitive edge to stand out when competing for a job.
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Also, in order to have more opportunities as a student, I encourage you to get either an entry level job or a volunteer position so you experience a smooth transition into the dynamics of the workplace.
To thrive as an international student you must be culturally fluent, and these jobs are great schools to achieve that.
My message constantly emphasizes the importance of connections – Folks come from their countries of origin with great ideas and an array of skills and experience but without connections, career progression is not viable. Therefore, it is paramount to build relationships so people become familiar with your name and your vision.
Growing a network must be a priority for an international student because your connections will support you to keep your mental health on point, so you tackle the challenges that come with being a student, and being one in a new country in times of Covid.
The road is not linear and you have to be willing to walk it, put in the work, and learn how to embrace rejection while you position your name. Have a few informational interviews lined up upon arrival. The earlier you start playing the game, the better the choices you will make. The future of work needs more international students who come from all over the world to innovate in our society.
Ask yourself those 2 questions every 6 months or whenever you feel like reinventing yourself and/or your life project. As you evolve, your motivators and desires evolve too, as well as the problems that you must solve for your future employers, and that is a great thing.
How ready do you feel to start your journey in your new home?
Written by David Mendoza
Keep shining – Keep thriving
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