Career counselors from more than 55 universities convened at the University of Maryland's Robert H. Smith School Business to trade information and best practices for international job seekers in MBA and specialty master’s programs. The Smith School has hosted the International Student Career Services Round Table for four consecutive years. More than 100 professionals were in attendance April 11-12, 2018.
Speakers included representatives from several business programs across the country. The career counselors discussed the unique challenges that international business students face on the job hunt and exchanged ideas on how to best support them.
“Their hiring process is just going to look different,” said Maggie Tomas, director of the University of Minnesota’s Carlson Graduate Business Career Center. Compared to domestic students, international students are often hired closer to graduation and are more likely to find out-of-state employment, she said. In addition, they tend to stay at their jobs longer and accept lower starting salaries, Tomas noted, citing statistics from one of Carlson’s specialty master’s programs, which consists almost exclusively of international students.
Several speakers stressed the importance of teaching the international students soft skills such as networking and displaying charisma through experiential learning activities. Employers tell Tomas they need the students to communicate better. “We need them to be able to explain how they did their analysis to the marketing director, who doesn’t know anything about marketing analytics,” Tomas said.
By hosting the conference, the Smith School takes a leadership role in the task of accepting, graduating and placing students from around the world in quality jobs. Smith School students come from 99 countries, and 30 percent of students in the full-time MBA program are international.
- Varun Saxena, MBA Candidate 2019, Office of Marketing Communications