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International Students: Know When You Can Work

International students: If an employer asked you the following questions, would you be prepared?

• “When can you start to work?”
• “Are you authorized to work in the U.S.?”

Not only will you be asked these questions by a recruiter, but you may also have to answer them when completing an online application. You should know your employment options so that you can answer these questions with confidence.

If you are currently on F-1 Visa, you can legally work prior to graduation using Curricular Practical Training (CPT) for internships or after graduation using Optional Practical Training (OPT) for career employment. CPT allows students to work as interns prior to graduation – but only for one quarter per year and only if the work is directly related to their major field. OPT allows students to work in their major field for 12 months following graduation. If an employer … 

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Interviewing Part II: What Not to Say





Here’s what is “off the table” during an interview…

• Salary, benefits, perks, vacation, etc. These are not appropriate questions during the interview stage…asking them might give an employer the wrong impression about you (that money is your only concern, that you are assuming you already have the job, etc.). Once an offer is formally extended, then these topics are up for discussion.

I would also recommend against…

• Asking anything that’s obviously stated on the employer’s website or materials that you have been given in advance about the company. You don’t want to appear ill-prepared by asking what you should already know.

One last tip…

• When asked the question, “Why do you want this job?”—a good answer never includes, “because I want more experience.” Of course you want more experience…who doesn’t?! But this doesn’t sell you at all to a recruiter. When … 

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Interview Clothing on a Budget

The interview process is one of the most important aspects of the job search, both for internship, co-op and full time employment candidates. After the resume and initial correspondence, the next impression that you present is in person at an interview. Appearance says a lot about you as a person and as a potential candidate for employment. Presenting a positive image is a key component in face-to-face interaction with recruiters. A well-kept, polished candidate displays confidence, professionalism and ambition to the employer, and shows that you are serious about your job search.

That said, you do not need to spend “big bucks” to look and feel your best. Gently used items work just as well as expensive ones if you look neat, clean, and professional. In the current economy, money is often an issue for students who are trying to make a good impression during an interview. Here is information … 

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Engineering Activities Fair

Piggybacking on my previous post, The College of Engineering’s Annual Activities Fair will take place on Thursday, Oct. 23 from 10:00-3:00 on the plaza between Hitchcock and Knowlton (in case of bad weather the fair will be held in the lobby of Hitchcock). This is a great opportunity to get learn more about engineering project teams, engineering honoraries, and engineering student organizations.

“The best we can do is size up the chances, calculate the risks involved, estimate our ability to deal with them, and then make our plans with confidence.”
-Henry Ford


Add value to your resume by joining a project team

A lot of resumes I see are a whole lot of the same…everyone starts off including the rollercoaster, robot, or bridge project on their resume. The descriptions are similar, thus not doing much to “set you apart” from your peers in terms of engineering project experience. Getting involved with a student project team enhances your engineering experience, shows that you pursue your chosen field outside of the classroom, builds your leadership skills and makes your resume more attractive to employers.

Currently, there are almost 20 engineering project teams. The projects range from rockets to robotics, bioenvironmental design to bridge building, and many more. Check out the comprehensive list here:

You might notice that some of the teams’ websites aren’t working. I recommend just emailing the faculty advisor for the project team to make contact with the group.

Engineering project teams vary in terms of time commitment … 

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