Career Center offers international students resources for job search

There are 484 international students on Baylor's campus attending career fairs and looking for different opportunities with the U.S. Photo courtesy of Shelby Cefaratti

By Pranay Maltempati | Reporter

Of the nearly 15,000 undergraduate students on this campus, Baylor reported that 484 are international. These students, like American citizens and residents, will be looking for jobs after graduation and many of them would like to work in America. However, it can be difficult for them to attain these jobs because of the various regulations in place.

The career center is partnering with the center for global engagement on Saturday, Feb. 1 to hold a one-day workshop for international students and has a page on Handshake for Baylor international students who are looking for jobs after graduation.

Shelby Cefaratti, the marketing and communications coordinator at the Baylor University Career Center said they will be showing them how to write resumes, how to apply for jobs, how to complete the Visa and OPT applications and more.

Cefaratti said that because some companies are unwilling or unable to hire international students, these students need to cast a wider net.

“If an American Baylor graduate sends out 25 resumes, an international student is going to need to send out 100,” Cefaratti said. “Just because it’s about finding the companies that are willing to work with internationals.”

Mexico City senior Daniel Avila said he feels companies are less willing to hire international students because they have to spend more money to provide sponsorships for these students.

“They have to really like you,” Avila said. “You should be really qualified because they’re taking a bigger risk by hiring an international student.”

Baylor career professional Nick Haynes said companies may not be able to hire certain international students even if they wanted.

“Even if a company wants to hire international students or sponsor for a Visa, they are limited by the H-1B Visa cap,” Haynes said. “The government only grants so many.”

Avila said there is an opportunity to get something similar to an internship, after which companies have to decide whether to provide a sponsorship or not.

“There’s something called Optional Training Practices,” Avila said. “They give you an extra year of your student visa. . . It’s kind of like an internship and after that they decide if they want to sponsor you and hire you full time.”

Avila said that many companies have told him directly there is no point in him applying because they don’t offer sponsorships.

Haynes said this may be because many of these companies either don’t know how to provide sponsorships or they are misinformed about the process. Another factor he said makes it harder for international students to find jobs is that they may not have practical experience through an internship.

“Depending on how their program is set up,” Haynes said, “they’re not allowed to do an internships or they’re not allowed to work while they’re in college.”

Haynes said that certain fields, like those in STEM, are easier for international students to find jobs in because the job demand outweighs the supply of applicants.

On the other hand, Avila feels like jobs related to business are harder for international students to find jobs in. He said that not only do such companies have more applications from American residents, but American residents are also more likely to have connections in the workforce.

Avila also said that while the business school is trying to do something for international students, he doesn’t feel like they help much as of right now.

“If you go to the regular [career services office] at the business school, they do not offer you more options,” Avila said. “They basically tell you to work harder. They tell you, ‘Good luck. Work on your resume and hopefully you find something.’ That’s not what they’re specialized in, so it’s harder for them to grasp the concept of how hard it is.”

Cefaratti said the Baylor career center recognizes that finding a job in the U.S. is a challenge for international students and they are doing everything they can to help these students.

Haynes and Cefaratti said that if all else fails, another option for international students is to get a job in Canada after graduation and eventually come back to the U.S.

“Canada’s a great option,” Haynes said. “In Canada, if you get a job, you get a Visa. Period.”