International students and alumni possess unique skills that set them apart from others and make them marketable to employers. They have developed cross cultural and multilingual skills that may be a bonus for many jobs. International students and alumni have experience adapting to and navigating new environments. They are often skilled at navigating systems, developing strong support networks, and identifying mentors. International students and alumni will find below resources about conducting a co-op or job search in the U.S., networking and interviewing with employers, and navigating work authorization. This page was inspired by the resources developed by the Hiatt Career Center at Brandeis.
Support at Wentworth
Co-ops & Careers welcomes and supports students and alumni of all international identities. Finding employment as an international student or alumni can be a challenging experience and cultural differences impact the process. You may have questions regarding how to network and search for a co-op or job in the U.S. Additionally, you may want to seek guidance with respect to your Visa or obtaining and maintaining work authorization.
Your Co-op & Career Advisor is available by appointment to provide advice and support in regards to your co-op or job opportunities, employment rights, workplace dynamics, and your professional development.
Talk with us about
- Understanding work authorization for co-op and full-time employment.
- Preparing a U.S. resume and cover letter.
- Cultural differences between your home country and the U.S. work environments.
- Navigating social situations including networking and interviewing.
ISS and CO-OPS + CAREERS
In Fall and Spring semesters, Co-ops & Careers partners with International Student Services to provide an information session for International students preparing for co-op. Ask us about the timing of these events.
The main on campus resource for international students is the International Student Services Office (ISS). ISS provides orientation for new students, up-to date information on and assistance with U.S. government regulations, and advising on a host of personal, employment, and immigration issues affecting international students. The International Student Services Office is located at 100 Williston Hall and can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Connect with The Center for Diversity and Social Justice for cultural programing and support.
Connect with student organizations for further cultural networks of support. Up-to-date information and meeting times can be found on LeopardSpot.
Asian Student Association (ASA) – Along with helping students network and find academic success, ASA educates the Wentworth community about Asian ethnicity and culture.
CROWNS – Their mission is to unite, inspire, and engage womxn of diverse ethnic backgrounds within Wentworth Institute of Technology and the Colleges of the Fenway.
Cape Verdean Student Association (CVSA) – This all-inclusive organization is open to all Wentworth and COF students and strives to provide cultural, social, and academic support to students and community members. Their goal and belief system is based upon working together to inspire positive change within the Cape Verdean community!
Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE) – The Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE) was founded in Los Angeles, CA in 1974 by a group of engineers employed by the city of Los Angeles. Their objective was to form a national organization of professional engineers to serve as role models in the Hispanic community. SHPE is brought together by heritage, social responsibility, and desire to improve the equality of all people through the use of science and technology. SHPE values excellence in education, professional pursuits, and leadership. SHPE obtains excellence through integrity, empowerment, achievement, diversity, and continuous improvement.
National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) – To increase the number of culturally responsible Black Engineers who excel academically, succeed professionally, and positively impact the community. We are the family that will guarantee a solid foundation in the sustainable development of you career.
Understanding Work Authorization for Co-op and Full-Time Employment
International F-1 Students Mandatory Co-op Process
Use this check-list to be sure you’ve completed all necessary steps to secure work authorization to complete your mandatory co-ops.
Preparing a U.S. Resume and Cover Letter
- U.S. resumes may look different than resumes from other countries. When applying for co-ops and full-time jobs in the U.S. we recommend following our Resume Resources and working with your Co-op & Career Advisor.
- U.S. resumes do not include:
- Immigration status
- Personal information (religion, age, gender, marital status, race/ethnicity)
- All educational experience (consult with your Co-op & Career Advisor to determine which educational experiences you should include)
- U.S. cover letters are written to employers to show you are a good fit for the position. They are concise and connect your skillsets directly to job responsibilities. While some employers do not require a cover letter, submitting on gives the applicant a strategic advantage when included. Review our Cover Letter Guide
Searching for Work and Interviewing in The U.S.
Best Practices for International Students in U.S. Job Search
Concise guide from the University of Pennsylvania’s Career Center sharing best practices for International Students for creating a resume, writing a cover letter, interviewing, networking, and negotiating in the United States.
International Students Interviewing for a U.S. Employer
A guide to interview for positions in the United States developed and maintained by the Career Center at UC Berkley.
Video: Talking to Employers about Work Eligibility
Ten-minute video from UC Berkley’s Career Center sharing tips and best practices for talking about your work authorization on applications and in interviews.
U.S. News Article: 4 Steps for International Students to Excel at U.S. Interviews
Use these tips to prepare for an interview with an employer in the United States.
Networking and Attending Career Events
Finding ways to connect with alumni, employers and hiring managers face to face is one way to leverage your job search. It is a critical part of a job search in the U.S.
Find Networking Events
Co-ops & Careers will promote internal and external networking opportunities on the Events calendar of our website.
Wentworth Institute of Technology International Community LinkedIn Group
Join this LinkedIn group to connect with fellow Wentworth International students and alumni.
Networking Tips for International Students
This blog from the Vault shares best practices for networking in the United States.
Co-op and Job Search
Top 100 U.S. Visa Employers
Annually updated list of the top 100 employers in the U.S. that hire international visa holders authorized to work.
My Visa Jobs
Largest website to find work in the U.S. for international job seekers. This is a great resource to identify companies that are international student-friendly and understand the nuances of hiring folks without U.S. Citizenship.
Frequently Asked Questions
What if an employer asks about your work authorization during an interview?
It is illegal for an employer to ask about your immigration status, however they can ask if you have authorization to work in the U.S. and if you will need visa sponsorship now or in the future. So prior to an interview make sure you understand your work authorization options by talking with your CO-OP + CAREER Advisor and your International Student Services Advisor.
How do I answer the question, “Are you legally authorized to work in the U.S.” on an application?
You can answer “yes” to this question if you are eligible to apply for work authorization and will have the authorization by the time your employment begins.
How do I answer the question, “Will you need visa sponsorship now or in the future?”
If you’ll require the employer to sponsor an immigration or work visa in order to employ you full-time after graduation, either now or at some point in the future, then you should answer “yes.”
When should I start looking for jobs?
We recommend you start early. Make an appointment with your CO-OP + CAREER Advisor two (or even three) semesters before your employment will begin. It takes time to identify jobs and prepare for CPT or OPT applications, build a network, and find a job.
I’ve never interviewed in the U.S., what can I expect?
Interviews in the U.S. are commonly informal conversations with hiring managers; they use first names, humor, and spontaneous questions. Following the lead of the interviewer is favored. Your role is to market yourself proactively and answer open ended questions that are both behavioral and technical in nature. Prepare ahead of time so you can articulate the skills you benefits you will bring to the role. Keep a positive tone, and don’t make negative comments about yourself.