To be able to do an internship in the United States is a huge opportunity for many students. However, you might ask, how can one actually get an internship in the United States?
In this article we are going to present several options to you on how to best get into an OPT program.
Networking is not a dirty word
It's never too early to start networking in the United States. Even if you still can't work, even if you're only in the first year and even if you don't know where you want to work. Building relationships is the key to long-term survival in this place. In the end, the person who will give you an internship will actually give you a chance. It would be very helpful if this person would know you personally or hear about you from the right people.
Go out there, make local and international friends, join events, sport groups, or any other activity you like doing which involves other people. The goal is to build professional or personal relationships, not only to get a job. Although it might seem like you are in it for yourself, networking will also open yourself up to people who are interested in learning about your culture. We go back to the importance of being genuine and making sure you are as authentic as possible. Just being friends with someone in order to get a good job, doesn’t make any sense and is rude. People will notice if you are only using them, so network carefully!. The goal here is to actually make friends who will get to know you so that they can then help you out in the long run. Building long-term friendships during your time abroad is the most effective way to set yourself up for success in your internship hunt. Just get out there, make friends, and have fun! The same way you would do at home.
The American networking world is very developed. Learning a profession? Look for industry events, organizations, guilds and workers ' unions. You're done studying? Look for networking events for your school in the United States.
Do you have a Linkedin account? No? Then go make one right now! It is super easy to make and is the networking gold mine for those looking for jobs and opportunities in the United States. Linkedin is the manifestation of networking through an online platform. Start requesting connections in your Linkedin profile as soon as you start meeting people at your university. Someone’s connection might one day post a job opportunity on their wall and you will be that much closer to securing an OPT in the United States. Build a strong profile and start sharing and posting on the site to make a name for yourself online. In this digital marketing age, even your skills need to be marketed online. So make sure you are growing your Linkedin network during your time at university.
Publish an ad on homeis:
Take advantage of this platform as much as possible. Here’s you’ll come in contact with people from your community. Not only will they help you out with opportunities, at least they’ll help you connect to the right people and you may just learn a lot from their experiences.
Contact your college Career centre:
Many university have “career centers” or online platforms where recruiters go to to find the best talent from universities in the United States. This could prove to be helpful for you and an easy way to see internship opportunities from university recruiters. Universities also have tons of networking events like job and career fairs that can be super useful for your networking goals. Some universities even have “internship” fairs so make sure you are aware of all the networking opportunities available to you at your university. This type of networking is a little less natural and requires you to have an elevator pitch ready about what you are looking for in an internship and how you can add value to a business. Practice these things and make sure to have a well-polished resume on hand to show off to the recruiters when they come visit you.
Get ahead of the train:
According to the data, about 80% of international students intend to work in the United States after school, while less than 30% succeed in finding specialization or work. It's a frightening thing, but it's important-don't be complacent. If you are really going to work here after school or during it, it's never too early to start building Ties and plan the next few years to come.