International Students and Postdoctoral Scholars
If you are an international student seeking a part-time job on campus, an internship or volunteer opportunity off-campus, or a full-time job after graduation, it is essential that you fully understand your eligibility to work in the U.S. Before you start your job or internship search, go to the UC Davis Services for International Students and Scholars (SISS) office and make sure you clearly understand the employment restrictions and requirements based on your special visa status. You can go to SISS during open hours or make an advising appointment with an SISS staff member.
Attend SISS workshops to stay informed about federal regulations and requirements for CPT (Curricular Practical Training) and OPT (Optional Practical Training). View the SISS calendar for the days and times for workshops, which are held multiple times per quarter. You may also complete these workshops online.
Other useful links:
- Visa types and uses, from SISS.
- Employment restrictions by visa type, from SISS.
- U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
- Employers who have sponsored students for H1B visas in the past, from the U.S. Department of Labor.
It is critical that you know exactly what steps an employer must take to hire you given your visa status. The more informed you can be about the process the better. Here are some resources that can help when talking with a prospective employer:
- Information on when and how to talk to an employer about your visa.
- What Employers Should Know About Hiring International Students is a PDF document created by SISS that can be downloaded and shared with potential employers. This document describes the steps necessary for an employer to take when hiring a F-1 student for OPT and CPT.
Building a professional network is an essential part of any successful job search strategy in the U.S. Meeting new people, introducing yourself, and communicating your career goals can be intimidating. However, there are resources at UC Davis that can help. You can make professional contacts and network in a number of ways:
- Join a UC Davis student group through the Center for Student Involvement. Search the OrgSync database to find student organizations that relate to your interests.
- Become a member of a pre-professional or professional organization in your field.
- Attend a networking event, “meet-up”, conference or social gathering.
- Meet employers at UC Davis career fairs, employer recruiting events, information sessions or career panel discussions. View the ICC’s Calendar of Events. New events are added daily.
- Develop a professional profile on social media sites such as LinkedIn, Twitter, Science Careers, Vitae, or Research Gate, follow employers and join a UC Davis LinkedIn group, including the ICC's closed group for master's, PhDs, and postdocs.
- Conduct informational interviews with professionals. This is an effective way to build relationships with people in your field of interest and gather information from industry experts.
- Volunteer with a local organization either on or off campus. Make sure you understand visa requirements before pursuing any job or volunteer opportunities.
- Become a member of the International House, a local non-profit organization that supports international students and scholars. Interact with the local Davis and Sacramento community at social and cultural events, language classes and an annual festival.
ICC offers workshops specifically designed for international students and scholars seeking to enhance their skills for career success.
- Workshops specific to international students and scholars include: Prepare for the Career Fair (for undergraduate and graduate students) and Effective Communication for Career Success (for graduate students and postdocs).
- ICC also offers workshops with tips and suggestions for using social media as a job search tool, writing a resume or curriculum vitae (CV) and cover letter, interviewing and negotiating a position.
View the ICC’s Calendar of Events for days and times. Workshops are held regularly during the year.
Effective communication is essential for professional success. A number of resources for English language learners exist both on and off campus to support international students and postdoctoral scholars who want to improve their English communication skills:
- UC Davis International Academic English Program
- UC Davis Extension Center for International Education
- Off campus English language classes, from SISS
ICC is a full career service provider, supporting international undergraduate and graduate students, and postdoctoral scholars throughout their academic career and beyond. Our team can help you with all aspects of your job search.
- Career advising:
- See a peer adviser to review your resume or cover letter, develop your LinkedIn profile, answer questions about use of social media for the job search or resolve problems with Aggie Job Link.
- For quick questions, drop-in advising is held each Wednesday and Thursday from 1:30pm-3:30pm during the academic year. No need to make an appointment.
- For more in depth career search help, review of materials for research or teaching job positions, interview preparation or to discuss negotiation strategy with a job offer, you can make a 30 minute appointment to see an ICC career adviser.
International visiting scholars can access career services and workshops through UC Davis Staff and Professional Development.
There are many online resources available for job search and career exploration, including:
- Aggie Job Link is the UC Davis job search tool for current students and postdoctoral scholars, and alumni. Thousands of positions are posted monthly from employers who are specifically seeking UC Davis talent.
- MyVisaJobs.com includes information on top employer sponsors by year and visa options as well as a job search function.
- Vault.com provides comprehensive industry guides, job postings, and career management services.
- Wetfeet.com posts trends, markets, major players, and jobs in leading industries.
- Goinglobal.com lists international jobs and internships.
- H1VisaJobs.com includes a searchable database with thousands of firms and jobs available.
- Versatile PhD discusses careers for PhDs interested in working outside academia. UC Davis subscribes to this service with funding provided by GradPathways (Graduate Studies).
- The International Advantage: Get Noticed. Get Hired! Marcelo C. Barros (2015)
- Power Ties: The International Student’s Guide to Finding a Job in the United States, Dan Beaudry (2009)
- Living and Working in America, David Hampshire (2008)