Career Services offers tips, resources to international students

Austen Brown, Staff Reporter

Career Services hosted an event for international students in the Tuscola-Arcola Room of the Martin Luther King Jr. University Union on Wednesday.

At the event, Career Services director Bobbi Kingery and employer relations specialist John Marr went over resources they offer to students native to other countries.

“I think the biggest thing we can offer … is the understanding of the culture in the United States and their expectations,” Kingery said, “and many of our students maybe came from a culture where … you don’t brag about yourself, you don’t talk about yourself. The United States, we’re pretty much the opposite. You’ve got to promote yourself.”

Kingery also said her department offers many other valuable resources for all students, including the ability to set up mock interviews with counselors, internships and job shadowing opportunities.

Marr said Panther TraCS is another resource open to international students.

On the Career Services page, Panther TraCS is described as an “online source for career and professional development.”

Panther TraCS is free for all students and provides opportunities to connect with potential employers, schedule appointments with career counselors and other guidance for communicating with professionals, Marr said.

Kingery said it is common for students to not understand the potential career options that come with their major.

“I think society tells you to pick something you love and go with it,” she said. “Let’s say I pick English … but I don’t want to teach, so then (students are) not sure who needs the skills they learned while studying that field, and there’s a huge demand for it; they’re just not aware of it.”

She also mentioned that students can find out more about potential career paths, internships and jobs on the Career Services page on Eastern’s website, but it would be more beneficial to come into their office and speak with a counselor or adviser in person.

Some students may be hesitant to get out in the world and look for jobs or internships, but Kingery and Marr said they insist that the rewards make it well worth it.

“The more you get out of your comfort zone,” Kingery said, “the easier it is (to talk to potential employers).”

Even graduate students can benefit from talking to career advisers, she said.

“That whole career exploration part of (a job search) is often something that graduate students think they don’t need anymore because (they) already have a bachelor’s degree … but (they are) not always as aware of how we apply (their skills) when we leave and what all (their career options) are,” she said.

This was one of four workshops for international students that will be hosted regarding potential career paths this semester.

There are also other career workshops open to all students, such as “How to Research Employees & Why It’s Important,” which will be Feb. 20 at 4:00 p.m.

For the Spring semester, there are several job fairs coming up as well.

One of note is the Spring Job and Internship Fair, which starts at noon on Feb. 13 in both ballrooms of the Union.

Austen Brown can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected].