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Students receive an overview of how to properly fill-out necessary forms.

In October, the CSULB Career Development Center and the Center for International Education (CIE) partnered to bring a week of programs and workshops addressing the different challenges and policies international students face in finding internships and jobs in the U.S.

“When we offer workshops and programs for International Students, we take topics that we would normally present to domestic students, such as internships, job searching, and interview preparation, and address the considerations that international students need to be made aware of,” said Mariela Gutierrez, CSULB Internship and Career Advisor.

Just like domestic students, international students face the same anxiety and excitement when looking for first-time employment. However, international students also have the added responsibility of meeting very specific permit and visa requirements.

“Optional Practical Training (OPT) and visa sponsorship are very popular topics that many students are interested in learning about,” said Mariela.

OPT is a period when students with F-1 status are permitted by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to work for one year on a student visa. Mariela explained that the Career Development Center encourages students to complete an internship and then secure a fulltime position through OPT. She said this process enables international students to begin building key relationships in their field of interest and prove their skills and abilities as employees.

“Through the [series of events], students learned how to prepare and present themselves as strong candidates before employers,” added Mariela. “That way students walked into the job fair and information sessions with employers feeling more confident and able to articulate their skills and abilities.”

The week’s events culminated with a job fair with potential employers from across different industries. A number of students walked away with interviews set-up for both internships and fulltime job opportunities.

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Students receive an in-depth presentation on the Optional Practical Training (OPT) process.

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