Members of the Midlands International Group were asked what was the best advice they would give to international students looking for a job in their home country. These are their responses:
My advice would be research recruitment agencies and university alumni associations in your home country before you leave, make contact with them and stay in contact with them during your studies in the UK. We have a saying….the early bird catches the worm…
Michele Zala, Nottingham Trent University
Be prepared for reverse culture shock and that it will take anything from 3-12 months to find a suitable graduate position once home. Maintain your network whilst you are studying and start putting out expressions of interest 3 months before you go home. Be realistic in your expectations of salary and status and think about how you will sell your extra- curricular UK experience to employers.
Ellen O’Brien, University of Birmingham
Reflect on the value you can bring to the role having studied in UK. Your time studying has not only helped you better understand the subject you studied, but has giving you a unique insight into life outside of your home country, so why not use that to your advantage? Maybe there are roles where your enhanced language skills and cultural awareness could be put to use. These could be organisations which have dealings with UK markets, or are international organisations who highly values those who have a wider perspective that only studying and living in another country could gain them. While many people do now study overseas, think about how your experience has helped you develop the skills that employers are looking for, and practice how you could communicate that message clearly when you make an application or during your interview.
James Heritage, Aston University
Utilise the resources in your Careers Service namely websites they’ve subscribed to on your behalf. Resources like: “Passport Careers” or “GoinGlobal”. In Addition “GradLink” have some useful resources for some places like: Bangladesh, Canada, Africa, India, Middle East, Asia etc
Teresa Corcoran, University of Nottingham
It is vital to develop and maintain links and relationships with companies and professional industry bodies back home. Keep in touch and comment on the articles and blogs being created. Attending online events and basing a university project upon the key issues for the industry/ business within that country, can prove your genuine interest in their needs.
Chris Steventon, Coventry University
We can’t emphasise enough the value of gaining relevant work experience whilst studying. Not only in terms of building your networking opportunities to support your case for staying in the UK but also to show the added value of your UK qualification when you return to your home country. What kudos to be able to say you have real-world insight into UK business because of your work experience! Take advantage of paid placements and internships offered.
Merlinda Charley, University College Birmingham
- Give some thought to what you already know about the recruitment process in your home country and how you can apply this
- Use your network! Think about the industry you want to work in and any connections you may have that can help you
Mark Blaber, Northampton University
Use your home based network, friends, family, old employers this will allow you to remain updated on employment situations back home. Make sure to keep yourself relevant to those employers you are interested in, follow companies on LinkedIn that you are interested in back at home – connect with recruiters for these companies ( but also make sure that you LinkedIn page is good enough to share with them) this will also allow you to keep in mind deadlines for applications etc.
Judy Turner, University of Lincoln