I believe there are a lot of international students would like to have an on-campus job to earn some additional income and gain experience while in school. My friend, Olivia, talked about advantages of working on-campus in this article. So in this blog post, I will share with you my experience of my part-time job as a Peer Advisor at the Career Center at DU. In my job, I have talked to many students and helped them along their job search process. I hope my insight will provide you some useful information about available resources at the University of Denver to take you closer to your career goals.
Are you eligible to work?
First of all, keep in mind that immigration regulations restrict international students to work in the U.S. The International Student & Scholar Services (ISSS) at DU has a lot of information around this topic. I highly recommend you make an appointment with an immigration advisor at the ISSS to verify that you have the appropriate authorization before engaging in any form of employment.
Student employment job listings:
After making sure that you are eligible to work on-campus, you check out all the student employment opportunities available here at: https://www.du.edu/admission-aid/financial-aid-scholarships/student-employment
Even though the job search process can sometimes be a little bit stressful, never be afraid to ask for help. Everyone here at DU is willing to support you. You can start with asking your orientation leader. I was one of the orientation leaders last year and I know all of us are more than happy to send you down the right path! Also, your Residential Assistant (RA) is a another wonderful resource. They know the campus inside out. The point is reach out and ask questions to get comfortable.
What do you need?
Now let’s talk about what you can bring to the table. Think about the strengths and skills you have brought with you from your home country. These could include customer service, organizational skills or any other skills you can draw from previous jobs. If you have not had a job before, that is fine. I had no experience before I came here and I was still able to find on-campus work. In the U.S, a typical job application often requires a cover letter and a resume. If you have never prepare any of these documents, do not worry! The Career Center at DU is here to help. You just need to come in, go to your PioneerWeb account, or call in to make an appointment with your designated career advisor. They will provide you with tips, advice and templates to help you start with your application. You can also practice an interview with a peer career advisor to boost your confidence before you have an actual one.
Career resources at DU
I currently work as a Peer Advisor at the Career Center and I have helped many students write their resumes from scratch. Besides providing resume help the Career Center provides several other resources for students. We organize many events to prepare students for their first jobs such as Meet & Greet with employers on campus, workshops for resume & linkedIn profile, networking event, mentoring workshop, company tours and career fairs. These events happen periodically throughout the quarter. You can easily register your attendance on Pioneer Connect (PCO) using your DU ID.
As mentioned above, (International Student & Scholar Services) ISSS is a great resource. They are located at IHouse on Josephine. They help students with paperwork such as social security number, immigration paperwork, etc. If you were offered an off-campus job, it must be related to your major of study. Extra paperwork will be needed but not to worry ISSS will walk you through every step.
Keep track of job postings on bulletin boards around campus too, network with your professors, friends, or check-in with your department. Here is summary to help you:
- Meet with your immigration advisor at ISSS, make sure you are eligible to work
- Decide what kind of job you want
- Began search by looking at the DU job board, or Student Employment, and asking around your network
- Prepare resume and cover letter; get help from the Career Center
- Apply, prepare and nail the interview
- Visit ISSS for paperwork help, job offer letter, tax paperwork from shared services, social security number.
- Start your on-campus job and don’t forget to have fun and make the most out of it!
An important thing to keep in mind is that being an international student means that we need to take some time to understand the system. You should not rush the process. The key is to stay positive and persistent! Do not hesitate to ask for help!
#DearWorld is a blog series that our international student ambassadors at the University of Denver share their experience, tips, and advice to other students at DU and around the world.
Author: Rida Noor
Editors: Anh Chip Pham & Grace Sullivan
Lean more about other international students experience at the University of Denver: