My name is Maria from Venezuela and I am doing a Master in Project Management through the College of Professional Studies. I am writing today because I want to help the international community at Northeastern fight the odds that all foreign students face in the United States.
I have heard many times that finding a good paid coop for an international is very difficult. Well, I disagree with that statement. I will give you a few tips that will help you to find a Coop/Internship.
Set your goal ahead of time. If you put your mind and energy in finding a coop you will get it.
Start four months before the date you want to begin. The earlier, the better.
Write a resume with the USA standards. I highly recommend you to go the Career Development Office. They will also help you with cover letters.
Create a good LinkedIn profile. Here is a link to mine.
Make business cards. This is a technique that can help differentiate yourself from others candidates. You can use Vistaprint to make them.
Start the job search: MyNEU COOL, NU Career Development website, companies’ websites, networking, career fairs, etc. You should try all of them. The university has partnerships with many companies that you can apply to. You can also speak to your friends, classmates and professors and let them know you are looking for a co-op. You will be surprised.
Apply, apply, apply and apply. Many students think that applying to just 10 companies is enough. There is no enough. You end your co-op search when you find the correct one.
You need to work harder. Remember that domestic students have two advantages: English as their first language and infinite job permission. So, it is time to show how good you are.
You will need to find your co-op with time. After you get your co-op, you will need your co-op advisor’s permission and then the ISSI permission to issue a new I-20.
Many students ask themselves what the difference between a coop and internship is. An internship is part-time job (paid or unpaid). On the other hand, a co-op is full time and, in most cases, is paid.
All these tips may look very similar to others you can find online, but they really worked for me. If you focus in what you really want there will be no obstacles you cannot overcome. Lastly, you will really need a positive attitude because you will receive rejections from many companies until you finally get your co-op.
Maria Martin is a Venezuelan Master’s Degree student. She is currently doing a full time paid coop at NSTAR in the Marketing and Sales Department. You can contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org