Five things we learnt from International Student Employability Week 2024

Kate Nicholls, Careers Consultant
Kate Nicholls, Careers Consultant

The week of 26th February was our second international student employability week (ISEW) and this year it was even bigger: More events (up from 6 to 10), more employers, more alumni, and more students!

Thank you to our brilliant speakers who contributed to the week: Stephen Chan (Amazon), Phil Duncalfe (Friends International), Pennington Manches Cooper Law Firm, and our panel of international alumni: Vijay Raj Soora, Tobi Eyinade, Akanksha Singh; and Manoj Londhe. Here are their tips to help international students navigate the world of work.

1. Finding work

Choose internships and placements that might lead to work post-graduation, consider working for start-ups and small companies; register your interest (and/or apply for jobs) directly through companies; and be strategic in your applications (don’t apply to everything and anything). Apply for jobs when they’re first advertised, don’t wait for the deadline as by then the company may have started interviewing. Reach out to companies who you know have previously taken on international students (if you don’t know you can try to look at the company website to see a representation of international employees and diversity).

2. Transferable skills

Develop skills such as team working, communication, and problem solving through part time work, volunteering and extracurricular activities. Identify which skills you have and what is unique about you; highlight these on your application. Don’t be put off applying to Tech companies if you don’t have a Tech degree, skills; or background (they also have roles in HR, Communications etc).

3. Be patient

Job searching is time consuming, try not to take rejection personally, make sure you have a plan B.

4. Networking

Networking is key! Engage proactively on LinkedIn (be diplomatic and do your research before you send a message), talk to people in the industry you’re interested in; and attend employer events to meet as many employers as you can.

5. Culture

Culture shock can make you feel disorientated, what British people say may not be what they mean! Difference is not necessarily wrong or rude. Ask questions when you don’t know the meanings, and help is here through Friends International and the University Wellbeing Team.  

And Finally

Don’t forget to take a look at our NEW International student employability resources which are designed to empower you to navigate the labour market effectively.