Success Mantra: Things First-Year International Students Must Do
Many overseas students aspire for academic distinction while pursuing higher education in the United States. While this is an admirable goal, many overseas students become so focused on their studies that they forget to network with people in the fields they want to pursue.
The online job application method, unfortunately, offers few results. Because many students did not use their college years to form meaningful relationships with business experts, they are less likely to be referred while looking for work. With a short period of unemployment following graduation (90 days) and fierce competition in the United States, this is stressful for overseas students who want to stay and work in the United States. Unfortunately, many people are forced to pack their belongings.
However, there is a way (actually two ways, but we will talk about the second one later) to not worry about beating the clock after graduation! All of these issues can be addressed if International students begin doing the following early in their college careers:
1. Make connections with people both inside and outside of their school.
2. Make genuine connections.
3. Engage professionals as their mentors.
Some of you reading this post may believe that you have no one to assist you in achieving your job objectives. But did you know that nearly 44 million individuals in the United States say they would seriously consider mentoring a young person? This indicates that many people are willing to serve as your mentor and assist you in furthering your career. All you have to do now is figure out how to contact them.
What is the definition of mentoring?
Mentorship is a relationship in which someone with greater experience or knowledge assists someone with less experience or knowledge. Begin by asking yourself, “Who am I acquainted with?” “Who can I connect with?” and “Who can I connect with?” Consider whether you have any “super connections” or people you already know who can connect you with someone else. In my blog, “Build Your Network in the United States as a Foreign Student,” I discuss the various networking strategies that international students can use to establish significant relationships with business people in the United States.
What Are My Options for Finding a Mentor?
“When the learner is ready, the instructor will emerge,” says an old proverb. This means you want to make sure you’re giving it your all by being active and involved in areas that interest you. So, when someone gives you a chance to shine, take it. Even if the job is outside of your comfort zone or you have a tight schedule, do your best to completely engage in the chances that are provided to you, understanding that nothing great comes simple. To begin establishing opportunities for mentorship, open your mind to all possibilities, be sincere, and make people recognize you and appreciate your potential.
How Do I Begin Recruiting Someone to Be My Mentor?
Taking an interest in someone who shares similar interests as you can be a wonderful method to strike up a conversation with them. There’s no need to ask someone to be your mentor; instead, request a one-on-one meeting where you can explain why you want to connect. If you’re apprehensive about seeing your mentor for the first time and don’t know how to start or end a conversation, remember to remain cool, professional, and yourself. Above all, spend time getting to know your mentor as a person.
Ask them questions that will allow them to tell you about themselves, their triumphs, and even their shortcomings. Take notes from them. Also, provide them with the opportunity to learn from you and your experiences. You’ll be able to build a strong and trusted relationship with your mentor if you’re honest with them. This meaningful connection will assist you in receiving referrals and connecting with other professionals in your sector.
When seeking a mentor, keep in mind that you are not required to develop a mentoring relationship with the CEO of a major corporation. Simply connect with people that inspire you and will assist you in your development. Although it’s beneficial to network with people in your field, cross-industry mentorships can also be beneficial. A political science professor, for example, may recognise your potential and wish to interact with you if you are a business/economics student. The political science professor can use this link to connect you to other persons who can help you achieve your goals. You never know who or what the person you’re talking to is aware of. So, keep an open mind and be willing to learn!
How can I ensure that my mentorships last?
You should endeavor to be a good mentee if you want to have long-term mentorships. This implies that you should make goals for yourself. There are three essential areas to be aware of:
Don’t Waste Their Time
Before you look for a mentor, you must first figure out what you want. Take the time to consider your objectives and ambitions. Remember that mentors are there to advise you rather than to tell you what your goals should be. Before approaching your mentor for a meeting, think about the questions you want to ask and the topics you want to address. Doing some preliminary research before meeting with your mentor is an excellent approach to avoid asking obvious questions.
Be a Giver, Not a Taker
Ask yourself, “Why should this individual invest their time in me?” when you begin to form meaningful connections and mentorships. Having a mentor has no expiration date. Building and strengthening meaningful relationships is a long-term process that can take a year or more. So, follow up with your mentor and truly learn from them, as well as show your mentors how they may learn from you. Share your experiences as an international student with them, look for ways to assist them, and bring up fresh ideas and opinions in dialogue. Consider how you may help your mentor by demonstrating that you are worthy of their time and consideration.
Be a Go-Getter
As someone who grew up in Thailand and Asian culture, I’ve found that we tend to be very humble and put ourselves behind others with higher titles. It wasn’t until I moved to the United States that I realized it didn’t have to be like that since Americans value young, ambitious professionals. So, if you’re an international student from a culture similar to mine, remember that it’s fine to question your mentor’s ideas and share your own opinions. Demonstrate to your mentor that you can create your own well-informed ideas, that you are an ambitious and dedicated leader, and that you have the desire and drive to attain your objectives. But don’t forget to do these things in a respectful and professional manner.
What Are the Advantages of Having a Mentor?
A strong relationship between you and your mentor can help you build a network of industry leaders and provide career and internship referrals. This is especially crucial for overseas students, who are frequently tripped up during the usual job application process by immigration questions. Building excellent mentorships increases your chances of receiving references that can assist you in overcoming immigration barriers. Having more than one mentor is also a wonderful method to broaden your expertise and enhance your referral opportunities. It’s best if you have as many relationships as possible.
Get out there, network, make meaningful connections, and participate in mentorships. Every year and every day counts as an international student, so make the most of it!
When it comes to expanding your network, you may begin by engaging with people you meet on a daily basis. You should always create opportunities to engage with new people, whether you’re in a coffee shop or at a business conference — you never know who you’ll end up talking to!
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