Career Development Process
Finding a job or internship opportunity is more than submitting a resume to a desired position. Rather, the career development process has four distinct phases, each with a specific purpose. Explore careers related to your major.
In addition to related technical or functional experience and knowledge, employers look for communication, leadership, and interpersonal skills acquired in a variety of settings. They can be developed through involvement in student organizations, enrolling in courses with group projects, volunteer experiences, and developing friendships with students of different backgrounds.
Networking is connecting with peers, faculty, staff, and professionals to have career conversations around topics of mutual interest. Networking is a great way to gather insight about a particular career path or organization’s work culture and not about asking for a job or internship. Learn how to network.
Resumes and Cover Letters
The purpose of a resume is to provide an employer with your relevant education and experience to the position and leads to an interview. Learn more about resumes and cover letters that are appropriate to use in the USA.
For general advice on an internship search in the USA, please visit our Find a Job or Internship page.
Access our online database of jobs and internships on connectSC. View connectSC under the Jobs and Internships section and click on the “On Campus job button for additional departments that hire students.
Internships offer the opportunity to develop job-related skills and experiences that will help you be more competitive for full-time positions in the future. Many employers will post internship opportunities 1-2 semesters in advance, so it is important to start researching opportunities early.
Access connectSC to find internship opportunities. In the Advanced Search section, select “More Filters,” and go to Work Authorization. Select “Yes, now or in the future may need visa sponsorship” as employers seek candidates to convert to full-time hires and do not offer visa sponsorship.
Paid internships opportunities are an option for F-1 visa students after one academic year and require Curricular Practical Training (CPT).
Make an appointment to see an advisor at the Office of International Services (OIS). Bring your offer letter and proof of enrollment in an internship course in order to process your CPT. Please view the OIS website for detailed requirements and instructions.
Full-time Job Search
For general advice on a job search in the USA, please visit our Find a Job or Internship page.
Allow adequate time in your job search as securing a full-time job can start as early as two semesters prior to graduation. In addition to applying to jobs online, there are several resources you can take advantage of to help you throughout your job search:
GoinGlobal is an online database with domestic and international job listings, job search resources, and more. View the H1B section for a list employers that have sponsored visas by each state and major metro areas. Get free access through the Resources tab in connectSC.
FindtheBest is an online search engine that lists companies that have sponsored work visas with data on position titles and salary.
If you’ve been selected to interview for a job or internship, congratulations! It means that you were identified as a qualified candidate. During the interview, you will be expected to verbally communicate your interest in the position, your qualifications, explain related examples of your work and show your personality.
- Don’t apologize for your accent. Make strides to improve your English skills if you are a non-native speaker, but practice your interviewing skills to build your confidence.
- Emphasize positive aspects of your international background. Certain employers are seeking to expand their reach to global, overseas markets. Your cultural background may be an asset to these employers.
- Review common interview questions and practice your answers out loud. Avoid sounding rehearsed but prepare your examples ahead of time.
For general advice on a interviewing in the USA, please visit our Interviewing section.
U.S. organizations expect employees/interns to adapt to their unique work culture, which is the sum of their values, traditions, beliefs, ways of communicating, and behavior. To succeed in any organization, employees/interns are expected to display a strong work ethic and interpersonal skills.
Merit-based and Showing Initiative
U.S. work environments measure success through results and accomplishments. Employees/interns are expected to complete their assignments and duties within the deadlines, but also show initiative by seeking additional opportunities.
Style of Communication
Communication can be formal or informal depending on the organization’s culture, but ask for clear expectations from your supervisor and ask direct and informed questions. American culture values openness and addressing conflicts early on so raise concerns before they become a serious problem.
American Language Institute – Offers classes and conversation groups to improve English language skills.
Office of International Services (OIS) – Provides international students advising services and support to assist in achieving your academic, personal, and professional goals.
Counseling Services – Offers mental health treatment for students through a variety of programs and services including a weekly International Tea Time.
School-Based Career Services – Covers a range of programs and services, often highlighting specific industries. To access each school’s programs and services, it is required that you have a major within that particular school. We encourage students to utilize resources at both the USC Career Center and their school-based career office.
Office of Pre-Health Advisement – Serves all students and alumni pursuing a career in the health professions.
Pre-Graduate School Advising – Offers all students and alumni support in applying to graduate schools through workshops and individual appointments.
Student Organizations at USC – Provides opportunities to interact and engage in shared interests regarding careers, community, politics, religions, and more.
USC Writing Center – Offers individual and small-group workshops to assist all students with improving their writing skills