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.
Get general advice on an internship search in the USA.
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 departments that hire students. Looking for a job on campus? Get more information about campus departments that may be hiring.
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 adviser 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
Get general advice on a job search in the USA.
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:
AmCham China– The American Chamber of Commerce in the People’s Republic of China has developed an online job search platform to facilitate the connections between Chinese employers and Chinese students studying in the U.S. After creating your personalized AmCham account, you will be able to research Chinese employers and search for open positions. In addition to your search options, Chinese employers also have the ability to search for qualified USC candidates to fill their positions based on information listed in your profile.
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.
Global Mingle Party is an online career resource that will provide you with the tools needed to succeed in the U.S workplace. Navigate the U.S. job search by exploring the “The International Job Search Guide designed to assist International Students in understanding American Employers, the value they possess as an international student, and how to be an active job seeker. Global Mingle Party also provides free courses on how to “Improve your American Small Talk,” “How To Talk to Employers About Study Abroad,” and “How to Find U.S. Companies that Offer H-1B.”
Global University China Career Union (GUCCU) provides Chinese students studying overseas with the tools and resources needed to prepare them for the Chinese job market after graduation. GUCCU offers comprehensive assistance through every step of the job search process. From monthly online classes designed to educate students on how to prepare application materials to posting over 55,000 job openings from over 15,000 companies specifically targeting Chinese students who have pursued degrees abroad, GUCCU is an effective resource for students looking to be competitive in the Chinese job market. Get free access through the “Resources” tab in connectSC.
51Job.com is an online database with job listings for students who are looking to focus their job search in China.
If you have 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.
- Do not apologize for your accent. Make strides to improve your English skills if you are a non-native speaker, and 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 and discussion points ahead of time.
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 Success 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 more 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 issues early on, so respectfully 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 you to utilize resources at both the USC Career Center and your school-based career services 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.