Learn to succeed at a career fair

This video produced by the University of Minnesota Career Services gives you practical tips on how to make a good impression when seeking a job or internship at a University of Minnesota Career Fair.

The video covers:

  • how to dress for success,
  • how to introduce yourself to a recruiter,
  • how to use good body language to project confidence, and
  • how to finish a conversation with a recruiter.

Watch the “Succeeding at the Career Fair” video.

Things to think about

As an international student, there are a few important things you may want to think about as you search for internships and full-time employment.

Connect with professionals and peers

  • Meet with professionals who work in your career area of interest, especially those who once were international students. For strategies on how to expand your network, see the International Student Job and Internship Search Guide (PDF).
  • Attend organization meetings to find professionals who can help you navigate the world of work. Visit the CSE Career Center’s Major and Career Exploration web page, or search online using keywords such as “International Engineers Professional Association.”
  • Create an account on LinkedIn, an online professional networking site, and join groups such as “Diversity in Minnesota.” To get started, visit the LinkedIn website.
  • Join a student group that relates to your professional goals. This is a great way to network with your peers. Many groups also bring in professionals to speak with students. Visit the CSE student groups web page for a full list.
  • Attend career fairs, employer information sessions, networking events, and career panels. Find upcoming events on the GoldPASS website.
  • Visit the University of Minnesota International Careers Facebook website to join the group, connect with other international students, and get the latest information.

Work authorization

Before working in any position off campus, it is important to get work authorization. To watch online workshops or find the schedule of in-person workshops, visit the International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS) website.

  • Curricular Practical Training (CPT) – CPT is work authorization that allows you to work in a job directly related to your major area of study before degree completion. The internship must be for credit and part of your academic program. CPT authorization is provided by ISSS and can be granted within seven business days of application submission.
  • Optional Practical Training (OPT) – OPT is work authorization that allows you to work in a job directly related to your major area of study either before or after degree completion. The majority of students use OPT to work after degree completion. OPT authorization is provided by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and is usually granted within 2-3 months after the student submits an application.
  • H1B visa – The H1B visa is the official and primary U.S. work visa available to international professionals. To obtain an H1B visa, you must first find an H1B sponsorship job with a U.S. sponsoring company. Then your employer must file an H1B visa application with the U.S. Immigration Bureau on your behalf. It is the employer’s choice whether to sponsor you.

Job search and preparation resources

Your legal rights

  • To learn what constitutes an illegal interview question and how to handle the situation, read the “Handling Improper Interview Question” page on the Middlebury website.
  • If you experience discrimination once you are in a job, check out tips and information about employment discrimination on the FindLaw website.