Success Stories: How International Students Have Found Jobs on Campus

When considering gaining real-world experiences, sometimes the best place to look can be right in your own “backyard”. Considering the need to balance work-study and life, students may feel overwhelmed and even a little scared. For international students, trying to get a job in a foreign country can be even more difficult. However, many students who work on campus provide a lot of useful feedback, and almost all that I interviewed said that it is a valuable opportunity for international students. On-campus employment offers international students the chance to earn money, develop campus connections, and gain valuable work experience.  

I interviewed three international students working on campus, each from a different grade: Mier Tang, a first-year student; Nuoxi Wang, a sophomore; and Ge Li, a junior. 

Mier Tang, who just arrived at UConn in the fall, currently works at the McMahon Dining Hall. Mier took the initiative to contact cafeteria staff during a meal, leading to an interview opportunity. She initially thought the job involved only adding dishes and cleaning, but later realized it also required communication with chefs and dishwashing staff. Mier shared that the most challenging part was dealing with the unfamiliar school payroll system, but with the help of her cafeteria colleagues, she successfully overcame it. She emphasized the importance of proactive communication for international students. 

Nuoxi Wang secured his job at the Student Union through a friend’s referral, and he carefully chose his outfit for his interview to make a good first impression. This approach led to a successful interview, and although the job at the Student Union initially seemed challenging, he received support from friendly colleagues and leaders. After a few weeks, Nuoxi felt confident in handling all aspects of his work. He stressed the significance of passion for the job, particularly for international students, as it builds confidence and credibility. 

Ge Li, an intern at the Center for Career Development, found her position through Handshake. Before submitting her résumé, she utilized the résumé review service the Center for Career Development provided and conducted interview simulations on the Big Interview platform. Ge Li highlighted the importance of proactive communication in job-seeking, especially for international students seeking on-campus employment. She encouraged every international student to be a courageous experimenter. 

Through these students’ stories, it is evident that on-campus employment serves as a valuable international work platform. It provides insights into American work culture and prepares individuals for broader professional experiences in the future. Therefore, it is essential to approach on-campus jobs sincerely and let your first international work experience enhance your résumé. 

Visit The Center for International Students & Scholars or The Center for Career Development to learn more about securing employment while studying as an international student at UConn. 

By Tianyu Jiang
Tianyu Jiang