The Experience of Securing a Job or Internship as an International Student 

The Center for Career Development hosted a panel titled “Navigating the U.S. Job and Internship Search” for international students. The panelists, all UConn students or alumni, shared their career journeys, challenges, and successes they encountered along the way.  


Jose Gonzalez is an undergraduate in Analytics and Information Management who will graduate in ’26. Recent internship: Development Intern at Accounting Connections, LLC, CT Field Marketing Representative & Business.  

Zongqi (Angela) Wang, isan undergraduate alumna who received a B.S. in Finance, Management Information Systems, in ’21. Her current position is as a Technology Risk Consultant at EY. 

Kithmini Wijesiri is a current Ph.D. student in Chemistry. Recent position: Biotherapeutics Co-Op at Boehringer Ingelheim. 

Treena Goswami received a Ph.D. in Economics in ’23—current position: Postdoctoral Research Associate at the University of Virginia Biocomplexity Institute. 

Finding a Position 

Angela found an internship at EY through a recruiter who came to the School of Business. Angela participated in the Center for Career Development’s practice interviews and résumé reviews, and she attended events to meet people such as guest speakers and recruiters. 

Kithmini used a combination of networking and university resources. Kithmini found her internship through LinkedIn and had three levels of interviews. Kithmini attended career programs and events such as Writing a U.S.-Style Résumé, How to Make a LinkedIn Profile, OPT/CPT workshops, and Career Fairs, and had multiple Practice Interviews. 

Jose made connections on campus with students and professors and became involved in clubs and organizations to meet people and communicate. Jose also used AI to help with his interview preparation. 

Treena’s Ph.D. program offers training where they help you with CVs/ Résumés, Cover Letters, and academic, teaching, and research statements. She also met with a Career Coach at the Center for Career Development to review her documents. 

Networking Opportunities 

Angela connected with recruiters after career fairs, and she also met with department heads and alums. She suggested joining case competitions to see what others are doing or have done. 

OPT/CPT & Sponsorship– Timing is important 

Treena suggested applying for CPT/OPT early. She suggested that students attend ISSS workshops to establish their calendars to ensure they are visa-compliant.   

Jose recommended getting comfortable with having conversations with recruiters about your needs. You do not want to get far into interviews to find out they do not hire international students.  

Treena suggested that we should be realistic about jobs and whether they sponsor and use the job platform filters to determine if a company hires international students. She recommended identifying e-verified companies in advance. It takes some initial research, which will pay off.  

Work Experience as a Bridge 

Kithmini explained that sometimes academic research is not related to a career goal. An internship can bridge your education with future work goals. 

Practice Interviews 

Kithmini scheduled two practice interviews with the Center for Career Development and familiarized herself with possible questions employers could ask. 

Final Advice 

  • All panelists agreed on the importance of visiting ISSS! 
  • Jose suggested getting creative and looking at opportunities in the U.S., but do not be afraid to look for opportunities in countries where you already have work authorization. 
  • Attend career fairs and events. The more practice you get, the more fluent you get. Speaking with recruiters was very useful. 
  • Familiarize yourself with potential interview questions and join a practice interview with the Center for Career Development. 

The Center for Career Development and International Student and Scholar Services hosted this session. For more information visit and

By Desiree Martino
Desiree Martino Career Coach | Pronouns she/her