How I got a graduate job in the UK as an international student

Written by Uyen Nguyen, BSc Management (2020) graduate

I am a recent international graduate from the BSc Management programme. As a member of the “Corona Class of 2020”, I have had some unique experiences dealing with unprecedented times, from attending online lectures and exams; having my Consultancy Project cut short abruptly; attending Zoom job interviews; and having no graduation ceremony. It was a journey full of ups and downs!

It is already challenging to get a job in the UK as an international student, let alone during a pandemic. I am glad I could finally secure a graduate job in the medical software industry.

Here are some tips that helped me to maximise my employability in the UK market as an international student:

  1. Gaining local work experience

I got my job at the company that I worked for during my placement year, hence I didn’t have to spend as much time and energy into job hunting during my final year at university. I would strongly recommend that international students get UK-based work experience on their CV to build their competitive edge against their peers.

Find out more about building work experience. You may also be able to finance career-enhancing work experience via the Work Experience Bursary Scheme, which is now open.

  1. Online courses will open doors to new possibilities

There are plenty of online courses that will help you to develop valuable and transferable skills, and many are free (check out edX and Shaw Academy)! I completed a few, including Excel, Tableau, Google Digital Marketing & Google Analytics. Studying an online course is a great way to show to future employers that you are a willing learner with a curious and independent mindset. It is also a good point to talk about in interviews.

Get inspired by our list of free and low-cost online training courses.

  1. Practice your communication skills

As an international student during lockdown, I found the inability to communicate verbally very challenging. Thus, I had to find other means to practice spoken English, including having frequent calls with friends to attending online networking events. Doing so helped me to maintain my confidence in my English-speaking ability, as well as allowing me to communicate despite being stuck at home.

Read how you can enhance your communication skills by volunteering, attending online employer events, and much more.

Most importantly, believe in yourself. The job application process can be draining, and you will face rejections, but trust that if you work hard for it, you will be able to achieve what you want. The University’s Careers Service has plenty of useful resources, so make sure you take full advantage of it. Remember, you can access all of the careers support and resources for up to two years after you finish your course. Good luck!

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