Today we are interviewing Ksenia Yakustidi from Russia, who is a 2011 Suffolk University Alum with a Masters in Political Science.
Tell us a little about how you came to study and work in the United States?
I came to the United States in 2007 through the student exchange summer programme “Work & Travel”, after which I decided to stay in Boston to continue my studies.
How did you go about securing your internship? Did receive college credit? What were the major takeaways of the experience?
I had a couple of internship opportunities during my graduate programme. I secured those through vigorous search and on-line application processes. I chose to intern at the United Nations with the UN Alliance of Civilizations. It was a full-time unpaid internship and I did receive a college credit. The biggest take away from that experience was the fact that I got a chance to meet some truly remarkable people who contribute incredible goodness to the world.
Walk us through the process of getting an internship as an international student. Are there extra steps needed because of your student visa status?
Due to the fact that most of the internships that I was applying for were unpaid, the visa status did not really matter. At the time I had an F-1 Visa. However, UN Internship did require that one applying has to be involved in a full-time graduate programme. I applied a few times on-line through and got a positive response for the Spring UN Headquarters Internship 2011. I got selected from 3000 international applicants into 200 finalists.
After graduation you secured a great job working at The World Economic Reform in New York. What was the process you went through to work in the United States?
World Economic Forum sponsored me for a work H1B visa. H1B is an employment authorization, allowing a foreign national to work in the U.S. full-time for up to 6 years. My annual student work authorization was transferred in to a work visa. Paperwork for the H1B was handled by the company’s legal department. The hardest part is to be able to secure a job at a company that is willing to sponsor.
What advice would you give to a recent international student graduate trying to secure employment in the United States?
Never give up when pursuing professional dreams. Utilize your schools Career Services Office for help, but do not expect them to get the job for you. Apply on-line through companies’ sites and find relevant people on-line via online resources (Linked In) who may have connections to help you. Write them an introductory email presenting yourself and expressing your interest in the desired position.
Finally, what advice would you give to an international student that is debating interning in the U.S. vs. their home country?
If you love this country, you have to try it here first. I always knew that I would want to stay and work in the US after completion of my graduate studies. I had a huge opportunity to work with PRADA in Moscow. I wanted to live and work in NYC. I continued to pursue my dreams, a year later, I moved to NYC to work full-time for a truly global organization.
Are you an international student and have secured a job after college? We’d love to get your thoughts, tips and tricks!