Job Search Tips for International Students

The job search process can be a challenge for any student, but particularly if you are an international graduate student seeking opportunities outside of academia. With restrictions outside your control, planning early and being strategic in the search process is imperative. Take a look at these tips from Inside Higher Ed to start.

Where ever you are in your career stage, keep in mind that the process begins with you — knowing what drives you, what you excel at, and what options you have. To further explore your skills, interests, and goals, make an appointment with us via Career Connect. To learn more about your employment options based on your status, meet with an advisor from the International Students and Scholars Office (ISSO). ISSO also offers useful information on their site on employment as well as workshops throughout the year. Make sure to review their newsletters so you don’t miss their events!

Kainen Bell ’17 Discusses Career Journey and Work with love.fútbol

Wondering what alums are up to around the globe?

Check out this blog post from Kainen Bell, a 2017 SEA Advanced Standing graduate who became a Fulbright Fellow in 2018 in Brazil, where he researched the impact of the economic recession on various nonprofits, and thereafter, joined love.fútbol, a global nonprofit that brings communities together using football pitch projects as platforms for change, as a Grants & Salesforce database specialist.

CSSW Alumni Recognized for Notable Contributions to the Community

Congratulations to the following alums who have been recognized for their great work in the community!

Highlighting Your Soft Skills in Resumes and Interviews

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As if crafting a resume that aptly and succinctly highlights your background and skills within a 10 to 15 second glance isn’t hard enough, highlighting critical soft skills, such as interpersonal skills — an essential qualification for any job — can be especially challenging.

So how do we tout such skills without saying that we simply have them? Start by thinking critically about what these skills look like in action-and-result form. For example:

  • Collaborated with a team to develop a new intake process.
  • Trained a group of student leaders on conflict resolution and mediation skills.
  • Developed partnerships with community organizations to streamline the client referral process.

Using concrete language to demonstrate your ability in these ways (i.e. showing versus telling) is far more effective than simply stating that you have good “people skills” or that you “work with well people”.

For more tips, review the resources in the Document Library within Career Connect.

Project REACH Fellowship | Apply by September 6

The Irving Institute for Clinical and Translational Research is offering the Project REACH Fellowship in Fall 2019, a ten-week training on implementing communication strategies to community outreach and engagement. Graduate students will be partnered with a community-based organization for the entire training to co-develop outreach tools for the organization’s client engagement efforts. The Fellowship is an worthwhile opportunity for students to learn how to communicate and engage stakeholders as well as practice working collaboratively with other professionals from various fields. They are keen to have students apply from different schools at Columbia, including the School of Social Work!

Some of the organizations participating in Fall 2019, that students could be partnered with, include: 

  • ARC Seniors consists of three senior centers and provides transportation to seniors in the Washington Heights and Harlem communities. ARC Seniors works to ensure that older adults in these communities continue to have a  high quality of life. 
  • Coalicion Mexicana seeks to empower Latinx youth and families in New York City.  
  • El Nido de Esperanza offers a variety of services geared towards parents and children. Areas that are covered by these services include nutrition, education, safety and community building.  

See the attached flyer below for more information about the Fellowship. You can also check out our their instagram account (@irvinginstitute_projectreach) or facebook page (Irving Institute – Project REACH) for more information.

Free Technical and Soft Skills Training

Did you know that as a CSSW student, you have free access to self-training for hundreds of software tools as well as personal and professional development via, also known as LinkedIn Learning?

Click here to explore online tutorials on an array of topics from data science to program and project management.

Free iRelaunch Return to Work Roadmap with Registration to Conference | Thursday, October 3

CALLING ALL CAREER “RELAUNCHERS!” The iRelaunch Return to Work Conference is returning to Columbia University.

Thursday, October 3, 2019 8:30am-5:30pm

Are you on a career break and planning to go back to work? Learn the most  effective return to work strategies, meet employers and programs interested in career relaunchers, and network with your highly educated professional peers. The iRelaunch Return to Work Conference is led by Chair and Co-founder Carol Fishman Cohen, TED Talk speaker and co-author of Back on the Career Track. REGISTER NOW to secure your seat before the Conference sells out! And upon registration enjoy the added benefit of immediate access to the online iRelaunch Return to Work Roadmap to help you start working on your relaunch now! More information here: