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International Student and Scholar Services

How do I prepare for my future career?

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What is Career Planning and When Should I Start?

Employers want to hire people with knowledge and skills! You can think of career planning as participating in any activity that prepares you for your future job.

Start Today & Stay Focused!

It is never too early to begin career planning! We strongly encourage you to meet with an international student advisor and a career advisor during your first semester at CSU, Chico. Continue to meet with them each semester so they can provide guidance, share opportunities, and keep you on-track with your career plan.

Career Planning Resources

Chico State Career Center – Virtual Workshops/Events, Search Jobs & Internships, Resumes/Cover Letters, Meet with an Advisor, Search Careers by Major…..and a lot more!

Does Your Major Fit Your Interests?  Take the free RIASEC test and find out.

O*NET Resource Center – America’s primary source of occupational information.

California Career Zone


What Skills are U.S. Employers Looking For?

Are you interested in working in the U.S. after graduation? If so, it is important to understand that culture plays a huge role in the career planning process.

Cultural Considerations When Beginning Your Job Search in the U.S.

As a person who grew up outside of the U.S., you will need to learn the U.S. style of communicating with future employers.  The first step is to meet with an advisor in the Career Center.

Your career advisor will help you:

  • Create a U.S.-style resume, cover letter, and Link’d In page
  • Understand the terminology and application process for internships and career-level jobs
  • Prepare you for job interviews

What Skills Are U.S. Employers Looking For?

In many countries, getting good grades is the only thing that determines whether or not someone gets a good job.  In the U.S., grades are also important.  However,in the eyes of U.S. employers, participating in activities outside of the classroom is equally as important as your GPA. 

According to the Chico State Career Center, the top five skills U.S. employers are seeking include:

  1. Having good verbal communication skills – it is vitally important for international students to take opportunities to develop their English speaking abilities
  2. Ability to work in a team structure
  3. Ability to make decisions and solve problems
  4. Ability to plan, organize, and prioritize work
  5. Ability to obtain and process information

How can you gain these skills?

The best way to develop the skills that U.S. employers are looking for is to get involved in activities outside of the classroom. In addition to skill-building, you will improve your English and meet people who will become your networking community. Here are just a few ideas of how to get involved and build your professional resume.

  • Join University clubs and organizations
  • Become a leader in clubs and organizations
  • Get an on-campus job
  • Volunteer in the community
  • Do a summer internship
  • Ask your major advisor or graduate coordinator for tips and opportunities
  • Take advantage of free seminars, workshops, and presentations that add to your professional knowledge
  • Sign up for Wildcat Connect to receive career advice from Chico State Alumni (including international students currently on OPT)

How do I Start My U.S. Job Search?

If you plan to apply for an internship or career-level job inside of the U.S., you will work closely with a team of specialists at Chico State that includes your international student advisor, a career advisor, your major advisor or graduate coordinator, and Chico State Alumni (including international alumni) currently engaged in career-level work in your major.

Your career advisor will help you:

  • Identify the best job search platforms for your major
  • Create a U.S.-style resume, cover letter, and Link’d In page
  • Understand the terminology and application process for internships and career-level jobs
  • Prepare you for job interviews

You international student advisor will help you:

  • Understand the rules and requirements associated with your immigration status
  • Help you apply for work authorization through the USCIS
  • Create your new I-20 for each new employment period
  • Assist you with your application for a social security number and, if needed, a California driver’s license

Your major advisor or graduate coordinator will:

  • Provide you with documentation proving that the work experience is relevant to your major
  • Write letters of recommendation and provide you with job references
  • Serve as a subject-matter expert when applying for jobs and preparing for interviews
  • Help you network with alumni and potential employers in your field of study

Chico State Alumni will:

  • Tell you what it is really like out there in the “real world”
  • Help you network with potential employers in your field of study
  • Serve as a subject-matter expert when applying for jobs and preparing for interviews
  • Serve as a mentor to you as you transition to professional work.
  • Sign up for Wildcat Connect to receive career advice from Chico State Alumni (including international students on OPT)

Recommended Job Search Platforms

Handshake – Employers using Handshake are looking for recent college graduates to fill their positions.

Indeed.com – a very popular job search platform

Linkedin.com – work with a Career Center Advisor to optimize your profile and professional documents!

Monster.com – a very popular job search platform

Glassdoor.com – job search & over 600,000 company reviews worldwide