Why Hire International Student Talent?
Spend any amount of time at Babson College’s campus and you will notice that it is unlike most other small suburban institutions. International flags from the 80+ countries represented by students adorn the exterior of Horn library and the mix of languages (count 62!!) spoken can have a dizzying effect as you walk through Reynolds campus center. Babson’s student body is 26% international and that figure doesn’t even account for permanent residents or second generation immigrants.
In the Undergraduate Center for Career Development; we’re not only proud to boast these diverse statistics; we’re also in tune with what our students want and how to help them grow as learners and entrepreneurs. For some of our international students, that means gaining practical experience in the U.S. before returning home; and for others its finding the path to an employment visa to stay long term. Whatever their goal, work experience in the U.S. can be integral to their success but is often difficult or impossible to find. There are a variety of complex reasons behind a company’s hesitation to hire international students; so why should hiring managers look beyond the visa?
They know how to contribute to multicultural teams
How do you know an international student will be able to successfully navigate U.S. workplace culture? Because they have already done it at Babson. Students launch their own business with a multicultural team from their first semester on campus and learn strategies to both lead and listen with peers who may communicate differently. They know how to leverage not only their own strengths but utilize one another’s to be innovative and successful. They forge connections with those they share similarities, but also know how to work through differences. The flexibility they develop through experiences like these allows them to thrive in today’s global workforce.
They’ve mastered the soft skills
From day one, international students have had to adapt to U.S. and Babson culture; but also keep their national identity intact. They communicate with loved ones at home and participate in cultural organizations that celebrate their heritage. They constantly negotiate two dissimilar worlds; each with its own rules. The ability to adapt their behavior to each situation and problem solve as they encounter the unfamiliar makes for employees who are self-motivated but comfortable asking for help.
They work hard
To quote Art Serratelli (Seratelli Mijal PLLC), an immigration attorney who has been advising individuals and companies on employment visas for over 20 years, “EVERY employer wants to hire an international student because, generally speaking, the international student is hard-working and has no sense of ‘entitlement’ to anything; they have a sense of earning rewards through hard work.” Given our current system, international students often fight tooth and nail for the opportunities they receive. As a result, they do not take work for granted and are eager to maximize the experiences offered.
Getting Permission for international students to work in the U.S. is not as hard as many employers think
Many employers are concerned about liability issues related to the employment of international students in the U.S. due to federal laws governing non-citizens. However in F-1 status, students are permitted to be employed in jobs related to their major field of study with prior authorization. No extra paperwork other than an offer letter is needed to hire international students for the period they are allowed to work in F-1 student status. If employers choose, they may file for an H-1B visa to allow the student to continue working after the student status-related work authorization has ended, typically one year after graduation.
It would be impossible to categorize a group of people based on the one commonality of being an international student in the U.S., but these shared experiences have proven to be linked to strong candidates in many cases. Looking beyond the visa to uncover great talent may help you build your strongest team yet.
*Please note the information provided is in reference to F-1 international students, the most common category of international student visas at Babson College. For specific questions on working in the U.S. as an international student, please contact the Glavin Office.