Career Center Workshops
The Career Center arranges a number of professional development workshops throughout the year. Professional development opportunities are designed to help you learn skills needed to search for and obtain paid and unpaid internships and work placements, so make sure to attend these events. Events are posted in the weekly Career Center email, on Facebook, on notice boards around campus, and on the FXUA event calendar.
To help us improve these events, remember to sign in at the beginning of the event and to fill out an evaluation form before you go!
Popular Career Center Workshops
This event is intended to introduce students to Career Center staff and the services FXUA’s Career Center offers to students and alumni. Topics covered include: on-campus employment; volunteer opportunities; paid and unpaid academic internships (CPT); and post-graduation work placements (OPT). The Career Center also provides résumé and cover letter reviewing services, job and internship search counseling, networking resources, online search tools, interview practice software, and job and internship search related workshops. Past workshops have included résumé and cover letter development, interviewing, American business culture, employment benefits, immigration, job fair preparation, and others.
Every year there are a number of job fairs in the Northern Virginia/DC/Maryland region which help students network and find volunteer, internship, and job opportunities. For this reason, we organize a job fair preparation workshop to show students what the job fair environment will look like and what kind of activities to expect. Students attend booths and participate in résumé reviews and mock interviews, speak with experts in their fields, and learn how to create an “elevator pitch” – the 30-second self-introduction. Students are expected to dress professionally and bring five copies of their résumés to the event.
While there is no single “right” way to write a résumé, there are particular styles used commonly in North America. We want students to know what employers expect: a brief, clear, and concise résumé which, for new professionals, is usually not longer than one page. Come learn what style of résumé is best for your field, what sections you should include, what formats are easiest to read, techniques for including large amounts of information in a short space, and appropriate résumé vocabulary. After attending the workshop, you will have the skills needed to write a résumé, upload it to the CSM online job search tool available through the Career Center website, have it approved, and then use this tool to search for jobs and internships. Remember, you want to have your résumé ready two semesters before you’d like to complete your internship or start working so that you can spend one full semester applying! See the Career Center for résumé templates.
This workshop provides a brief introduction to American business culture. Business practices, traditions, and preferences often differ broadly from culture to culture. Even if you have spent time in other English-speaking countries, it is important to remember that business cultures can be very different from country to country and even between regions in the US. What is customary on the east coast is very different from what is customary in many western states. Students who come from other countries should make an effort to learn what kinds of dress, behaviors, and communication practices are typical or common in American businesses and what skills and traits are valued.
Come learn about communication in American business culture. People from different cultures tend to communicate in different ways; it is, therefore, important to know how to listen, come to a clear understanding of expectations, and form agreements based on a mutual understanding. It is also important to clarify your understanding; what you may think you understand may not be what your colleague thinks they said! Handouts on written communication are also available from the Career Center.
Networking is a great way to meet contacts, obtain a mentor, learn about your field, and get internship and employment leads. This workshop will offer networking resources and help you explore how to network effectively. Some avenues you may wish to explore include professional events and associations, workshops, meet-ups, volunteering, and internships. The Career Center also offers networking resources on our website including links to online professional networking sites like LinkedIn.
The Quickbooks Workshop provides an opportunity to add a skill to your résumé. Attendees become familiar with this popular accounting software for small businesses and learn how it can be used by both entrepreneurs and business majors. Employers are looking for people who make active efforts to learn skills required in their fields; this is an opportunity to expand your résumé and engage in professional development!
Because so many of our students are on F-1 visas, they often do not know what kind of visa they will require if their employers offer them full time employment after they complete their work placements (OPT). During their studies, F-1 students can complete internships (CPT) and be paid. After graduating, they can participate in paid work placements (OPT). After this, many of students will likely have to obtain an H-1B visa or a Green Card to continue working in the US. A lawyer will speak on the H-1B visa and Green Card application processes.
American employers often offer employment benefits, but it is up to the employee to understand what these benefits are and to use them. Many foreign students and employees miss out on programs and services which could save them lot of money over their lifetimes. These benefits include – but are not limited to – paid or unpaid time off for vacation, sickness, pregnancy, bereavement, marriage, etc.; 401k retirement savings plans; medical and dental plans; pregnancy benefits; educational benefits; and others.