The Office of International Students and Scholars works closely with Lehigh’s Center for Career and Professional Development (CCPD) to support the career development of international students.
We can help you explore opportunities, develop skills, gain experience and build the connections that will help you succeed after graduation.
Career Development Cycle
Familiarize yourself with Lehigh and U.S. culture. Participate in activities that will help you explore possible majors and career paths. Get to know people in your classes – both international and U.S. students. Meet with key contacts across campus.
- Join campus clubs and organizations.
- Use the resources and programs available through OISS.
- Register for Handshake, a resource provided by CCPD that lets you search for and apply to jobs and research career development resources.
- Review the “Explore Careers” category in the Handshake Resource Library. You can filter posted positions by OPT, CPT and other options.
- Create an account with Interstride. As a member of the Lehigh community, you have exlusive access to this career powertool for international students. Click here for more details.
- Join Lehigh Connects, an individual mentoring program, to find alumni mentors.
- Participate in job shadowing and conduct informational interviews.
- Meet with a career coach in CCPD to talk through your career goals.
- Meet with your academic advisor to discuss your academic plans.
- Meet with an OISS advisor to learn about your work eligibility in the U.S. and when you should apply.
Develop the skills you need to secure an internship or full-time position. Use tools and resources to develop your resume, LinkedIn profile, professional network, interviewing skills, and more.
- Practice talking to employers about what it takes to hire an international student.
- Develop your professional and social English.
- Review the Handshake Resource Library, especially the sections on the resume, cover letters, networking, interviewing, and international students.
- Attend Career Lab to prepare your job or internship application materials and ask questions.
- Attend Career Skills Sessions and career workshops for international students.
- Research employers who are experienced at hiring international students.
- Learn the differences between the internship or job search process in the U.S. and abroad.
- Learn about proper office etiquette in the U.S.
- Practice your interviewing skills through Big Interview or a mock interview.
- Purchase interview attire.
- Have a professional photo taken at the Career Expo that happens on-campus each semester.
Gain experience on campus through class projects, research, clubs, study abroad, leadership opportunities, etc. Seek out industry experience through externships, internships, and co-ops.
- Meet with OISS to understand your options for off-campus work experience.
- Ensure that you have the proper work authorization before working.
- Apply to the externship program.
- Apply to internships and jobs through Handshake and other job boards. Filter job listings by work authorization status.
- Pursue experiences such as research, Mountaintop projects, leadership roles, etc.
- Volunteer in the local community.
- Consider immersion trips and study abroad opportunities.
- Identify international companies operating in the U.S.
- Develop a target list of employers that have sponsored H1-B visas in the past.
- Have a “Plan B” – seek work opportunities abroad.
- Meet with your career coach to develop your personalized internship or job search plan
Form and strengthen relationships with alumni, professors, friends, family members, and industry contacts – both in the U.S. and abroad. Seek information and advice about career paths, industries, and organizations to make informed choices and uncover opportunities. Use available resources to identify contacts and grow connections.
- Try to identify people in your home country who work for U.S. corporations.
- Connect with former Lehigh international students who are working in the U.S.
- Contact alumni through Lehigh Connects.
- Conduct informational interviews
- Establish relationships with your faculty, advisors, peers, and campus offices.
- Attend fall and spring Career Expos.
- Attend Employer Information sessions
- Check Handshake for other events.