For international students, gaining admission to a U.S. university is one challenge. Staying in the United States after graduation is another one entirely. While engineers are in high demand and some surveys show that American students are less interested in technical fields than their foreign counterparts, the barriers to acquiring and keeping an engineering job are high for young international graduates.
In tech fields such as software development, computer science and IT, companies are lobbying for looser regulations. But for the second year in a row, the number of H-1B visa petitions (that are normally given to foreigners working in such skilled fields to allow them to work in the U.S. legally) reached the cap in less than a week. This year, employers filed 172,500 petitions altogether for the foreign employees they wanted in 2015, but the process — essentially a lottery — allows for just 65,000 visas, in addition to 20,000 visas awarded to graduates with advanced degrees.
AfterCollege.com provides career guidance and leads to open entry level positions for recent college graduates. According to its website, AfterCollege is the largest career network for students and recent graduates, and features 400,000 entry-level jobs and internships from more than 25,000 employers. AfterCollege reaches more than 5,000,000 users each year, including 18,000 faculty, student group and administrative contacts at over 2,000 colleges and universities.
Students can find opportunities by entering their school, course of study, and graduation date on the home page. As users give more feedback on job titles, job types and location, the system provides more personalized opportunities. Students can also create a profile, portfolio, and follow companies on the site to find new opportunities. AfterCollege has also awarded scholarships and student aid, and has given out over $1,000,000 to date.
This year, Shell Oil offers internships and graduate programs for qualified students. Internships are a chance for students to work along Shell employees, understand the business, and get involved in actual projects that match their interests and abilities. Interns take assignments from a supervisor, who provide constructive feedback and advice as well.
Those who complete the internship program successfully may be able to join the Shell Graduate Programme, a three to five year commitment in either a technical, commercial, trading, corporate, or supply chain role. Graduates are paid a competitive salary with benefits.The company does not say which departments are hiring. Instead, candidates are matched with their departments based on their education and skills.
Ford Motor Company hires many interns, co-op students, and recent graduates every year, and all have the potential to be taken on as full-time hires at the end of the program. Below is a description of upcoming opportunities for 2014:
Internships: Internships run through the summer and are generally for rising seniors or Master’s students. This year Ford employed over 360 interns in areas including engineering, IT, purchasing, and product development, and interns may be offered full-time employment with Ford’s College Graduate Program or another department. As of this writing, there are seven open internships in fields such as engineering, core buying, human resources, marketing, and IT.
Marvel Entertainment, LLC is currently taking applications for its internship programs for full-time students who can receive college credit. Internships run for a year and start in the fall, spring or summer. Currently open engineering-related positions in Marvel’s East Coast offices include web design, web development, and information technology, among other positions.
Deadlines are as follows, and are subject to change:
- FALL 2014, between July 5 – August 20, 2014
- SPRING 2014, between October 4 – November 19, 2013
- SUMMER 2014, between February 28 – April 29, 2014