Here are examples of problems our members faced and how we guided them to success.
Many students come to the United States with dreams of working at an American company. But, there is significant competition for these internships and jobs. Many international students do not know how to write an appropriate resume. Writing a resume in your home country can be very different than writing a resume in the United States.
One of our members was applying for accounting internships, but was not getting the opportunity to interview. We helped him create a resume that highlighted his unique story and was in a more common American format. We took what he perceived as his weakness (poor English skills) and turned it into a strength on his resume (bilingual speaker). Shortly after, he was on his way to a job interview - and he eventually received an offer.
Chuwei, MS Accounting
Speaking one-on-one with a potential employer can be scary. In many interviews, international students must show that they have mastered the English language and are ready to contribute to the company culture. Not knowing interview best practices or structure can be a serious disadvantage.
One of our members had no idea what to expect in an American interview. So, we spent time with her reviewing common interview questions so that she could be prepared and comfortable going into the meeting. She also received expert advice on ways that she could stand out from other applicants, like preparing a strategic plan for the company. Preparing for the interview and displaying confidence during the interview are very important, and we made sure that she could succeed in both of these areas.
Mayling, MS Accounting
Adjusting to life in America can be very challenging. From the language to the food, everything seems different. Being comfortable and happy while you live away from home is important. Navigating this new environment alone can be intimidating and stressful.
Many of our members come to us with their daily life challenges in the United States. From how to greet neighbors to how to order food in a restaurant, we provide our members with the skills they need to adjust to life in the United States. The outcome of our support is members who are happier and more engaged in their communities. As one member said, “FISH helped me adjust to American life better and faster. It improves my daily life.”
Shaojun, MS Accounting
Buying a car in the United States can be a stressful experience, even for Americans very familiar with the process. There are many terms and aspects of the process that untrained individuals could struggle with. Negotiating the purchase price is an important, yet difficult task.
One of our members asked for help in her search for a new car. We discussed her desires (vehicle brand, type, budget, etc.) and developed an action plan for her to get the right vehicle at the right price. We researched many websites and dealerships, ultimately locating the car of her dreams. At the dealership, once she went to sign the contract she noticed the price was more than $3,000 over her budget. So, we helped her negotiate each line item with the dealership. She drove away in her brand new car that day after we saved her $3,500.
Yunyi, MS Accounting
Speaking in front of an entire classroom makes some people very nervous. This fear affects many American students as well, but the fact that international students are asked to present in a different language makes it significantly more difficult. There are many aspects of this experience that can be difficult: speaking, finding the right words, being confident, designing a PowerPoint, and answering questions.
One of our members knew that his presentation skills needed to improve before his first classroom presentation. He wanted to impress his professor and classmates. We worked with him to improve his messaging, style his presentation, effectively prepare, exhibit confidence, and answer questions. He received an A on the presentation.
Tailong, MBA Supply Chain
Writing a research paper in America can be different from many other parts of the world. Understanding sentence structure, performing research, and using appropriate language are all significant challenges for international students. Avoiding plagiarism and cheating is also essential, and many international students struggle with understanding what is allowed.
One of our members was struggling with writing a paper that accounted for a very high percentage of his course grade. He did not know where to start writing or how to perform research. So, we discussed ideas with him, reviewed basics of grammar, provided him with links to helpful websites, and guided him through an initial outline. After his first draft, we reviewed citations, sentence structure, and overall paper structure. He received an A for the paper because of his hard work.
Hao Long, MBA International Business