Employment Opportunities

Practical experience is one of the best ways to learn about careers, gain new skills and become a more competitive candidate in the job market. Many employers expect students to have two to three practical experiences before starting full-time work. We recommend gaining practical experience in addition to studies. 

The right job-search strategy can increase your chance of getting a job. It is imperative that you understand work authorization and can articulate policies when speaking with a potential employer. To develop your personalized job-search strategy, make an appointment with a career advisor as soon as possible. 

Ways to Get Practical Experience:

On-Campus Jobs (Student Employment)

On-campus employment helps build professional and time management skills, especially for first-time workers. Working on campus allows you to create a network, understand work culture and expectations and practice communication skills. 

To search on-campus job postings visit Handshake. Various departments hire at different times throughout the year. Attend the Student Employment Job Fairs to meet on-campus departments and learn about job opportunities. 

Curricular Practical Training (CPT)

Curricular Practical Training is a type of off-campus work authorization for F-1 international students who are currently pursuing study programs in the U.S. and want to gain experience in their fields of study. CPT is not available after a student completes a degree program, and is most commonly used for co-ops and internships. 

Cooperative education programs (co-ops) and internships provide students with the opportunity to gain work experience in their career fields. Both forms of practical experience are highly regarded by employers. Please note, some employers use the terms co-op and internship interchangeably. 

If participating in a formal co-op program, undergraduate students are encouraged to register by their sophomore year and graduate students should register their first semester.

Optional Practical Training (OPT)

Optional Practical Training (OPT) is a type of work authorization, for undergraduate and graduate students with F-1 status, who have completed their degrees. OPT allows graduates to work for 12 months on a student visa to obtain practical training complementing their education. 

Students graduating with majors in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) are eligible to apply for a STEM OPT extension. This extension allows for up to 24 months of additional experience. If you plan to utilize OPT, be sure to follow the application deadlines. You can SPEAK to employers about employment BEFORE your OPT card arrives, but you cannot WORK for an employer until your OPT period begins. 

If you intend to work in the U.S. after graduation, visit the ISSS office to review the process and application deadlines. Meet with your career advisor to devise a job search strategy at least ONE YEAR PRIOR TO GRADUATION.

Related Links: Guide for Hiring International Students 

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Alumni House 208 L Street 
300 College Park 
Dayton, Ohio 45469 - 2711