Position: Assistant Accountant
It was less than half year left before graduate when I finally decided to stay in America to find jobs. My major is accounting, which contains over 80% of Asian and Chinese students. I followed other students to choose this major as I didn’t have any strengths. Accounting careers are relatively stable, and I could have chances to work in investment banks or consulting firms.
I almost spent all my college life in studying. As I was not sure whether to stay in America, and I was a bit shy, I only attended some on-campus recruiting activities and linked some alumni networks via LinkedIn, other than going out to broaden my social networks. A lot of students around me started early to get networking, send out their resumes and get internship experiences. Considering my college was not very famous, and Chinese students were not very good at English language, it turned out they didn’t receive any offers to their satisfactory. Other students had planned to go back to China after graduating, as most of them either came from capital cities or ran their family businesses. I thought about my own situation at that time, what if I went back china directly after graduating. The result was not positive, as I didn’t have any internship experiences nor qualifications in china, and I would miss the spring recruiting season. I wasn’t well prepared to compete with those graduates in china, and I would have wasted my study experience in here. I would become more competitive if I could gain some local work experiences, and things would be completely different from now. Therefore, I was keen to fight for another chance.
Problems turned up when I started to polish my resume and apply for firms. I only gained the knowledge from textbooks, and almost all my so-called related experience is from college projects. However, many firms were looking for candidates that have at least one year of related working experience, which already cut out half of my confidence. All those job descriptions I found from websites were about the same, I didn’t know what skills set they were exactly looking for, so I just simply wrote down my experiences with no focus. When I finally got an interview chance, I couldn’t manage to state my points well and I felt hopeless. I felt like I was very far away from big firms.
I was about to give up on my OPT when I came to Ecare for advice. The secretary of Ecare was very patient, she went through my current situation and experiences very carefully. She also encouraged me with many successful cases of the students that came from the same situations as me. She told me that the reason I felt hopeless was because the gap between my goals and the reality was too big, it was not big consulting firms and invest banks that make me achieve success. I signed up for the accounting practical course + SAP + internship package course, and I attended to the class every week. Not only did I study hard for SAP practical skills, but I also discussed a lot with my teachers online to learn practical accounting skills in workplace. Knowing that my situation is urgent, the Ecare secretary arranged an interview opportunity with a local firm very shortly. My resume and mock interview teacher was very supportive, she tailored my resume to meet the firm requirements and pointed out the places to improve for my interview. She also gave me a lot of useful tips about how to deal with HR people. Then it came to the interview day. The employer was very nice. As I prepared and practiced for this very well, so I went smoothly when talking to the employer with confidence. I received my internship offer shortly in the following day.
When I started my internship, my career path has moved to the second stage. The learning experience in Ecare had provided me strong studying skills, so I could learn things quickly and effectively. At the beginning my job was to deal with some basic things, but I had learnt a lot about company functioning and department cooperating. My colleagues were all professional and nice, so I could made strong social networks with them using my networking skills learnt from Ecare. My colleagues shared a lot of their working experiences with me. When I was about to finish my internship, my Ecare secretary told me my employer was very satisfied bout me and would like to hire me as a full-time employee.
I have heard of how important it was to develop one’s soft skills when I first came to America. Local employers value candidates’ characteristics and how they deal with things. If I could have more confidence in social networking, people would be willing to share their experiences with me. I appreciate my learning experience in Ecare as well as the advices from Ecare team, without Ecare I would have missed great opportunities to achieve my dreams. Ecare encouraged me to step out and helped me improve my soft skills, so that I could have the chance to let the employers see my talents.
Finally, I strongly suggest international students get prepared for jobs as early as possible, otherwise it will be too late for them to receive their desired offers. Thanks to Ecare again and I hope more and more international students could find their dream jobs.