Workshops help

Michelle Moriarity

Amid a pile of books, pamphlets and newsletters pertaining to the job search process, Kristi Nokken explained the intricacies of rÇsumÇ construction to one of the University’s almost 2,600 international students Thursday.
Nokken, an adviser for the University’s International Student and Scholar Services, lent her expertise as part of a series of career workshops offered to international students by the scholar service at their office in the Mayo Memorial Building.
Four times each quarter, advisers throw open the doors to make available books and pamphlets on rÇsumÇ writing and interviewing skills to international students.
In addition to one-on-one counseling, students had access to international and local career postings. They could also view company listings from various countries in the organization’s career resource room and student lounge.
Advisers and students discussed topics like cultural differences in the context of job interviews and the necessary content of a rÇsumÇ. They also practiced interviewing techniques in preparation for actual interviews.
Nokken said students sometimes encounter cultural disparities in their job searches.
“The career search in the U.S. is different than in other countries,” Nokken said. “An interview here in the U.S. could be quite different than one in Malaysia or Hong Kong.”
For example, some countries require such information as height, weight and marital status on job rÇsumÇs. Nokken said many international students might not understand that U.S. businesses do not require such information.
Alisa Eland, a counselor with the international service, added that some students have encountered discrimination during their job search. She said the counseling helps students combat such challenges.
“We help students find an employer who will value their international status,” Eland said.
The program is the result of the International Careers Initiative implemented in 1995 by then-University President Nils Hasselmo. The initiative’s purpose was to find international students with the ability and desire to work in the United States or in their native country and to provide a connection between potential employers and students.
Kayoko Kobayashi, a senior majoring in interior design, said the career workshop has given her the help she needs to conduct successful interviews upon her June graduation.
“It was very helpful,” Kobayashi said. “I was very confused about how to get practical training.”
Kobayashi said the mock interview improved her understanding of real interview situations.
“They gave me so much information about the most frequently asked questions,” Kobayashi said.
Nokken said the program is unique in that, unlike advising offices in other departments, this one spans the various University colleges.