One Thing You Want to Avoid During Your Job Hunting
01.19.2023 | Blog
I'm May Komuro, the new recruiter here at Bond Consultants. I just graduated from University of Minnesota with Marketing degree in May of last year and moved to Chicago to pursue my career. A little bit about myself, I went to the Kansai Gaidai University in Japan specializing in English learning program and dropped out in the 2nd year to pursue my dream, studying abroad in the US. I enrolled in a community college in New York and transferred to the University of Minnesota. It was not so easy to move to different country by myself where I didn't know anybody. Study abroad is getting common in Japan for sure but there are still not many schools or organizations that provide enough support. When I decided to come to the US, I didn't know anybody that I could ask for advice. One of my future goals is starting an organization in Japan to support and help future international students in making their dreams come true. Jobhunting was one of the hardest experiences that I have had in the US. Also, as a recent grad, I know how not so easy job hunting can be. Today, I want to share my experiences with you guys as a recent grad and international student from Japan.
Although most of my friends were planning ahead for job hunting, I was too optimistic about it and kept believing that it wouldn't take so long to get a job if you have a bachelor's degree. My major was business and marketing. Since I don't have either citizenship or green card, I need OPT, Optional Practical Training, which is temporary work authorization for international students. After it's expired, you need to have sponsorship from your company to apply for working visa. Doesn't it already sound stressful?! Therefore, we need to look for companies to provide sponsorship but since COVID-19, not many companies can afford the process. However, rather going back to Japan, I wanted to have experiences in the US, so I applied almost every single position related to marketing that I found on job posting sites.
After many rejections, I got an interview offer from a marketing company in Miami. They set up a group interview via Zoom. They seemed like new grads, looking fresh but nervous like working adults. It lasted 15-20 mins, a very normal job interview length. I thought it went well for the first time. One of the recruiters, she contacted me saying, "You did the best among all the other candidates. I'm excited to invite you to the 2nd round interview." I was relieved but also excited for being close to getting a job. I went to the 2nd interview, which was one-on-one. She asked me some typical interview questions, and it ended. Again, I got a call from her saying I can go to the final interview. That time I was a little surprised that everything went so smoothly. However, I was just a recent graduate who didn't know enough about jobhunting. I made myself believe that I did fantastic.
Finally, I got a phone call for final interview form the company. She asked me the weirdest questions I've been ever asked for job interview. The interviewer asked, "What do you think the interviewer told me about her impression of you?" I was confused at the moment, but I said, " I think I am passionate, humble and eager to learn new things." Her response was, "That's right! The interviewer told me exact same thing. Congratulations! You've passed." I was happy but suspicious and asked her to send me an offer letter. She told me she will send me once I accept the offer.
My instinct was telling me that something was wrong. I talked to my friends, and everyone told me it sounded suspicious. Thankfully, my friends were more knowledgeable as I am. One of my friends sent me a list of scam companies in Miami, and I found that company's name on it. They did a really good job looking like a legit organization. Their LinkedIn has many followers and posts. After this, I've had other interviews, but some of them were obvious scams. So, I didn't go further with those companies.
After this experience, I was kind of enjoying how I was able to figure out which companies were scams. One guy interviewer texted me "Good morning" every day with a sunshine emoji until I told him that I would not accept the offer. I was thinking, "When did I start dating with this guy?!" It was too casual and unprofessional. Some of my friends from China also had the exact same experience, and I realized that their targets are innocent international students. I was frustrated by the idea of companies taking advantage of young people who are passionately job hunting.
I have three pieces of advice for you guys: Don't be rushed, take it easy, and be patient. I know job hunting is quite stressful for international students because we each have a 90-day limit after we graduate to find work. If we can't find a job within the first 90 days of OPT, we'll be kicked out of the US. Everyone is getting a job and you feel like you are left behind, but don't worry. If you keep looking for opportunities, you will get what you need.
Don't waste your time working for scummy companies! Now, I'm working as an employment consultant/recruiter who wishes to help as many international students as possible who have same struggle that I did.