New country, new language, new school, new career! With so many new experiences and hurdles to adapt to, students need a window into what to expect. At this week’s event, a panel of International Alumni from a range of BCIT programs shared insights on what helped them make the successful leap from school to career.
One common piece of advice stuck out: be proud of your diverse background but get out of your comfort zone. Almost all our Industry panelists agreed that their education and work backgrounds from their home country were assets in their job search, and their cultural perspectives were valued by Canadian employers. For anyone feeling like they’re starting from scratch here, that can be a short-lived reality if you take the action these alumni did. All panelists stressed the benefits of using resources like Career Services and got involved in the community to gain job-ready skills and add Canadian accomplishments to their resumes.
Just a few ways these successful grads got involved were through the Career Mentorship program, Peak Leadership Program, Student Clubs like the International Social Club, and contributing to Link Magazine (great for graphic design and media students!). Grads spoke about the importance of networking, but also expressed how challenging this was for them at first, noting that practice is key. One panelist was contacted many months after meeting an employer at a career fair about a position and reflected that a lot of the steps he took that helped him land that job were the result of long-term efforts. Learning how to build and nurture industry connections takes time and preparation. It can be hard to know exactly how networking and career development actions will pay off, but these International success stories show that it definitely does.
Get started early on your career action planning by connecting with Career Services at BCIT by booking an appointment or attending an event to be ready for success when graduation comes.