Navigating the Job Search by Mahum Chaudhry (M.S. in Accounting ’21)

Taking advantage of resources offered through Commerce Career Services, Chaudhry knows she made the right choice when she decided to attend McIntire's M.S. in Accounting Program. Learn her tips and tricks for navigating the job search.

When I chose to apply to McIntire, several things stood out to me: the prestige of the School and the career resources that help students land jobs after graduation. As an international student, I especially wanted to be sure to join a program that would help me succeed in my career search. Now, a couple months into the program, I can say that I totally made the right choice.

The job hunt process can be intimidating, but with the help of Commerce Career Services, I made a plan to help prepare me for the road ahead. Check out some of my tips and tricks for navigating the job search:

Getting Started
The first step in my job hunt process was scheduling a virtual appointment with Commerce Career Services. I was able to talk to helpful staff about my career goals and how to best prepare for jumping into the professional world. I also used the resources available through the MyMcIntire portal.

Resume and Cover Letter
My next step was to update my resume and cover letter. First, I used the guidelines and resources on MyMcIntire, and then I was able to use VMock to get instant, personalized feedback on my resume.

Personal Branding and Networking
LinkedIn has been a great tool to showcase my personal brand and network with alumni and other professionals. In fact, I landed a summer internship through a connection that I made on the platform. It’s a great place to show who I am personally and professionally and have a chance to tell my story.

Information Sessions and Webinars
Another great tool I’ve used during my job hunt process is Handshake. I attended several virtual info sessions hosted by employers, which helped me learn about each company’s mission and culture, as well as their available positions. McIntire also held a Careers in Accounting and Advisory Night, where I was able to talk one-on-one with professionals and familiarize myself with the recruiting process. All of these events allowed me to express show my passion and express my interests to potential employers.

Applications and Interviewing
As I attended info sessions and webinars, I continued to apply to open positions via Handshake. I heard back from many of the firms I applied to and started the interview process in October. I also participated in mock interviews and used many of the resources on the MyMcIntire portal, while continuing to stay in touch with Career Services, who helped answer my questions and clear up any confusion.

Results
After following these steps, I felt more prepared to launch myself into the professional world–even during a time when most of these steps had to be taken virtually. And now, after submitting several applications, I have received one offer and am waiting to hear back from several other firms.

Advice to Other International Students
It can be hard to find a job as an international student, and the current economy makes it even harder. The good news? You’ll find the best career resources available at McIntire through the CCS team. My biggest piece of advice is to use them and make sure you present yourself as a competitive applicant. 

Also, LinkedIn has been a useful platform to showcase who I am outside of the classroom. Use this tool to your advantage, but don’t just copy and paste your resume onto your profile. Instead, put in the time and effort to build an impressive, personalized profile.

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