How international students can gain recognition from their university to boost their employability

As an international student studying in the UK, there's no doubt that there are obstacles to overcome when finding the best route to your career. Whether the aim is to stay in the UK, return to your home country, or to find a new global opportunity, the goal is to show your talent to new employers.

A great way to boost your employability while at university is by gaining recognition for your talent from your institution.  There are a number of ways that this can be achieved, one of which is by being nominated for an award or entering yourself for a competition. The first step is to discover what opportunities your university has on offer so that you understand what the criteria for nominations are early on.

At UWE in Bristol, there is a prestigious annual event called Celebrating UWE Talent which highlights the achievements of UWE students through work-based activities they have participated in throughout the academic year. Employers nominate students they have worked with to highlight their hard work and show who has exceeded expectations.

We caught up with Tomoko Nishida, an Illustration student from Japan who won this year’s International Talent Intern of the Year award for her work with consultancy company, Linkelite. Tomoko was in charge of the visual appearance of their website and created illustrations for them. During her internship, Tomoko was given the opportunity to work remotely which allowed her to create her own schedule and motivation for her work while liaising with the main office. She explained that one of the things she gained from this experience was being able to collaborate and share ideas with her manager whilst working autonomously.

Tomoko’s advice to other international students is that sometimes employers aren’t fully aware of how students can work with visas in this country. She says, “don’t be afraid of sending your CV and just try everything you can, as an internship can be your first step into the industry”.

Tomoko gained Photoshop skills while working for a real-life company, an experience that would have been hard to come by without her internship. Her next steps are to look for another internship solely in illustration and then look for a job in England when she graduates.

Awards such as Celebrating UWE Talent are great for recognition; they look good on your CV and can boost your confidence. Not only will being nominated or winning an award make you feel good, you can use them to demonstrate your skills in interviews. If you’re not currently involved in any work-based schemes or employability activities, speak to the careers team at your institution who will be able to help you find ways to build on your experience over the coming year.

By registering with GradLink you can stay up to date with the latest news for international students, find free country-specific careers advice and have access to our global jobs page with the top jobs from employers such as Deloitte, Coca-Cola, PWC and many more.

By Jen Garmston Published: May 14,2019