Are you an international student in Boston looking for a job after graduation? If so, you might be eligible for Optional Practical Training (OPT), a program that allows international students to work in the United States for up to 12 months after graduation. OPT is an excellent opportunity for international students where you can gain valuable and practical experience and start building your career.
As you may know, finding jobs can be difficult, especially if you’re not familiar with how to job search in the U.S. Finding companies that hire OPT students in the Boston area can be a daunting task, and that’s where we come in. CSI is dedicated to helping OPT students find jobs in Boston and beyond. In this blog post, we’ll discuss some effective strategies to help you make the most of your OPT opportunity.
What is OPT
First, we’ll go over the basics. OPT stands for Optional Practical Training, which is a program that allows international students to work in the United States for up to 12 months after graduation. To be eligible for OPT, you must have been enrolled in a full-time program for at least one academic year and be in a valid F-1 visa status. It’s important to know that OPT can be used before or after graduation. For more information, read our special guide on OPT. You’ll find guidance on the following:
- Types of OPT
- How to Meet OPT Requirements
- Overview of the OPT Authorization Process
Now that we understand what OPT is, we’ll concentrate on strategies for finding jobs in the Boston area for OPT students.
Networking & the Golden Rule
Networking, networking, networking. When looking for any job, networking may come in second in importance when job searching (having a high-quality resume is first). Networking is especially important for those hard-to-find OPT jobs in Boston. The question might be, how do I network?
Networking doesn’t have to be hard or painful. Networking can be as easy as joining a hobby group or athletic league. You never know who might have an opportunity for you. However, it’s essential to remember the golden rule of networking: Give something before you take something. That is, offer yourself as a resource or provide value in some way to your connection first.
Professional Organizations & Job Fairs
Joining professional organizations and attending job fairs and events are excellent ways to meet people in your field and learn about job opportunities. Your college, university, and alumni relations are great resources for finding organizations that are central to your field of study. Search these out and join in at their next meeting or event.
Use Social Media to Find OPT Jobs in Boston
Now is a good time to leverage social media platforms like LinkedIn to connect with alumni and professionals in your field. Don’t be afraid to reach out and ask for informational interviews or job leads when on LinkedIn. Be sure to have a professional bio created prior to connecting with any LinkedIn member. Facebook groups can be a great source of job information for those in Boston and surrounding areas such as Worcester and Charlestown.
Job Search Strategies
There are several job search strategies that can help you find OPT jobs in Boston. As we said, job searching can be a daunting task, so it’s crucial to start small and be organized.
First, create a list of companies that you’re interested in and want to work for. Visit their websites to see if they have any job openings. You can also search for job postings on job boards like Indeed, Glassdoor, and LinkedIn.
Another useful resource is the career center at your school, which may have job listings and other resources for international students. Job postings should state their requirements or status on accepting F1 students and other qualifying information. Lastly, try websites that have only OPT listings.
Take a Step in the Right Direction with CSI
Finding OPT jobs in Boston can be a challenge, but it’s not impossible. By understanding OPT and CPT programs, networking with professionals in your field, and using effective job search strategies, you’ll increase your chances of finding the job that’s right for you and your career.
CSI is dedicated to helping OPT students locate companies that hire OPT students in Boston, Worcester, Charlestown, and the surrounding area. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you achieve your career goals.