SJSU International Alumni Panel: Career Development through the Pandemic and Beyond

You’re invited to join ISSS and the Career Center for a panel discussion with SJSU International Alumni!

  • Career Development through the Pandemic & Beyond
  • Date: Wednesday, March 16, 2022
  • Time: 5:00-6:00 PM 
  • Register here  to receive Zoom link

SJSU International Student & Alumni share about the challenges and successes in searching for and finding internships and jobs through the pandemic. The panel will also discuss what it’s like working during the COVID-19 years, and share their tips on the job search process, networking, and career development as a former international student. Learn more.

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Culture in the Global Workplace

Globalization and advances in technology have increased interconnectivity across the world. You may find yourself working on a diverse global team, interacting with people virtually across time zones and cultures. These colleagues may have beliefs, values, and a communication style that is different from your own. So, what does it take to adapt to and succeed in a global, multicultural workplace? Sarika Pruthi, Ph.D., will explore this very question in her upcoming talk, The Role of Culture in Global Workplaces: The Case of Start-Up Firms on Thursday, April 15, 2021 from 7:00-8:00 PM (PT). Continue Reading…

Job Search Success Panel

As part of our Global Spartan Month celebration, we’re collaborating with the Career Center to bring you a special international student and alumni career panel, Strategies for Job Search Success on March 18, 2021 from 4:00-5:00 pm (register here).

Our panel features two current international students and two recent graduates, who will share their experience searching for job and internship opportunities in the U.S. The panel will be moderated by International Student Advisor James Coon and Career Counselor Judi Garcia. This is a great opportunity to hear advice from peers, ask questions, and expand your network by connecting with our panelists. 

Learn more about our panel!

Sadaqatali Mirza

Sadaqatali Mirza is from Mumbai, India and is a Test Engineer at Apple Inc. with specialization in mechanical design and testing. He collaborates in new product launch activities to perform tests on various Apple products and develop test plans. Sadaqat received his M.S degree in mechanical engineering from San Jose State University and was awarded two scholarships for his academic performance and on-campus involvement. While in school, Sadaqat enjoyed participating in events designed to bring together the international community and is driven to help international students succeed in the U.S.

Joy Seet

Joy Seet is a designer based in San Francisco. She was born and raised in Singapore, and recently graduated from B.A Design Studies at San Jose State University in June 2020. She has interned at Ogilvy and WPP, and discovered her interest in the marketing side of design. Joy is now a designer at TikTok, where she helps brands invent and launch legendary creative solutions that help brands and creative companies thrive on TikTok. Joy is also an advocate for helping graduating students navigate and launch their career journey. She is excited to share some tips and advice to international students wanting to succeed.

Mindy Trieu is an international student from Vietnam who has been studying in the U.S. for seven years.

Mindy Trieu

She earned her B.A. degree in Advertising from the University of Florida in 2018 and later moved to San Jose State University to pursue her MBA with a concentration in Business Analytics. Mindy currently serves as a Global Leader and iSucceed Advisory Board Member for International Student & Scholar Services and as an Instructional Student Assistant for the Jack Holland School of Business Success Center. On the way to making her first steps in achieving her career goals, Mindy would be happy to share her experiences with other international students and see everyone succeed together.

Vicky Vo

Vicky Vo is an Award-Winning UX Designer based in the San Francisco Bay Area. She was a Product Design Intern at DoorDash, a former Lead UX Designer at OrthoFX, and recently joined Jumpstart as a Product Designer. Vicky is currently a senior B.A Design Student at SJSU. Besides school and work, Vicky co-founded Students of UXD, an international community for students of all ages who are pursuing UX Design. Her broad background in UX, Visual Design, Psychology, Marketing, and Entrepreneurship has helped various startups to launch several digital products from scratch. 

We hope you’ll join us for this event and more during Global Spartan Month! Follow us on Instagram for the latest updates.

Get Involved!

Whether you’re a new or continuing student, ISSS has many opportunities for you to connect with others, engage in our community, explore culture, and thrive here at SJSU. Even in this virtual environment, we’re here to support you and help you achieve academic success. Learn more about how to stay connected and get involved.

Stay Connected

  • Follow us on Instagram and Facebook @SJSUinternational for the latest event updates
  • Schedule an appointment with an International Student Advisor
  • Have a quick question? Drop into our Zoom Q&A
  • Email us at 
  • Chat with peers on the Sammy App (instructions below)

Upcoming Events

Weekly Events

Photo by Chris Montgomery on Unsplash

    • Global Connections: Mondays from 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. (PT). Join our weekly meetup to connect with people from around the world, explore cultural topics, and learn tips for improving your overall well being. 
    • Thursday Tea Time @ 3:00 p.m. Global Leaders Song and Yuki host a weekly meetup. Come hang out with us, meet new people, relax, and have a good time! 


Photo by Tim Gouw on Unsplash

  • Attend an F-1 Employment Workshop
  • Work Visas Made Easy: Practical Answers to work visas in the U.S.
    • February 26, 2021 | 1:00-2:30 p.m. (PT) | Register here | Learn more
    • Presented by David Gluckman, immigration attorney
  • Sprintax Tax Webinar for Non-Residents
  • Strategies for Job Search Success: International Student & Alumni Panel

Beyond Global Spartan Welcome

  • Cultural Conversations: Understanding U.S. Academic Culture
  • Global Leader Chat: Making Friends
  • Global Leader Chat: Study & Job Search Tips for International Students
  • Global Leader Chat: American Slang & Culture
  • Cultural Conversations: Exploring Social Justice

Writing Workshops

Our Writing Workshop Series is a collaboration with the SJSU Writing Center.

Photo by Andrew Neel on Unsplash

Job Search Advice from a former International Student

Last week, we were thrilled to bring in guest speaker Calvin Liu Navarro, Technical Recruiter at

profile photo of Calvin Liu Navarro

Calvin Liu Navarro, Technical Recruiter, LinkedIn

LinkedIn, for the second installment of our three-part fall Career Workshop Series. Born in Hong Kong and raised in China, Calvin first came to the U.S. on an F-1 visa to complete his undergraduate degree

in Business Management at the University of California, Santa Cruz. In his talk, Calvin shared his job search experience as an international student, gave advice to current students, and provided insight from the perspective of a Technical Recruiter. Below are the key takeaways from our conversation with Calvin.

Network, network, network!

  • It may seem daunting for international students who have to start from scratch in a different culture and maybe even a different language, but challenge yourself to step outside of your comfort zone.
  • Start now by getting involved with student organizations. Those organizations might have alumni connections or with upperclassmen who can provide guidance.
  • Connect with others on LinkedIn and build your connections (see note on cold calling).
  • Make friends with both international and domestic students. It’s easy to only stay with people from your home country, but by meeting others from around the world and the U.S., you’ll gain invaluable perspectives and worldwide connections.
  • On-campus jobs are an opportunity to connect with other student assistants as well as faculty and staff.

Cold Calls (or emails)

A “cold call” is when you reach out to someone you’ve never met before. It’s fine to cold call via email, but you have to be willing to accept the fact that 99% of the time you won’t get a response. Be empathetic and understand that everyone’s busy and they might not have the time to get back to you. But also, don’t lose hope if people don’t respond. There are millions of people in this world, and someone will respond to you.

If you do send a cold call email, here’s what to do:

  1. Introduce yourself (who you are, when you’re graduating, what your major is)
  2. Explain why you’re reaching out to that person.
  3. End with a call to action. This is super important. Give them a reason to respond to you by asking them a question: Can we set up a 10-minute call so I can introduce myself better? Would you be open to a quick call so that I can learn more about…?
  4. Don’t forget to send a thank you if they do respond to you!

What are recruiters looking for?

  • Soft Skills. Technical skills can be taught; soft skills take time to be developed. What are some ways that you can work on those soft skills while you’re still in school?
  • Showcase your learning. You might have those soft skills, but you’ll need to be able to talk about them and give specific examples that demonstrate that you have those skills.
    • How well are you able to work on diverse teams? Talk about a time when you faced conflict when working in a group. How did you resolve that conflict?
    • How quickly are you able to learn things? Discuss a time when you had to pick up a skill or learn new material quickly. What did you do, and what was the outcome?
    • How well can you adapt to different situations? As an international student, you’ve had to transition to life in a new country, culture, and maybe a new language. How did you overcome and transition?
    • How well are you able to collaborate with others? Think about a time you had to collaborate on a school project or a club event. Be able to describe how you worked with other entities. What made the collaboration a success?
  • Passion. You may have the skills, but do you have the passion for this job or this company? What is it about this position that excites you? 
  • Do your research. Know the company you’re applying to, and be able to clearly explain why you want to work for that company. When a candidate says they want to work at LinkedIn because it is a large company or a leader in the industry, Calvin asks, “Why not apply to Google? They’re a big company.” Be specific with your reasons, and explain why this particular company is so important to you.

Recruiting & Hiring Cycle LinkedIn hires year-long, though different units may have different surges throughout the year. 

  • Start early. In general, tech companies hire nearly a year in advance. So, in August-October, they post jobs for the following summer.
  • Check job boards frequently. LinkedIn posts jobs for a maximum of 2 weeks, but oftentimes for much shorter periods of time. This is because of the sheer volume of applications they receive. Sometimes internship positions are posted for only a few days, so you need to have your resume updated and ready to go. Apply as soon as you see the posting.
  • For entry level positions, look for/reach out to “Campus Recruiters” versus “Technical Recruiters”. Campus Recruiters are hiring for entry-level positions or internships, and they’re looking specifically for recent graduates. Technical Recruiters are looking for experienced workers, and unfortunately, LinkedIn doesn’t count your time at an internship towards work experience minimum requirements (e.g., 2 years experience required).

Advice for International Students

  • Leverage your challenges; make them your advantages. International students face many challenges, but use them to your advantage! You’ve had to transition to a new culture, take yourself out of your comfort zone, make new friends, and be thousands of miles away from your family. Ask yourself: How have these challenges made me stronger?
  • Network and have patience! You never know how those connections can open up opportunities down the line.
  • Update your LinkedIn Profile. Cover letters are nice, but they’re generally only around 3 paragraphs. Use your LinkedIn profile to showcase your skills. It can tell a better, more complete story than a cover letter.