During this free one-day clinic, international participants will improve their interviewing skills by acquiring linguistic and cultural competencies needed for a successful job search. They will learn to prepare application materials, make good first impressions, answer difficult questions, and engage in "small talk" situations. The main “small talk” situation will be a self-pay lunch where participants practice talking business over a meal. Participants will also have the opportunity to participate in mock interviews, either via Skype or face-to-face.
Participants in UAB’s Job Search Clinic come from all over the world. Most are currently completing graduate degrees or post-doctoral studies at UAB. They represent a wide range of specializations in health-related professions (for example: dentistry, genetics, nursing, nutrition, public health, radiology, …) and in non-health professions (for example: biochemistry, business administration, communication management, chemical engineering, …).
Purpose of the Job Search Clinic
For international students and scholars, the pressure of interviewing for a job is often compounded by anxiety over linguistic ability, maintaining legal status and the cultural “mores” of interviewing in the United States. The UAB Job Search Clinic serves international students and scholars by helping them to prepare for job interviews. Its main purpose is to address pressures faced by internationals when doing job interviews within the cultural context of the United States. Another purpose of this Job Search Clinic is to provide MAEd/ESL students with an authentic opportunity for teaching linguistic and cultural competencies to international students.
The learning outcomes of the Job Search Clinic are as follows:
- Acquiring the linguistic skills necessary for an effective job search
- Preparing documents needed for job applications and interviews
- Placing interview skills within the cultural context of the U.S. workplace
- Writing a professional resume/CV
- Representing individual strengths with appropriate clarity and cultural sensitivity
- Inserting comments appropriately within a flowing conversation
- Demystifying the interview process
- Identifying techniques to practice during the mock interviews
- Practicing phone or Skype interviews
- Gaining confidence with using technology during the interview process
Participants and instructors of the April 2013 Job Search Clinic
Annual Clinics for Helping Internationals in their Job Search
Each spring, a Job Search Clinic for international students and scholars takes place at UAB. These annual Job Search Clinics are organized and implemented by students in UAB's Master of Arts in Education (MAEd) program for the teaching of English as a Second Language (ESL).
UAB's first Job Search Clinic for international students and scholars took place on Saturday, April 16, 2011. This inaugural clinic was attended by 15 participants from the following countries: Brazil, China, Colombia, Kenya, Malaysia, Mexico, Saudi Arabia, Taiwan and Thailand. Ranging in age from 25 to 39, these students and scholars represented the following areas of study: civil and materials engineering, nursing, pathology, genetics, communication management, and business administration.
UAB's second Job Search Clinic for internationals took place on Saturday, April 6, 2013. It was attended by 14 students and scholars from the following countries: Brazil, China, India, Japan, Korea, Poland, Spain, Thailand, and Vietnam. Ranging from undergraduates to post docs, these participants represented the following areas of study: Engineering (mechanical, materials, and civil), Dentistry, Public Health, Health Services (administration and research), Communication Management (tourism), Languages, Public Administration, Business Administration, Accounting, and Computer Science.
At these first two Job Search Clinics, international students and scholars attended presentations that were designed and delivered by MAEd/ESL students. These participants also engaged in numerous "small talk" practice conversations. The main “small talk” opportunity was a self-pay lunch at which participants practiced talking business over a meal. They also had an opportunity to participate in a mock interview, via Skype. An MAEd/ESL student served as the interview facilitator and also observed the participant while being interviewed. Another MAEd/ESL student sat in different room and served as the interviewer. Immediately following this mock interview, both of the MAEd/ESL students provided constructive feedback to the international participant. At the end of the day, the participants completed an evaluation form and provided suggestions to improve future Job Search Clinics.
Materials distributed at Job Search Clinics
2012 International TESOL Convention
Experiences from UAB's Job Search Clinic were shared at the 2012 International TESOL Convention in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Orchestrating a Job Search Clinic for International Students and Scholars was presented by Helen Dolive, Kent Hamilton, Kristi Shaw-Saleh, and Susie Olmstead-Wang. Their presentation focused on creating a job search clinic for international students and scholars to develop interview skills, represent strengths with appropriate clarity and cultural sensitivity, insert comments into a flowing conversation, and negotiate the pragmatics of a U.S. job interview. This presentation also included strategies for developing materials, planning, marketing and conducting the clinic, as well as tips on how to develop a similar program at other institutions. The PowerPoint slides and handout are provided below:
Orchestrating a Jobs Search Clinic handout | Orchestrating a Jobs Search PowerPoint