According to the annual Open Doors report produced by the Institute of International Education, over 145,000 international students came to study in USA in business and management in the 2011/12 academic year, an increase of 5% from the previous year, and a number that is likely to grow. It is likely many of these visiting students arrived in the US with the hope that their American diploma would be a ticket into the US job market. The problem is, finding a quality job in America without US work authorization is not easy and international students expecting to be given a job, or placed by their school at a US-based company after graduation may be in for an unwelcome surprise.
It is a fact that several American campus recruiters, with the incoming high flow of applications, tend to pass over international students. This is done in an effort to control applicant pool and save costs and companies are therefore staying away from sponsoring H1B visa. This of course means that MBA students from India will find it difficult to be campus recruited.
However, thankfully, there are alternatives to traditional campus recruitment. Some large companies are following other policies to ensure that they do not miss out on the large international talent pool emerging from US campuses and some of the new initiatives are:
• Universities invite companies which are willing to invest and sponsor work visas
• Some career service organizations train students to search for jobs outside the campus
• And the last but not least step is to encourage students to apply for jobs back in their home countries.
The fourth option is repatriation, which is less labor-intensive and more fruitful for career service companies. In this model, American multi-nationals recruit at US business schools to fill open positions at company locations outside of the US. With an increased need for managers with global outlook and mobility, and ambitious growth objectives in emerging markets, American employers are finding US-educated foreign nationals an excellent solution to leadership gaps in their offices around the world.
“We want people with a global mindset,” says Jeanie Mabie, global employer branding and university recruitment leader at IBM. “We need to fuel growth in particular countries and that requires strong talent that is geographically mobile.”
In addition to occasionally sponsoring work visas for select MBA and PhD graduates, IBM also offers US work experience to participants in its elite General Manager Leadership Development Program. Two of the three program rotations are often US-based; the third typically bringing the participant back to his or her home country.
International students who choose to do their MBA in the US are often motivated by the salary which a US MBA attracts. This is especially important as many students avail large student loans to study in the US and an attractive salary is a sure way of settling debt.
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