This is part two of a three-blog series exploring what it’s like to find work as an international early-career employee.
The first blog in this series highlighted some of the struggles early-career international students encounter when trying to find work in the US.
Here, we continue the conversation with advice from three ServiceNow co-ops and thoughts from a ServiceNow executive to help international students improve their job search.
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1. Prioritize Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI)
DEI initiatives should be a focus for every company. As an international student, it’s vital to choose an organization that accepts you for who you are and empowers you to be your most authentic self.
“Apply to organizations that have a track record of bringing in people from diverse backgrounds and fostering different perspectives,” advises Stephanie M., senior director of the early-in-career program at ServiceNow.
Representation matters. “Make sure you choose a workplace where you’re comfortable sharing your culture,” encourages Dena R., an employee communications and engagement co-op. Being proud of your heritage and wanting to share those traditions with others should be valued. “After being welcomed with open arms by a female Asian leader on my first day at ServiceNow, I felt like I belonged,” she adds.
For Dena and myself, a Burmese public relations co-op, the ServiceNow Asian & Pacific Islander Belonging Group meant we had a voice.
2. Keep an open mind
Countless resources and networking opportunities are available to help early-in-career employees grow personally and professionally. Starting in a customer advocacy role doesn’t mean you have to be locked into a marketing career path. Don’t limit yourself. By exploring other options, you might find something you love.
For instance, although I’m pursuing a business and economics degree, I took on the public relations co-op role at ServiceNow because I knew it would be a once-in-a-lifetime learning opportunity. After only five months, I’ve already added a PR minor to my degree.
Bhavana S., a campaigns co-op, agrees. “I never thought I would end up in tech, but I’m so happy I did,” she says. "Don’t be afraid to explore and take that leap of faith.” It’s OK to be uncomfortable—that only means you’re growing and challenging yourself.
3. Check the company values
If your personal values don’t align with those of the company, you likely won’t feel motivated to do your best work—even if the job description is a perfect fit for you.
When I was searching for a job, I came across ServiceNow’s four core values: wow our customers, win as a team, create belonging, and stay hungry and humble. Although all of them stood out to me, I resonated with “win as a team” the most. I knew it meant that when I succeed, everyone else succeeds, and when I need someone to rely on, there’s always someone there for me.
By embracing the "win as a team" value, I feel encouraged to live my best life and do my best work—talking freely to co-workers about my emotions and maintaining a healthy work-life balance without any criticism.
4. Network as much as possible
Building relationships with professionals can help you prepare for interviews. Reach out to friends, classmates, professors, or even strangers who work at the company where you want to apply.
“I reached out to multiple people from my university who had worked at ServiceNow before,” Dena says. “By getting down to the nitty-gritty details of my potential role and learning about the incredible culture, I knew I wanted to co-op here,” she adds.
As a result of building relationships, you might even have people advocating to offer you a position at the organization when the time comes.
Thoughts from an executive
“There are companies out there, like ServiceNow, that are investing in hiring and developing future generations of leaders and innovators who appreciate diversity of thought and diversity of experience,” Stephanie says. She applauds early-in-career international students for staying strong.
“Through this experience, you're going to become part of a broader culture that appreciates, values, respects, and is hungry for your partnership,” she adds. “I’ve never worked for a company like ServiceNow, for instance, that values the people side of living your best life and doing your best work.”
Browse early-career job opportunities at ServiceNow.
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