Imagine your little brother just got accepted to a college in the U.S., what career advice would you give him, if the kid is really interested in industry A?
This could be a game plan that you might want to share with him:
(1) After freshman year: Do a summer internship at a local branch of a major company in industry A.
(2) After sophomore year: Do a summer internship in the U.S. for a small/medium sized company (bigger is not always better, but having a brand name on your resume never hurt!) in industry A.
(3) During junior year: Leverage previous experience (to write resume and tailor cover letter) and network (to reach out to alumni and other professionals) to get a summer internship at a major company in industry A. Only consider companies that usually give interns return offers and sponsor H-1B.
(4) During senior year: Got a return offer after junior year and love it? Congrats, party hard please!!! (before entering the real world). Did not make it after the 3rd year or aim for a bigger shot? Don’t worry, network/experience/brand name is still there. Just keep trying!
– I know people who only did (1) and still managed to get (4).
– It is not easy for everyone to figure out what they are truly passionate about. If you are in that situation, please don’t worry!
– I admire people who have courage to take unusual paths and people who overcome challenging circumstances to achieve their goals.
– Many college students, instead of doing (1) and (2), they joined a startup, organized volunteer activities in their home countries, or just simply took gap year/road trip. No one says that’s not cool! 🙂