The Three Superpowers of an International Student
Looking for a job in the UK can be a daunting and challenging process and even more so when you are an international student. However, it’s important to remember that being an international student is also a superpower! You have unique skills and experiences that give you an advantage in the job market and may make you a very enticing option for employers. However, to market yourself successfully to an employer it is important to consider and understand how your journey to the UK helped you develop certain strengths and skills, and how you overcame challenges on your way.
Having an awareness of these ‘superpowers’ that being an international student has provided you, or allowed you to strengthen, is also extremely important in being able to confidently communicate to employers in interviews. It’s also helpful to assist in building confidence in yourself to understand how unique you are! Below are some skills you may possess as an international student, which are highly sought after by employers.
This blog is a collaborative piece written by Bath alumnus Daniel Mtonya (International Development) and Careers Adviser Aste Dahl, updating an original blog. The Careers Service thanks Daniel for his excellent contribution.
Motivation: You are capable of anything!
Your willingness to move and study in a different country shows your confidence and motivation to embrace new ways of learning as an individual. This can also mean that you are constantly open and motivated to positively deal with change and overcome new challenges in the workplace. You will have the techniques and strategies that are valuable to an employer. In addition, it shows you are motivated to excel and work hard in your new job.
Adaptability and resilience: You can adapt to any situation!
You made the decision to move to another country to study and live, to a country where people may speak a different language to your home country and where you quickly had to learn and adapt to understand how the UK works, both socially, culturally and academically, and you did this independently. This courage to throw yourself into the unknown in order to adjust to a new and foreign environment requires a large degree of adaptability and resilience - these are skills which many employers are looking for in their employees. Showing and articulating how you adapted and the skills you gained from this that would be relevant in the workplace, will be advantageous in a job application.
Your multi-cultural skills: You can understand people from all over the world!
As a global citizen, being aware of cultural and business etiquette in different parts of the world provides you with a diverse perspective and superb interpersonal skills which are invaluable for companies of all sizes hoping to expand their business or investigate new markets! Never underestimate how your cultural awareness can benefit a UK-based company - or ANY company in the current age of globalisation, where global markets are becoming increasingly interconnected and the ability to work with people from different backgrounds, cultures and disciplines is vital!
Your unique experiences from different cultures and an appreciation and understanding of how they are different and similar can bring a new way of thinking into a business, by helping them to cultivate a diverse and inclusive corporate and personal culture, enhancing innovation to challenges they may face, and providing a unique international perspective that compliments your professional skillset.
As an international student, you may also have excellent team working skills! You would have met many other students from different countries and connected with students from diverse cultures. Because of this, you will have developed excellent skills in empathy and active listening. In addition, you are able to see, understand, and appreciate points of views from different angles.
Lastly, your ability to speak and/or read, write, or understand another language (or languages) in addition to English is a great skill that gives you a huge competitive edge! Not only does it demonstrate your ability to excel in a diverse environment, but it also conveys fantastic communication skills which you could utilise in the workplace to be a great team member.
Photo by Cristi Ursea on Unsplash