Setting international students up for career success

La Trobe researchers have developed a workshop that equips international students with tailored career planning skills

Research led by Dr Jasvir Nachatar Singh from the La Trobe Business School has found that university career planning services are inadequate in meeting the needs of international students – and has developed a solution to address this gap.

“Career planning is a crucial process and for international students, it can be a complex one,” says Dr Singh.

“International students must not only develop the knowledge and skills needed to thrive in their chosen careers, but they must also navigate the job market in a new country while considering their unique circumstances.”

According to Dr Singh, most university career support services fall short in addressing the specific aspects of career planning that would set international students up for success.

“These include providing guidance in goal setting, career development and management skills, establishing networks with industry professionals, and helping to identify gaps within their own knowledge and skill sets,” says Dr Singh.

“Universities generally offer generic career services for international students, such as resume writing and interview preparation.”

To address this, Dr Singh and her team created the ‘Career Development Workshop’ that equips international students with tailored career planning skills.

“The Career Development Workshop was co-designed with career consultants and has been delivered to international students in Australia and the United Kingdom with great success,” says Dr Singh.

“In the workshop, international students develop self-management skills, identify career-related gaps, and devise career goals and practical strategies to achieve these goals.”

“Students also create a visual career map that requires them to reflect on their values and possible challenges, and what steps they can realistically take to move forward in their chosen career path.”

Given the success of the Career Development Workshop, Dr Singh and team are now looking to expand its reach and empower more international students.

“The next step is to help as many international students as possible in planning their careers.”

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