Tag Archives: abroad

10 reasons why your education and work experience have no value abroad – and what to do with it, Part 1

If you study in a foreign country, your ultimate goal is to get a job after the graduation. This is, however, quite difficult, as you will soon understand that you are not getting even a half of interviews the locals get. Nationalism? Discrimination? Or, probably, just not enough understanding of the local labour market? The “We are sorry to inform…” emails become especially painful when you are applying for a junior position while already having a lot of experience from your home country. What are you doing wrong? Let’s analyse it 😉

1. You had no job while studying

While Russians usually find a job to survive through the university years in a local restaurant or supermarket, Europeans have lots of vacancies at universities (helping out professors) and in companies (like Werkstudent in Germany, which is a work for 20 hours a week in time slots when you have no classes), which allow them to collect the RELEVANT work experience. Let’s imagine, a German works as a Werkstudent during the years 2-4 of his Bachelor program. When he graduates, he will have 1.5 (3 years, ½ of the usual working hours per week) years of experience AND the same diploma as you do. You had an “Assistant” job in your home country, he had a “Werkstudent Project Management” in the country you both are applying in. Who will get the job?

What to do: If you work in a country with student jobs available, get one as soon as you feel confident about your study. You will get no “foreigner discount” for havong no student job and just studying, but your CV will look weaker without it.

Special advice: If you have a scholarship, get the information if you are allowed to work at all. If not…probably, some job-related volunteer work would do.

2. You had no extracurricular activities

We all know that you need to study hard, and many majors just leave no time for any parties or even social clubs. This, however, puts your career in danger if you look for a job in UK, USA or some European countries. The more social your job is, the more important social clubs, summer schools and team challenges will be for your CV. The more technical your field is, the stronger importance things like conferences, scientific clubs etc. might receive.

What to do: This sounds really bad, but nobody is going to control, how many time you spend in your Students for International Politics club. The only thing, which is important, will be your position – are you a leader, a change maker or just a member? Use your time wisely.

3. You have no letters of reference

This is a very common problem for many countries. Beware that your experience is not valid for many employers if they see no paper behind it.

What to do: Write a letter of recommendation in English by yourself and ask your manager to print it out on the corporate paper and to sign it.

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Doing grammar mistakes while working in a foreign language: how to win the game

Nobody is perfect – neither are your foreign language skills. However, many of us working for a foreign company or even in a foreign country had problems with grammar mistakes in our emails, official documents, presentations etc. How to deal with them with grace – and how to avoid grammar mistakes while working in a foreign language? I am not going to give you advices like “use the grammar tool X” or “read twice before you send it”. Let us to be honest – many tools will correct obvious mistakes, but none will look into your head and rewrite your sentence in a way you wanted it to be. So, how will we proceed?

  1. 4-eyes rule

This is a simple rule meaning that at least one colleague should check every important document you are sending out. This rule is obligatory for audit companies and very popular among consulting companies – but it can be applied everywhere. Just find a colleague who needs a grammar check himself from time to time and ask if he could proofread your email. In small teams, the team leader is often the one doing this job. Please note that reading important documents, which have an impact on the company’s image is not the same as reading somebody’s homework at school – if you made a mistake, it is much easier to correct it while proofreading than to correct the consequences of a badly written email. Don’t be shy to ask somebody to proofread your work – this is a part of the work like any other.

  1. Better in than out

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Your “abroad” is guaranteed: work&study agencies vs. your own way

Looking for more security, political stability, financial opportunities, better healthcare systems, Russians are ready to invest an impressive amount of money in an opportunity to move to another country. As Russians get less and less satisfied with the life in the country, the amount of agencies promising an almost guaranteed place in summer schools, universities, companies etc. grows as well. This article will be concentrated on pros and contras of working with “work&study aboard” agencies. What can you expect from them? When are their services pointless? What should you look at by yourself when preparing a big change in your life? Let’s talk about it openly.

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Question room – Internships for 30+

Today we got a question regarding internships and fellowships for ladies 30+. This is a very important issue, especially for those living in developing countries, as it is much more difficult for us to get an invitation for an interview because of the visa issues.

First of all, I would like to remind you that experience is worth nothing for an HR officer if you can’t present it in an excellent CV (Resume). For this reason, I am currently working on a video about creating a perfect EU-CV “from scratch”- but this will take some time.

For now, I would like to bring you some new ideas on how to FIND an internship or a fellowship as a 3d country citizen if you are 30+.

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TOEFL iBT vs. IELTS: one simple difference

I read plenty of articles before making my decision, which exam to take for a European Master program. Some of my colleagues with a high English proficiency told me that the TOEFL iBT required in Europe proportionally higher scores than IELTS, as TOEFL iBT is an American exam. Furthermore, TOEFL iBT would be more helpful if one decides to study in the USA.

You know what? My English was really bad when I decided to take the exam. Probably, it was a Pre-Intermediate level – and I needed scores for at least an Upper-Intermediate level. As I was preparing myself for an international Master from the Erasmus Mundus pool, which requires less English knowledge as it was created for students from the third countries, the minimum passing scores for programs were TOEFL iBT 80 for Environmental Science and TOEFL iBT 90 for very simple programs in Economics. There was, however, a program about Mathematical Modeling, which required only TOEFL iBT 75…

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Thought for the day

Контролёр: “Так, сейчас проверим опоздания поездов на Вашем маршруте…Ооо-оо, ничего себе маршрут!”
А мне вспоминаются все поездки часов по 18 в Москву на поезде..за первыми визами…

Train worker: “Let’s check if any of the trains in your ticket might be late…Ooo-oo, such a WAY!”

And I still remember those trains to Moscow..about 18 hours on the train..for my first visas…

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