Network Wisely During COVID

Volare | September 2020 Newsletter

Why networking?

Demonstrate your values with these networking tips & tricks

If networking still gives you anxiety, try looking at it as a way to see how you can help others, rather than going in with the goal to secure employment. Being able to reach out, be friends with the people you are networking with, and actively continuing the relationship will attract opportunities you wouldn’t be able to see coming. Are there tips you have tried that helped you be more comfortable with networking?

1. Build from your existing network

Look at who you are already talking with and are comfortable around. They are some of the people who know you best and can advocate for your skills. See if they know anyone who you can talk to or of any opportunities that relate to your career goals. Talking with close friends who have common interests can help ease your way into talking with strangers.

2. Identify and manage your personal brand

Leverage your social media. The content you post, share, and like gives you the chance to engage with others and inspire commonalities, which can make people, or even you, more likely to reach out. Keeping your professional sites up-to-date with the most recent skills and experience you have will give others a glimpse into what you are focusing now and where you plan to go.

3. Join student organizations and clubs

This is a great way to meet other students and build relationships over time. You are able to meet others from different majors and backgrounds, which is amazing and can help you build ways to communicate and work alongside all these new perspectives. Depending on the organization, you will be able to develop your soft skills as well, from leadership to work ethnic.

4. Remember names

If you are meeting someone for the first time, try to remember their name when they introduce themselves. Dale Carnegie said, “A person’s name is to that person, the sweetest, most important sound in any language.” Remembering names of your networking contacts establishes rapport, which is important to your professional success.

5. Be prepared

If you are worried about being tongue-tied or causing silence during conversations, try preparing in advance on ways to navigate these instances. Find out what possible questions you will be asked and develop answers for them. Have questions ready to ask others. You can also ask non-career related questions to create a casual conversation.

6. Be generous and give before you ask

Networking gives you a chance to provide value for others, whether it’s sincere interest in a certain topic or to refer someone for a position. Those who excel at networking have been found to genuinely like lending a hand and aren’t always about seeking a favor or need in return. They network to help others.

7. Listen actively

For those who are a bit more reserved, listening can be a lot easier than talking. When people talk about their opinions or experiences, and see you actively listening to what they have to say, it can leave them with a sweet and respected impression of you.

8. Ask interesting questions

If you are nervous about joining an active conversation, you may not have an opinion ready or even words to jump in with right away. A great way to ease into the conversation is by asking questions. It shows that you are interested and are being fully present on what the topic is about. However, don’t ask for a job.

9. Become a connector, not just a networker

As much as networking can help land your dream job, it is also important that you become a voice for others in your network when they are searching for their next opportunity. Having people who can refer you is great. Being able to step up and refer others can be even greater.

10. Follow-up

Sending that follow-up email can help you stand out and show your appreciation for someone’s time. It can help spark more conversations and develop a more personable environment between you all.

What are the key differences between CPT and OPT?

Curricular Practical Training (CPT)Optional Practical Training (OPT)
CPT requires a work permit granted from the Form I-20 and Form I-94OPT requires a work permit called the Employment Authorization Document (EAD)
CPT is typically authorized before graduation.
NOTE: CPT won’t influence your chances for OPT as long as it is issued for less than 12 months of full-time employment
OPT can be authorized before and after
NOTE: Doing OPT full-time before
graduation will deduct the amount of OPT you will be able to do after graduation
Requires a job offerDoesn’t require a job offer, and includes 90 days of unemployment
CPT is authorized for a specific employer, and the training is directly related to your field of studyOPT can be authorized with any employers, as long as it relates to your field of study
CPT approval usually take 7- 21 daysOPT process can take 90-120 days to be approved
Key differences between CPT & OPT


Voy Media Entrepreneur Scholarship

  • Amount: $2,500
  • Due September 30, 2020
  • Eligibility: Current college student enrolled in an undergraduate or graduate degree program. No major or trade requirements. All students are welcome.
  • Topic: Submit a 500-1000 word essay on how you would leverage the internet to develop a business.
  • More details:

Mental Health Education Annual Scholarship

  • Amount: $1,500
  • Due November 30, 2020
  • Eligibility: Students enrolled in high school, university or college as a full-time student.
  • Topic: Submit a word essay answering a variety of mental health related questions between Eastern & Western medicine traditions as well as the role of society in promoting positive states of mental health.
  • More details:

Invensis Young Thinker Scholarship

  • Amount: $500 (with social media exposure)
  • Due November 30, 2020
  • Eligibility: Undergraduate students currently enrolled in universities in USA, UK and Australia. Citizenship of the country is not mandatory.
  • Topic: A minimum 600 word essay on the following topic – How Robotic Process Automation is shaping the future of Business Process Outsourcing
  • More details:

Bradford Removal Service Scholarship

  • Amount: $1,000
  • Due January 15th annually
  • Eligibility: Students enrolled in an accredited college or university and pursuing an
  • undergraduate or graduate degree in a business program.
  • Topic: Submit a 1,000 word essay addressing the following topic – How did moving to another town, city or country for education change your life and what you think should be improved in removal services for students?
  • More details:

Employment BOOST College Scholarships

  • Amount: $1,000 (for two different scholarships)
  • Due April 1st, July 1st, October 1st, January 1st
  • Eligibility: Students must be currently enrolled in a U.S.-based high school or college.
  • Topic: For the general scholarship, students submit a word essay based on the poem “Howl,” Part 1, by Allen Ginsberg. Those applying to the business/STEM oriented scholarship submit a word essay based on this prompt – How is technology going to change your way of life in 15 years?
  • More details:

Published by Volare

Career Coaching for International Students

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