Five tips for international students getting a job in the UK

Are you an international student looking to secure a graduate job in the UK? 

Here are five top tips from University of Bristol international alumni who attended our International Alumni Panel Event in November:

Decide and act

Mei Bai — BSc Psychology
Data Analyst at the NHS

Mei Bai graduated with a BSc in Psychology, before completing an MSc conversion course in Computer Science. She then secured a job with the NHS. She started her academic journey wanting to become a clinical psychologist but ended up developing a strong interest in data analytics while doing her undergraduate dissertation.   

Mei decided that doing a computer science degree would help to develop her skills and make her a stronger candidate for the roles she wanted to pursue. Her advice is to think carefully about exactly what you want to do next, make a decision, and then act purposefully. 

Apply early

Justin Kwik — LLB Law
Trainee Solicitor at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP

Justin Kwik studied for an LLB and graduated in 2019. He now works at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP.  

With the last recruitment season for training contracts attracting thousands of applicants for fewer than a hundred advertised places, Justin’s advice to applicants is to apply early. Not all job markets will be this competitive, but applying early means that you won’t miss out if the employer decides to close an application round before the advertised deadline.  

Check Student Circus for jobs that sponsor the Skilled Worker visa.

Practice makes perfect

Rizwan Ur Rehman — MSc Robotics
Robotics Engineer at Dyson

Rizwan Ur Rehman graduated with an MSc in Robotics in 2018, and had already secured a graduate job at Dyson before graduation. He believes that job applications get better the more you submit, so don’t be put off by rejections.

Instead, see them as “feedback” to improve your job applications.

Rizwan began by applying for jobs that were a little bit different from his ‘dream’ robotics job, so that he could get some practice.  Applications can be a lot of work, but going through the process multiple times can really help you identify the strengths and weaknesses of your current approach.  

Getting invited to the interview stage means that your written application is strong, and gives you the opportunity to ask more questions about the role, as well as receive feedback on what you could do better. This will also help make you feel more comfortable in future interviews.  

Live a little!

Qianyun Lu — MEng Civil Engineering
Geotechnical Engineer at Arup

Qianyun Lu did an MEng in Civil Engineering from 2010-2014, and is now a Geotechnical Engineer at Arup.  

Qianyun was very focused on her studies while at university. While it paid off, if she could do one thing differently during her time at university, she would live a little! Qianyun’s advice is that students should take advantage of the opportunities the University provides to network, join societies, and attend events, both careers-related and otherwise. While all this is good for your CV, it will also leave you with some fantastic memories.  

Be resourceful

Jingyi Tong — MSc Economics and Finance
Marketing Finance Assistant at British American Tobacco

Jingyi Tong graduated in 2020 with an MSc in Economics and Finance. She now works at British American Tobacco.  

Jingyi was also aware of the importance of planning ahead and started job hunting in the first month of starting her Master’s. By the end of the academic year, she had landed herself 3 job offers. Her number one piece of advice to anyone looking to apply is to be resourceful: make use of the resources at your disposal, including the CV360 online CV checker, practice tests, and mock video interviews on Interview360.

Want to form your own strategy in finding jobs in the UK?