Looking for a graduate job in Asia? 5 tips for international students

In February, the Careers Service invited five international alumni to share their valuable insights and experiences with searching and applying for graduate roles in Asia. 

Here are five top tips from our speakers:

Utilise your Bristol experience as your unique selling point

Yun Wen Soh, Singapore — Honours Law LLB (2021) 
Incoming Trainee Solicitor at Herbert Smith Freehills 

When preparing for job applications and interviews, think about the different experiences you have at Bristol and use it as your unique selling point (USP).  

Try to identify a range of competencies throughout your time at university that will make you stand out as a candidate. Remember, your extra-curricular experiences are just as important as your legal internship and work experiences!

For example, working as a Careers Peer Support Assistant at the Careers Service in my final year has helped me develop strong teamworking and communication skills. By demonstrating a variety of external experiences and leadership responsibilities during your interview, you can impress the interviewer as a unique candidate with holistic experiences. 

Nonetheless, make sure that you continue to study hard, as your academic results are still an important factor within the hiring process, especially in countries such as Singapore.  

💡 Tip! Use the STAR model when structuring your interview answers to exemplify key skills and competencies.  

Research and gather information about the local graduate market 

Jialu Li, China — MSc Finance and Investment (2016)
Technical Program Manager at Byte Dance 

As an overseas returnee, it is very important to gather as much information as possible about the local recruitment landscape and hiring trends. For instance, I would highly encourage you to use LinkedIn to access industry-specific information and connect with professionals in your industry.

By expanding your network and connecting with industry experts, including Bristol alumni who are currently working in your home country, you can gain valuable, first-hand career advice and interview tips. 

An alternative way to learn about the local graduate market would be by word of mouth. Before returning to China, I called at least 10 of my friends who are currently working in China, to help me gain a better understanding of industry trends, the job market, and work-life balance. This was essential in helping me make an informed decision about my career plans. 

💡 Tip! Read our international labour market information factsheets on mycareer to build your knowledge about key market trends in India, Africa, Southeast Asia, mainland China and Hong Kong

Find a company that shares your values 

Yushuang Liu, China – MSc Accounting, Finance and Management (2020) 
Transfer Pricing at Deloitte 

When searching for a job in your home country as an international student, it is crucial to find a company that aligns with your personal values. This will enable you to feel fulfilled, satisfied and happy in your workplace.  

To begin, take the time to analyse your core values. For example, try reflecting on things that matter most to you, such as social responsibility, integrity or innovation. 

Upon identifying your priorities, conduct research to identify companies that share these values. I would encourage you to check a company’s website, social media and news articles to learn about their mission statement, culture and social responsibility initiatives.  

💡 Tip! Read our recent blogpost about ways to find an employer that shares your values

Brush up your interview skills 

Yifei An, China – MSc Advanced Microelectronics Systems Engineering (2017) 
Hardware Engineer at Western Digital  

For international students looking to work in your home countries, undergoing mock interviews is especially important to refamiliarise yourself with the local job market. If you have been studying abroad for a while, you may not be fully aware of the current job application and hiring practices in your home country. Mock interviews provide an opportunity for you to practice common interview questions, receive valuable feedback, and improve on your overall communication skills. The more your practice, the higher the chances of success in your real interview! 

💡 Tip! Use our Interview guide to prepare for your upcoming interview. 

Be resilient and don’t give up 

Vasudha Pathak, India — MSc Economics (2014) 
Manager (Economics and Disputes) at Deloitte 

Job hunting is an extremely lengthy, difficult and emotionally-taxing process. It can be discouraging to be rejected or to receive no response, and oftentimes, things don’t turn out the way you planned. For instance, I did not initially plan to return to India after graduating from university, however, my experiences working as a Junior Executive, an Economist, and gaining experience at a start-up in India has led me to where I am today.  

With resilience, self-confidence and determination, you can also find your way to a fulfilling career path. 

Find out more: 

Ning Tay, Careers Support Officer (International)

Utsa Mukherjee: The Graduate Route visa has allowed me to do a meaningful job

Utsa attended the University of Bristol as an international student from India, majoring in BSc Social Policy and Sociology.

A picture of Utsa smiling with a city scape behind her

After graduating last year, Utsa used the Graduate Route to secure a job within the university and is now working as an International Scholarship Assistant.

She is one of over 80,000 international students granted a Graduate Route visa since it launched in the summer of 2021.

Utsa spoke to us about her ambitions for working in a role that allows her to make a positive impact on the people and communities around her.


Global Careers Week: Sarah’s inspirational global career

Employers from all countries are looking for graduates who can demonstrate global skills and competencies.

Bristol alumni, Sarah M. Natumanya, tells us about her global experience working for a German consulting group, the UN in Switzerland and as a consultant in Uganda.


Three reasons not to miss Global Careers Week

Global Careers Week is here!

This is your chance to get involved with a week of events and workshops, specifically designed to support you in developing global skills and experiences to boost your employability!

Here are three reasons why you should make the most out of Global Careers Week:


Bristol international graduates share their Graduate route visa success

Since summer 2021, international graduates have been able to stay in the UK for two years (three if they have a PhD) to work or look for work, under the Graduate visa route.   

This is the first in a series of posts sharing the experiences and advice of Bristol alumni who have secured jobs using the Graduate visa. Hear from Ning, Fei Fei and Emelyn – two of whom work at the Careers Service!  

Ning Tay, Malaysia – Honours Law LLB

Careers Support Officer (International) at the University of Bristol 

 picture of Ning tay smiling in her graduation gown

My initial plans of heading to bar school changed significantly due to COVID. As such, I applied for the Graduate visa and got an internship with the University’s Student Inclusion Peer Support Team, whilst figuring out my career path. Due to the flexibility of the visa, I was able to transition to a fixed-term position in the Careers Service after 6 months of my internship, now supporting the employability of our international students, with a focus on those returning to China.


My SME Internship: Yanan – Bristol Braille Technology

A photo of YananHi, my name is Yanan. 

It was my great honour to undertake a two-month internship at Bristol Braille Technology (BBT) under the SME Internship Scheme. My position at BBT was Braille and Employment Researcher Intern. My main duty was to conduct research on how braille promotes employment and improves the lives of the visually impaired. My work was mostly done remotely. 

Working for BBT, I learned workplace etiquette and gained lots of new skills, including working to a high standard. As a non-native English speaker, my English has improved tremendously during this internship. My colleagues and supervisors are all native English speakers, and, frankly, it was a little difficult for me to keep up with them when I first started my internship. I quickly got over this problem with a lot of English practice.

Bristol Braille Technology logo.
Bristol Braille Technology logo.

At the same time, the research skills I learned at university came in handy and my time management skills have also been enhanced. This valuable experience has laid a solid foundation for my future career. 

All in all, as a visually impaired person, I have benefited a lot from this internship, it really boosts my CV and I have become more confident. At work, I didn’t feel any discrimination and I wasn’t treated differently from anyone else. I sincerely hope that more of my peers will benefit from this scheme in the future.  (more…)

International students: how to maximise your chances of getting hired by a UK employer

The beauty of the Graduate route is that you can live and work in the UK even if you are not offered a Skilled Worker visa. As you probably know, securing sponsorship can be quite competitive. The Graduate route opens the door for international students to also consider less competitive opportunities, such as jobs in smaller organisations (called SMEs – small and medium-sized enterprises), which in the UK account for over 99% of all businesses. Therefore, targeting SMEs to look for a job seems like a wise move. There are many benefits to working for smaller organisations – and you can find out more in our online guide “What is an SME? Why work for one?

How do I find a job with an SME?

Once you have narrowed down your search and feel you have some understanding of the market, focus on writing quality applications for a few of your preferred employers.

Stand in the hiring manager’s shoes and consider what will convince them to hire you.

Firstly, employers want someone that can DO THE JOB.


Have you heard of Student Circus? Our time-saving jobs portal for international students

Are you an overseas student, looking for work in the UK, but short on time?

We know there are lots of competing demands on international students’ time. Often juggling both independent and group assignments, and this year, adjusting to doing this remotely online. In normal circumstances adapting to a new culture, city, and education system presents enough to be getting on with. On top of all this, is the task of finding graduate work. This can be time consuming as an international student. From getting to know the UK jobs market to understanding the graduate visas available. Not to mention choosing roles you have an interest in and feel you could contribute to.

International student job portal, Student Circus, advertises internships, placements and graduate jobs across a range of sectors and company sizes, from start-ups to large multinationals.

Photo by Luke Chesser on Unsplash


3 steps to making the most of the graduate route

It is an exciting time for international students! If you are graduating from this summer, you will be able to apply for the new graduate route, to stay in the UK and work or look for work for two years, or three years if you have a PhD.

The main benefit of this route over the skilled worker route is that you do not need an employer to sponsor you. We expect the government to publish full details on how to apply for the route very soon. In the meantime here are 3 steps you can take now to make the most of this opportunity.

Step One – Clarify your goals