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)

My SME Internship: Jemima – Vounder Analytics

Hi, I’m Jemima, a second-year computer science student. Last summer I completed a month-long SME Internship with Vounder Analytics

Vounder Analytics builds bespoke insurance data systems for other organisations and is moving the actuarial and insurance industry away from dated and unsuitable tools such as Excel.  

My experience 

A head and shoulders photo of Jemima, smiling

Before my internship, I did not think I would have been capable of the tasks I worked on. However, the workplace was a brilliant learning environment.

My tasks were clearly explained and presented to me in manageable chunks, with ample opportunity to ask questions. I also learnt a lot about insurance and actuaries (I didn’t even know what an actuary was before I started!). All in all, I was presented with fulfilling and diverse work, without being overwhelmed.


Meet the Bristol PLUS achievers who are taking steps towards gender equity!

International Women’s Day is all about embracing equity by celebrating women’s achievements, raising awareness about discrimination, and taking action to drive gender parity. 

Happy International Women's Day!
#EmbraceEquity #IWD2023

We caught up with two PLUS Award achievers, Ellie Haines and Isabella Cupido, to learn about the work they have done to help forge a gender-equal world, and their motivations for getting involved.


Graduate stories: Emma’s Teach First experience

Teach First is a charity that develops and supports teachers and leaders who are determined to make a difference where it’s needed the most.

We recently caught up with Emma Tollet, a French and Spanish UoB alumnus and 2020 Teach First Ambassador, to hear about her experience taking part in the Teach First Graduate Programme.

Emma, in her graduate gown, smiling outside Wills memorial Building

“I had always been passionate about languages and so studying French and Spanish was a no-brainer for me. I also became an active member of the University’s Ladies’ Lacrosse Club and became Social Secretary during my second year.

Being a member of the club meant that I took part in charity events such as fundraisers and coaching at local schools, and taking a leadership role within the club helped me to bolster my communication and organisation skills.


Transform Society’s Hackathon Challenge

“I was looking to reinforce familiar transferable skills, discover new ones and ultimately strengthen my CV”

We recently caught up with third-year Social Policy and Sociology student, Anne, to hear about her experience taking part in the SPAIS Transform Society Hackathon Challenge.

How did you find out about the Hackathon?


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.


5 reasons to get involved with volunteering – from a PLUS Award achiever!

Toby smiling.

Hello! I’m Toby Ferris, chair of the Volunteering and Fundraising Network.

Having used lots of volunteering hours towards my Bristol PLUS Award last year, I’m here to give you five great reasons to consider volunteering, especially during Student Volunteering Week. 


4 hidden ways the PLUS Award benefits you! – untold secrets of a PLUS Award achiever

Hello prospective PLUS Award achievers! I’m Avellina, a final year Biology student and 2021/22 PLUS Award achiever. 

Avellina smiling.

Many students understand that the Bristol PLUS Award is an employability award that rewards you for going above and beyond your degree. We know that it boosts our CV and makes us stand out to future employers… but there are also secret, unknown benefits that you’ll only uncover upon starting the Award process! 


Pam McGee: from Bristol graduate to External Communications and Relationships Manager at STEM Women.

Pam McGee is a 2005 Bristol University graduate who studied English Literature BA.

Pam is now the External Communications and Relationships Manager at STEM Women. She has kindly written this blog to tell us about her experiences at University and working for STEM Women.

A picture of Pam smiling

“I can’t tell you a motivational story about how I always wanted to work in PR and communications, because I never knew I wanted to – it just happened. But I can give you one key piece of advice which is to engage with your university Careers Service – something which, I’m sorry to say, I didn’t do during my time at Bristol.


Ellen Brennan: from a Bristol graduate to Pupil Barrister with the Crown Prosecution Service

Hi, I’m Ellen. I studied LLB Law from 2015 to 2018 at Bristol, where I developed a real interest in criminal justice.

A picture of Ellen, the author, smiling,

Modules such as Rich Law, Poor Law and Jurisprudence encouraged me to think about the practical implications of law and the (in)justice these perpetuate for everyday people

As a student leader in the Human Rights Law Clinic, I gained experience working alongside lawyers on a project to encourage compliance with the UN OPCAT (Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture) on behalf of the African Commission. This developed my interest in using law to achieve positive societal change.