Career-related Summer Jobs
These are part-time or full-time jobs in the summer that are related to your career but not necessarily the position you would apply for after graduation. For instance, you could work in a business office or as a bank teller if you are majoring in business administration. If you are majoring in education, you could devote your summer to working at a camp or at a daycare. The goal is to get involved and start networking with places of employment within your degree and career—this summer position may not be your long-term goal, but it could help give you career-related experience to reach your long-term goal.
Summer Ministries and Short-Term Mission Trips
Even these opportunities can be related to your career. You can have a teaching or counseling ministry. You can even work in an office at a camp. You could be involved in mission work on the foreign field and practice language skills. Even if you do not see the connection to your major right away, begin to think of ways your summer ministry and mission work can be useful to an employer and future place of service.
Involvement in community service and local church ministries on a volunteer basis can provide opportunity to practice what you are learning in the classroom. You can gain practical experience in organizing and promoting activities and events, teaching young people, and participating in musical programs and Sunday services to further your professional development. Use these opportunities to improve your talents as well as your interpersonal communication skills.
Optional Practical Training (OPT) for F-1 International Students
Involvement in an OPT experience may either be pre-completion (that is, after studying in F-1 status for at least one year but before one’s degree is completed) or post-completion (following the completion of a bachelor’s, master’s, or doctorate degree program). OPT must be directly related to the student’s degree level and present major area of study. OPT is generally available for one calendar year with each degree level, and a 17-month extension is available to Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics degree students (the list of approved STEM majors is available at www.ice.gov). A cap-gap extension is available to an approved change of status H-1B application beneficiary.
The following steps outline how to process an OPT request, which must be finalized between 90 days prior to and up to 60 days after the completion of your degree program:
- Identify a desired employment opportunity that is related to your major area of study.
- Receive permission to pursue the OPT experience from the Director of Educational Services (Administration Building), who will certify that the proposed employment is directly related to the student’s field of study and commensurate with his or her educational level. Upon receiving permission, the application form I-538 can be completed and filed with the International Student Advisor, Mr. Bryan Boudreau (Office of Admission).
- The International Student Advisor will then arrange an appointment to meet with the student, make the OPT recommendation in SEVIS , and assist in filing an application form I-765 with the appropriate USCIS Service Center.
- Within 90 days, a work authorization card will arrive, and the student will be obligated to report his current address, periods of unemployment, periods of employment, employer’s name and address, and any changes throughout the period of OPT.