Dr. Jeffrey L Jackson

An interview with Dr. Jeffrey L Jackson | Associate Provost | Career Development | Saint Louis University

Dr. Jeffrey L Jackson

Q1. How does SLU work towards making its students, specifically international students, prepared for a successful career?

● At Saint Louis University, we are deeply committed to ensuring the success of all our students, including our international student community, in their pursuit of a successful career. Our comprehensive approach to career preparation encompasses a wide range of resources and services tailored to meet the unique needs of each individual. Here’s how Saint Louis University works towards making its students, specifically international students, prepared for a successful career:

● Career Services Expertise: Whether you’re just beginning to explore the connection between your major and a career path, seeking last-minute tips on how to dress for an interview, or even holding a concrete job offer but uncertain about salary negotiation, Saint Louis University Career Services has a team of experts ready to guide you. Our goal is to help you attain the best internship, establish mentor relationships, or secure a job that aligns with your goals and aspirations.

● Virtual Career Counseling: We understand that international students may have unique challenges and questions related to their career development. That’s why our career counselors are readily available for virtual appointments to discuss any career-related topic. Whether it’s conducting mock interviews, reviewing your resume and cover letter, offering career counseling, assisting with career planning, or helping you with your job or internship search, our counselors are here to provide personalized guidance and support.

● Resume and Cover Letter Review: Crafting an effective resume and cover letter is crucial in today’s competitive job market. Our Career Services staff is equipped to review resumes, cover letters, and other professional documents virtually. We provide constructive feedback to help you showcase your skills and experiences in the best possible light.

● Career Assessments: Understanding your strengths, interests, and career goals is essential in making informed decisions about your future. We offer career assessments to help you gain insights into your unique talents and preferences, enabling you to make informed choices about your academic and career paths.

● Access to Job Preparation Platforms: Saint Louis University provides students with access to cutting-edge job preparation platforms such as Handshake, Big Interview, Interstride, and more. These platforms offer valuable resources, job listings, interview practice, and networking opportunities, giving you a competitive edge in the job market.

● SLU EXP and LevelUP Programs: We recognize the importance of 21st-century skills in today’s rapidly evolving job landscape. Our unique SLU EXP and LevelUP programs are specifically designed to offer experiential opportunities that help students develop these critical skills. These programs provide hands-on learning experiences, internships, and real-world projects, ensuring that you are well-prepared for the uncertainties of the future job market.

Saint Louis University is committed to providing international students with comprehensive career development resources and support. We believe that with the right guidance, skills, and opportunities, all of our students can achieve their career goals and thrive in their chosen professions. Your success is our priority, and we are here to assist you every step of the way.

Q2. What kind of career preparation infrastructure can International students expect from SLU and in what ways are the experiential programs step forward in this direction?

● At Saint Louis University (SLU), international students can expect a robust career preparation infrastructure that is tailored to their unique needs and aspirations. Here’s an overview of the career preparation resources available to international students at SLU, with a particular emphasis on how our experiential programs step forward in this direction:

● Dedicated International Student Career Counselor: SLU understands the importance of international students connecting with employers who value their unique skills and perspectives. That’s why we provide a dedicated International Student Career Counselor who specializes in helping international students navigate the job market. This counselor can assist you in identifying employers actively seeking international talent, helping you make meaningful connections and secure opportunities aligned with your career goals.

● Access to Specific Online Resources: SLU offers international students access to specific online resources tailored to their needs. Platforms like Interstride and F1 Hire provide a wealth of information, job listings, and guidance specifically geared towards international students. These resources help you understand visa requirements, work authorization, and job search strategies that are relevant to your international status.

● Global Scholars Career Readiness Workshops: We recognize that international students may face unique challenges when transitioning from academia to the professional world. SLU offers Global Scholars Career Readiness Workshops specifically designed to address these challenges. These workshops cover topics such as cultural competency in the workplace, navigating the U.S. job market as an international student, and effective communication skills, ensuring that you are well-prepared for success in your career.

● LevelUP Program: One of the standout features of career preparation at SLU for international students is the LevelUP Program.

■ Level Up is a guided pathway to supporting your academic and professional success – as well as extra support from SLU and SLU’s partners.
■ On the Level Up pathway, SLU and SLU partners provide internship preparation programs, career development support, skill-building courses and competitions, and more.
■ And for international students who complete all requirements on the Level Up pathway, SLU will provide additional assistance to help you secure an OPT-eligible job or internship.

● The LevelUP Program is a significant step forward in facilitating international students’ transition from student status to working professionals.

Q3. What are the challenges for Students when they transit from Campus to Corporate? Specially in US Companies and how do SLU Experiential Programs address this transition?

Transitioning from campus life to the corporate world, especially in U.S. companies, can present several challenges for students. These challenges may include:

1. Cultural Adjustment: International students often face cultural adjustments when entering the U.S. corporate environment. Differences in workplace culture, communication styles, and expectations can be significant hurdles.

2. Job Search and Work Authorization: International students must navigate the complex U.S. job market, including understanding work authorization options like Optional Practical Training (OPT) and Curricular Practical Training (CPT). Securing employment that aligns with their career goals can be daunting.

3. Networking: Building a professional network is essential for career success, but it can be challenging for students who are new to the country and corporate world.

4. Soft Skills Development: Soft skills such as communication, teamwork, and leadership are crucial in the corporate world. Developing and showcasing these skills can be a learning curve for many students.

5. Competition: The competitive nature of the job market can be intimidating, particularly in industries with a high demand for talent.

SLU’s experiential programs, including the LevelUP program, are designed to address these challenges and facilitate a smooth transition from campus to the corporate world:

● Skill Preparation Programs: Access to programs such as SLU EXP through which students can take part in internships, events, competitions and more specifically focused on building 21st century skills needed to thrive in their future careers.

● SLU’s Office of Career Services supports all graduate students, and will assist all eligible F-1 students in securing OPT-eligible work experiences. For those students who complete all Level Up program requirements and who do not otherwise secure an OPT-eligible position, SLU has partnered with Excelerate, a global marketing company, to provide OPT-eligible positions at Excelerate and its global business and industry partners. Excelerate is working to develop OPT-eligible positions suitable for students completing multiple SLU graduate programs.

Q4. What are the Challenges for SLU when it comes to Placement Drive as most of the companies hesitate to hire International Students? What are your special initiatives in this regard?

The challenges that Saint Louis University (SLU) faces when it comes to placement drives, particularly for international students, are not uncommon in today’s job market. Many companies may hesitate to hire international students due to concerns about visa processes and cultural differences. However, SLU has taken several special initiatives to address these challenges and foster successful placements for its international student community:

1. Special International Relations Team: SLU has established a dedicated International Relations Team that actively collaborates with employers in the region. This team’s primary focus is to educate employers about the process and benefits of hiring international students. By providing employers with information on work authorization procedures, cultural awareness, and the value that international students bring to the workforce, SLU aims to reduce hesitancy and promote the hiring of international talent.

2. LevelUP Program: Under the LevelUP program, SLU offers a unique value proposition to employers. It provides employers with access to a talent pool consisting of professionals who have pursued advanced degrees at SLU. These student-professionals possess a high level of expertise and are well-prepared for the demands of the corporate world. SLU works with Excelerate and takes on the responsibility of connecting employers with these student-professionals for short-term, long-term, and project-based work. Furthermore, via Excelerate, we ensure that all necessary documentation for hiring international students, including work authorization and visa-related paperwork, is handled efficiently. This streamlined process removes administrative burdens from employers, making it easier for them to hire international students.