F1 Student: Yes, you CAN!

Hello everyone!

Hopefully you are all doing well. The past weeks have been crazier than usual
and I haven’t had a lot of time to write. This month was the closing ceremony
for the CUNY Service Corps at Lehman college. I woke up so early
(whoever knows me well, also knows I am not a morning person…unless I am
getting paid for it, then I can wake up at 3am, 4am… hahah ) to take the
subway all the way from Brooklyn to the Bronx and it took me over 1h and 20
minutes to get there!

I was happy to see my friends and heard the awesome news that some of them got
I’ve also had a chance to talk to other international students that were not
able get job afterwards because of visa restrictions.

Every single person I’ve ever met who was not in our f1 visa have no clue what
we go through.
Sometimes international students move to the U.S with little or no English at
all… other times, we face the struggles of paying for our college tuition (no
financial plans, no FASFA, not a lot of scholarships, out-of-state tuition,
etc.) and so much more.

The reality is that we come here alone and we are probably leaving alone
(unless you get married at some point ! lol) that is the reason we need to set
a goal and work as hard as we can to accomplish it.

I am not going to lie and say I was the best student at High School, in fact I
was really bad. I couldn’t care less about my grades and if I got a passing
grade, I was happy. Failures have shown me that I needed to change something in
my life, I had to keep trying, I had to find my passions and set up GOALS.

Moving to the U.S has changed me in a dramatic way. The American system works
differently; not only in terms of college education, but also personal
relations, networking and the paths to get to your dreams. The best way to
improve yourself is moving to a country where you have to conquer you job through
you academic rating and understanding your flaws and limitations.

When I started to participate in college activities and I was exposed to what
was available for me in terms of friendships, jobs and personal development; I
could not stop. Self-improvement is addictive!

  A special thanks (and I will always be grateful for this person) is to Mr.
Harry Mars, who is the Director of student activities of my college. He is
ALWAYS there for students, not only as a director but taking multiple roles;
such as a father for students, a role model, a counselor, a peace-maker and he
will always be his best it doesn’t matter what the situation is. Oh! Just a
funny thing that happened last semester:

When I was the Vice-President of the Beauty and Fashion
Club, we were hosting a big Christmas party for students and the president of
the club got some donations, which were HUUUGE panels from a previous Fashion
show she has attended. Since we did not know who to talk to, one of the club
members just drove this huge truck and dropped everything off on a space that
had an open door (for college deliveries and stuff like that). Since we were
not allowed to do it (but unaware of it) The college security started looking
for us, investigating cameras and everything and they were also decided to call
the city trash collection to take it away hahah

So Mr. Mars was contacted, and after talking to us, we explained that it was
our first club, we were not aware of where to dispose things, college
permissions, etc. As usual, he went above and beyond, he talked to security
with us and did his best to try to accommodate all the stuff we had but
unfortunately the panels were so huge that they couldn’t even pass the
college’s door. But anyways, it was just one situation that Mr. Mars showed his
professionalism and understanding of student needs and at the same time, we
learned what to do and definitely what NOT to do on campus haha. 

Through him, I’ve heard and participate of leadership academies ( B.O.L.T and P.L.U.S) and I’ve made friends for a lifetime. THANK you again Mr. Mars.

Going back to our topic, as an international student myself I faced and
continue to face a lot of challenges every single day. I found out some tips
for international students are they seem to be very accurate!

1- Get involved

One of the best ways to make new friends is to join a club or an
organization. Do you love music or play an instrument? Mix with a group of like-minded
people and maybe even join a band or choir. Participate in sports or some other
activities that you like and have maybe even done before college – Sports are a
great way to meet new people because you all have a common goal. Whatever it is
that interests you, you will have no trouble finding a group or organization,
either on or off campus that you can join and enjoy. Once you are a member,
join group activities and volunteer to help. You will get to know others while
doing good. Club activities easily turn into social activities and you’ll find
yourself going to the movies or for a bite to eat with fellow members.

2- Learn English phrases and slangs

This seems obvious, but the slang is the important part. College students in
America typically don’t speak as formally as the books and guides that teach
non-English speakers, so be sure to research some commonly used phrases and
slang terms among the youth of America. If you hear a phrase that confuses you,
don’t be afraid to ask! It will be easier to make friends with other students
if you show genuine interest in what they’re saying.

3- Tip!

Tipping, while not a common practice throughout the rest of the world, is
expected in the U.S. Restaurants do not typically add gratuity to a bill, so
patrons are expected to tip their server somewhere between 15-20% to reward
them for their service. It is considered extremely rude not to do so, so be
sure to check your bill and tip your waiter if gratuity hasn’t been added.

4- Keep up with pop culture and sports for good conversation topics

College students in the U.S., just like everywhere else, love to talk about
entertainment and sports. Use your free time to read magazines and update
yourself on entertainment news, watch popular TV programs, and learn the basics
of popular American sports like football, baseball, basketball and hockey. Not
only will this help you have conversations with native students, but it will
provide you with an authentic experience of American culture.

5- Befriend American students as well as other international students

I’ve been an international student before, so I understand that it’s often
difficult to break out of that classification and make friends with the locals.
International students are grouped together in living arrangements and classes
at many universities, so you should make a conscious effort to befriend some
Americans. It may seem intimidating, but it’ll give you a more authentic
experience and hopefully provide you with lifelong friends that you can go back
and visit someday!

6- Don’t be intimidated

This advice goes for pretty much anyone studying abroad: no matter who you are
or where you’re from, you’ll be interacting primarily with other college
students, and we all have many similar qualities and interests deep down. Take
the rest of these tips into consideration and get ready for the experience of a


Careers in Finance / Where to find an internship or a job in NYC

Hi everyone! Today I’ll talk about an exciting topic! At least for me 🙂

A lot of people talk about “Finance” but Do you know what it really means?

According to (internationalstudent.com) the definition of Finance is  the allocation of resources. Today, people might most commonly think of finance as money management, but let’s take it back a step further.

The word “finance” has its roots in Old French dating from around 1350 (about the time when European markets began to use money more heavily for trade instead of bartering), connected to the idea of“finishing” or settling a debt by making a payment. To have the financial means for something, is to have the ability to finish or settle the matter (like, for instance, an international student financing their degree). Finance in the sense of “managing money” was first recorded in English in 1770. Money was created as a tool that made trading less complicated between people with very different resources and needs, that didn’t always match up.

Considering a career in finance?  let’s take a look at positions and salaries first; then I will show you some companies that recruit interns and talk a little bit about requirements for these jobs.

Salaries (lowest to highest)

1. Bank tellers
Cash checks, accept deposits and loan payments and process withdrawals. They also may sell savings bonds and travelers’ checks, accept bill payments and process paperwork. Most tellers have at least a high school diploma, but people with bachelor’s degree in business, accounting or liberal arts may get jobs as tellers to break into banking with the hopes of being promoted.
Average salary$28,000/year

2. Collectors
Keep track of accounts that are overdue and attempt to collect payment on them, making computer literacy and good communications skills a must in this job. Most collectors are required to have at least a high school diploma; however, employers prefer workers who have completed some college or who have experience in other occupations that involve contact with the public.
Average salary: $34,000/year

3. Buyers 
Buy the goods and services a company needs either to resell to customers or for the establishment’s own use. Educational requirements vary with the size of the organization, but many manufacturing firms prefer applicants with a bachelor’s or master’s degree in engineering, business, economics or one of the applied sciences.
Average salary$40,000/year

Analyze, plan, evaluate and advise on matters of accounting theory and practice. A bachelor’s degree in accounting or a related field is usually required, but those with a master’s degree or experience to boot will have better job opportunities.
Average salary: $59,000/year

5. Treasurers
Direct an organization’s financial goals, objectives and budgets. Their duties may include overseeing the investment of funds and executing capital-raising strategies. Employers require a bachelor’s degree in accounting, finance, economics or business administration; however, employers increasingly are placing emphasis on advanced degrees in these fields.
Average salary$86,000/year

6. Auditors

Examine and analyze accounting records and prepare financial reports for clients. Auditors usually need a bachelor’s degree, but as with accountants, experience and advanced degrees increase their chances of getting hired.
Average salary: $92,000/year

7.Financial analysts
Work for businesses to help them or their clients make investment decisions. Analysts must have a bachelor’s degree, often in business administration, accounting, statistics or finance, analysts with a master’s degree in business administration will find themselves among the most desirable employees.
Average salary: $100,000/year

8. Budget analysts
Provide analysis and assistance to help companies develop their annual budgets, decide how to allocate current resources and estimate future financial requirements. A bachelor’s degree – often in finance, economics, accounting, business, statistics, political science or sociology – is the minimum requirement for most employers, but an advanced degree is often preferred and sometimes required.
Average salary$112,000/year

9.Loan officers
Assist individuals and organizations in applying for loans, assess the individuals’ creditworthiness and help them determine the most appropriate type of loan for his/her needs. Employers usually require loan officers to have a bachelor’s degree in finance, economics or a related field. Loan officers will find experience in banking, lending or sales and knowledge of computers to be huge assets in their job search.
Average salary: $126,000/year

10. Personal financial advisors – use their knowledge of investments, tax laws and insurance to recommend financial options that help individuals meet their short- and long-term goals. Advisors with a bachelor’s degree in accounting, finance, economics, business mathematics or law will have the best opportunities for jobs in their field.
Average salary: $140,000/year

Keep in mind that financial jobs are highly specialized, so generic job boards are not the best places to seek such positions. Instead, consider niche sites, such as Job Search Digest. When looking offline, specialized executive recruiters (a.k.a. headhunters) can be excellent resources for both financial job opportunities and career advice. Your university’s alumni association can also be very helpful by putting you in touch with industry insiders who are willing to provide some insight and sometimes job leads.
Industry conferences and other networking events are also great places to look for financial jobs. Concerning networking, never forget the value of personal interaction – everyone you meet could know someone who knows of a job opening. Keep your avenues of communication open by following up in a professional, yet personal way, such as a hand-written note or forwarding an article of common interest.

Choosing the Right Direction for You
It is always wise to consider the direction of the market before seeking a financial job. To effectively pursue jobs with the highest probability of success, you must measure the demand for the position. Different financial jobs require different skills and present vastly different work environments, so it’s wise to select one that aligns with your long-term interests and abilities. Someone with solid interpersonal skills, for example, might do well as a financial advisor, while someone who enjoys crunching numbers might do better in public accounting. Do the research first to discover your options. The time spent uncovering the most interesting possibilities to you can be time saved working in a job that just doesn’t fit.  

What Majors are appropriate for a career in Finance?

Accounting, Business, Finance, Economics, Engineering, Physics, Math, Corporate Communications, Computer Engineering, Statistics, International Relations, etc. The field is so broad that a lot of majors can fit it. But definitely having a background or a lot of classes finance- related help you in your application!

Companies/Organizations that recruit students for summer internship programs:












Good luck and hopefully you enjoyed the post today 🙂 If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to leave a comment on this post.


sources: internationalstudent.com, http://jobs.aol.com/articles/2009/01/26/top-10-jobs-in-banking-and-finance/, http://www.investopedia.com/articles/financial-careers/08/financial-career-options-professionals.asp,