New program offers career assistance

International Talk Time Club, or ITT, is planning on creating an Internship and Career Planning Program. This program will be available to any international students currently registered at Bellevue College.

The Internship and Career Planning Program will focus on helping international students learn what it is that companies in the United States like to see from prospective employees, as well as teaching them basic interview etiquette and how to write a resume.

ITT students help each other learn English.

The founder of this program is University of Georgia graduate Phoenix Yanjin Li. Li was an international student while studying for her masters at UG, and she explains how, while she was lucky to have friends and teachers who helped her, she wishes there had been a program like the one being created at ITT for her to go to. “When I was a student I always wanted to get help on how to write my resume, because different countries have different standards,” Li said, “I got a lot of help from different people around me and so I felt like I wanted to give back to Bellevue College and make sure the students here have the same opportunity.”

Li and Bellevue College English Literature major Shiena Ho have been working together to collect data from international students at BC. They constructed a survey to see how confident international students are about constructing resumes and going through the interview process. They separated the students by their majors, and found that a majority of the students who expressed lack of confidence were those in a Computer Technology or Engineering major.

Li and Ho plan on inviting the 20 students as well as whoever else responds to the survey in the next few weeks to conduct a trial run of the program in order to learn what will work and what won’t.

Ho, who is also a part of the International Business Professions Program at BC volunteered to be the student leader of the Career Planning Program. Li explained, “Shiena had this interest to serve and she has been very involved with us with different events. She understands our vision.” ITT faculty adviser Elisabeth Bothwell and Li have also collaborated with employees from different companies in the area such as Microsoft, Boeing and Amazon.

They hope that international employees from each of these companies will come in and help explain to students the steps and different approaches they had to take in preparing their resumes and for their interviews.

The ITT club has about 150 students who regularly attend the meetings. Bellevue College annually enrolls over 1,700 international students. With the ITT club designing this new program, Li and Ho hope that it will bring awareness to more students and show them that there are many resources at BC that they may take advantage of. The ITT club meets every Thursday from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. in C225.