As an international student, it can be pretty daunting to figure your way around a foreign country – more so if you hope to kick-start your career there after you graduate.
Compared to local graduates, graduates from overseas face far more obstacles in securing a job, such as cultural differences and language fluency.
Aware the challenges faced by international graduates, Chinese national Silva Wei partnered up with Australian local Stephen Zuluaga to create an educational support network to help students navigate their way around studying and working in Australia.
Their Melbourne-based start-up, Peer Camp, comprises a community of professionals offering networking opportunities, career guidance, and practical skills development.
Both Wei and Zuluaga bring their different experiences to the table: Wei’s first-hand experience as an international student means that he understands the difficulties they often face, while Zuluaga offers his local knowledge of the country’s educational and professional environment as an Australian.
“When I was an international student, the hardest thing was to find a job in the local workforce.
“International students need more support in terms of meeting their professional goals outside their home country,” said Wei.
According to Wei, if you intend to impress a prospective employer, showing them your academic achievements isn’t enough.
“International students often lack the confidence, resources, and networking skills to achieve their professional goals,” he said.
Based on their experiences, Wei and Zuluaga found that young professionals are often lacking in several key practical skills, such as leadership, time management, communication, and interpersonal skills.
Peer Camp addresses these shortcomings by offering workshops, one-on-one coaching, online learning modules, and networking events.
Currently, the start-up is focusing on helping students brush up their resumes and interview skills, but plans to expand their services by partnering up with local companies to offer industry insights and internship opportunities in the near future.
Image via Peer Camp