The Illinois MBA program often boasts that our student body is comprised of a number of international students from over 25+ countries. As a result, I decided to sit down with second-year MBA student, Shubhashri Mohanty to ask her questions about the University of Illinois, her career search, and more. Shubhashri graduated from the Amrita School of Engineering with a Bachelor of Technology in Computer Science and is exploring a career in IT and Marketing.
Why did you choose to come to the United States for school? Why the Illinois MBA?
I could not think of a better place than Illinois for my MBA as the University of Illinois is known for its location, diversity and curriculum. The program has strengthen my global business perspective by providing me the opportunity to interact with people from various walks of business life—from wine consultants to investment bankers to football players. Illinois's strong alumni base has helped me network globally, and their international connections like the Study Abroad Program (which I participated in last year) is an additional advantage.
What has your experience been in searching for jobs as an international student?
Fantastic! I have utilized the alumni network and career services to get my dream job. Last year, I received three offers for internships. In my opinion, the statement, "it is impossible for international students to get a dream job in the current economy" is a myth. The Business Career Services Department at the College of Business is dedicated to help MBAs and undergraduates alike find a fulfilling career. I have had multiple sessions with my career advisor and she has advised me on various things ranging from interviewing to negotiating salary to what companies typically hire Illinois MBAs. It's a great feeling to have a backing like this during your time in the program.
What are some obstacles you’ve faced since coming to school in Illinois and how did you overcome them?
One of the major obstacles that international students face is understanding American cultural attitudes and behaviors related to job hunting and work. My fellow students have always been a great help on that front. Group discussions enabled me to become more aware of cultural issues that may or may not influence my success during my job search.
What advice do you have for other international students who are looking for internships or jobs?
Keep faith, do your own thing, build and reach out to your network—the right job is just an interview away!
What advice do you have for international students who are considering apply to the Illinois MBA program?
Illinois MBA is competitive, challenging and a lot of fun. Students can make the best out of it, if they understood their long term goals and how the Illinois MBA can help them achieve those goals.
I think Shubhashri’s answers are spot-on for anyone looking for a career. Start looking early (if you’re a prospective student, start researching potential industries and companies that interest you this summer!) and use the resources that the MBA program provides you. There are jobs out there and companies are hiring MBAs now more than ever. The time to start the journey to a perfect career is now and the Illinois MBA program will help you get there.