International Students- They’re Looking to Work, Too…!

At Vanderbilt University’s Owen Graduate School of Management, one-quarter of the Nashville, Tenn., school’s 2011 M.B.A. class was international, with a number of students from China, India and South Korea .  “If we have too high a [percentage] of international students and then we can’t place them, shame on us,” says Tami Fassinger, chief recruiting officer at the school. This WSJ story, http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702304072004577323861675549408.html, highlights the difficulty career service offices at business schools are having in placing their international students.  Having lived through some very difficult years in my former work in career services at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, I empathize with the career staffs cited in this story.

As this piece begins:  Graduate business schools, eager to enhance their global image and offset declining demand at home, are attracting international students—and that is causing headaches for the career-services offices….Is this a surprise to any institution that aggressively recruits international students?  Perhaps there is an absence of  overall strategic planning which examines the capacity of the institution’s student services to meet the demands of a growing population of international students.  And the burden surely falls upon career services when it comes to building linkages to the marketplace which open doors for these students.

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