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FAQs

Visit our resources page for a curated list of Handshake articles, as well as community-generated resources aimed at connecting and assisting Stanford students. Are you a PhD or postdoc? Check out this FAQ tailored specifically to your needs.

BEAM SERVICES & PROGRAMS DURING FALL QUARTER

JOB & INTERNSHIP SEARCH DURING FALL QUARTER

JOB & INTERNSHIP SEARCH DURING LEAVE OF ABSENCE

CAREER EXPLORATION DURING TIMES OF UNCERTAINTY

RECRUITMENT & HIRING

QUESTIONS FROM FLI AND INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS

QUESTIONS FROM NEW ALUMNI


BEAM SERVICES & PROGRAMS DURING FALL QUARTER

Can I get help on my documents (resume, cover letter, or fellowship application) this summer?

BEAM is available to support you virtually.  Our services, including coaching appointments, career workshops and employers events are online. To have your documents reviewed, make a Zoom or phone appointment with a coach. For a list of upcoming programs, visit the Event and/or Fair page in Handshake.

Will there be a Career Fair this summer?

Yes - we will host the fall fair online. This year the fair will take place over a three-day period. We will be using a virtual platform called Talentspace. Here is a guide for navigating the fair. You can find more information on the employers attending the fair and register for it by going to Handshake.

I have a quick question, can I just email a career coach during the summer quarter?

Emailing a career coach for quick questions or when looking for a particular resource can be an efficient way to obtain information. For topics that involve a discussion (i.e. career exploration, career options and strategies, negotiating or deciding on an offer, etc…) we recommend making an appointment with a BEAM coach. Most coaches offer a range of times: 15, 30 or 45 minutes. 

JOB & INTERNSHIP SEARCH DURING FALL QUARTER 

If I don't have an internship lined up yet, how can I search for opportunities?

There are multiple ways to search for internships in the fall. Start by visiting BEAM’s website Internships and Opportunities for ideas and resources and look through the list of job sites posted on BEAMs Resource page.  You can also search for internship and fellowship opportunities in Handshake and Haas FISP and on sites including internship.comGlassdoorLinkedInIdealist and Indeed.  If you are a Federal Work Study (FWS) student, visit the FWSwebsite for resources. BEAM has coaching appointments available via Zoom and we are happy to discuss your situation and strategies for finding an internship.  

What advice do you have for virtual interviews?

Ideally, you will want to be in a quiet environment and have a clean background during your video interview. For long, multi-hour interviews, explore whether the interview can happen over 2-3 days, rather than one day. If this is not possible, ask for short breaks during the day. Review resources on video interviews  such as The Ultimate Guide to Acing the Video Interview and this YouTube video. Practice interviewing, using Standout, BEAM’s video interview platform or in an appointment with a BEAM Career Coaches

Due to the current job market, I am unsure of my summer plans.  What are ways I can continue to build my skills, if I don’t obtain an internship this summer?

While internships provide an opportunity to explore a career field, as well as, develop professional skills, there are additional ways to learn about career paths and develop the skills and competencies employers value. You might consider engaging in remote work, remote research projects, and/or volunteer to name a few. In addition, consider taking a free online course to develop skills or knowledge needed to prepare you for a role or to work in a particular industry. Take a look at Professional Development During COVID-19 for additional guidance.

I'm applying for different jobs and am not hearing back from employers. Should I continue to contact them to express my interest? Or should I just let it go?

It can be very difficult to wait for a response after applying for a job or internship.  As you can imagine, employers are receiving multiple applications for the same role. We suggest waiting one to two weeks and then reaching out to the employer to express your continued interest in the role. Take a look at When and How to Follow up on a Job Application.  After reaching out twice and not receiving a response, consider moving on to the next role. You can always revisit potential opportunities with the employer at a different time. 

I was just offered a job. As a new employee, how can I be successful working remotely?

Even before the coronavirus pandemic, the remote job market was on the rise, with more and more workers seeking flexible arrangements that allow them to work from home or travel the globe.  Working remotely has its benefits and its challenges. Take a look at the 6 biggest challenges of working remotely and how to overcome them. Along with having the skills and experience to do the job duties, these  6 must have skills will contribute to your success as a remote worker.  For additional information and suggestions on working remotely, take a look at A Complete Guide to Working Remotely in 2020

JOB & INTERNSHIP SEARCH DURING LEAVE OF ABSENCE

I’m considering taking a leave of absence during fall quarter and am interested in engaging in some type of learning experience. What do you recommend?

Before making a decision to take a leave of absence,  be sure to check the Stanford Leave of Absence policy for graduatesand undergraduates. If you decide to take a leave, consider your personal and professional learning goals. Do you want to learn about a career field, gain experience in a particular role, develop or practice certain skills, learn a new language? You might consider engaging in an internship, temporary employment, a remote projectresearch or taking an online course or volunteering. If you would like to talk with a coach about your potential plans, schedule an appointment with a BEAM Career Coach.

I am on leave of absence. What services at BEAM are available to me?

If you have decided to take a leave of absence, be sure to check with the Registrar office to understand the steps you need to take to retain admitted student status during your leave. We recognize that you may be planning on engaging in internships, jobs or other experiential educational opportunities. During your leave, you will continue to have access to Handshake and will be able to apply for jobs/internships, register for and attend career events and employer programs, and meet with a career coach during an appointment. Students on leave are not eligible to participate in Stanford funded opportunities, career fairs or campus interviews. Please see Covid 2020 Programs and Services by Student Status to find out what you will have access to during a leave of absence. 

CAREER EXPLORATION DURING TIMES OF UNCERTAINTY

Is it worth trying to do informational interviews during this time?

The Coronavirus has temporarily disrupted daily life, from school to work to basic social interactions. During this time, we encourage you to reach out to potential alumni connections, be patient and follow up. As people begin to establish some type of routine in this “new normal,” a conversation with you focused on their career path and/or their advice for job search, may be a much needed and positive break.

I’m worried about my future. How do I plan for my career in the face of all this uncertainty?

While we know dealing with uncertainty is part of life, moments like the current situation, can bring up anxiety or worry about the present and the future. Because you can’t predict or control how everything will unfold, consider focusing on the activities that will help you to feel prepared for next steps. Continuing to research different career paths, talking with alumni about their work, searching online for summer or new grad opportunities, revising your resume and tailoring your cover letters, as well as, practicing interviewing, can help you feel grounded and focused during this time of uncertainty. For additional perspective read 5 Ways to Handle Uncertainty.

RECRUITMENT & HIRING

I think we are heading into a recession. Will any companies be hiring? What is changing?

What we know is that many businesses, particularly those in the travel, hospitality, and tourism industries, have already been impacted. The full and longer-term implications of the coronavirus are yet unknown. However, keep in mind that not every industry slows down in an economic downturn and not every company slows down within an industry. Check out  Job Search During the Coronavirus - Who’s Hiring to get a sense of hiring and recruitment.

QUESTIONS FROM FLI AND INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS

I’m a FLI student, what type of support and resources are available during this time?

Be sure to review the comprehensive  FLI guide to COVID-19 which was created to support the Stanford FLI community. The guide contains information on important contacts, links to keep informed, and resources for legal, academic, housing, food, career, financial, health needs, and more. Low income students can access additional financial support by applying to the Opportunity Fund. Reach out and connect with alumni. Learn how FLI alumni navigate their careers by tuning in to  On the FLI: The Journey to Life and Career Podcast. Consider joining the FLI Alumni Mentoring Group on the Stanford Alumni Mentoring Platform. If you are a new grad, you have access to BEAM services and resources for one year following graduation.

I am an international student, what do I need to be aware of to remain in good standing with my visa and my internship/job/career?

Work authorization rules and processing remains status quo. For any updates or information, please be sure to visit the Bechtel International Center website for FAQS focusing on how CoVid-19 impacts international students, or reach out to their advisors for answers to your personal visa-related questions. Check out Job Search During the Coronavirus - Who’s Hiring and 9 Job Search Tips for International Students in the Age of Coronavirus.

As an international student, can I still use CPT for a remote internship in the US, even though I am back in my home country?

Yes -  CPT can be processed even though you are not currently in the US. However, you do need to be in the US to apply for post-completion OPT before your deadline expires.

I’m an international student working remotely in the US, do I need work authorization if I am working remotely?

Regardless of where you are in the world, US or abroad, if you are working for a company that is based in the US, then you still need work authorization–either CPT or post-completion OPT–if eligible. If you are abroad and doing remote work for another company that isn’t in the US, then you do not need work authorization if you have the proper work authorization for that country.

Does 'No US work authorization required' on the Handshake career platform job portal mean that students will not be required to have work authorization to work for that company? 

When employers fill out the work authorization section on Handshake, they may not always understand exactly what it means to say US work authorization is not required. It is up to you to discern whether or not you need work authorization because each opportunity should be evaluated based on the work you would be doing, not just what the employer states. Any implications of not getting work authorization when needed will fall back on you and you will have to deal with any future implications (if any) and not the company as it relates to remaining in legal visa status. 

Will I be able to intern with companies in the U.S. when the academic year starts? 

Typically, you must be enrolled for 1 academic year to begin using your CPT or pre-completion OPT  as your off-campus internships/jobs need to be related to your major/field of study. The only exception to this is with some graduate programs that may allow you to use your CPT much sooner due to the shorter lengths of some graduate programs. If the opportunity is on-campus/Stanford affiliated then typically no work authorization is required. Make sure to also connect with Bechtelwhen you arrive on campus to learn more about your status and work authorizations so you can make more informed career decisions. 

Does being physically in the US affect my ability to apply for internships?

As the laws currently state, being in the U.S. physically does not affect your ability to apply for U.S. internships. 

How do I know if I need work authorization for my internship?

Typically work authorization is needed for most off-campus U.S. based internships whether paid or unpaid, unless the role is purely volunteer work. This can get confusing so make sure to also check-in with Bechtel if you are unsure about each opportunity so you can remain in good standing with your status.

QUESTIONS FROM NEW ALUMNI

I have graduated from Stanford, can I get help from BEAM?  

Yes  – As a new alumni, you have access to BEAM services and resources for a full year after graduating!  BEAM’s services include coaching appointments, workshops, career fairs, employer and alumni networking events, resources and job postings. To make an appointment with a career coach, find listings of upcoming programs, or access resources, visit Handshake

I have graduated this year, what does the future look like for me? 

Graduation is a huge milestone - congratulations! Your question is one we are all asking. It acknowledges the fact that both our present and future have been impacted by COVID-19.  While we know there is a “new normal”, it’s difficult to say how the pandemic will influence every aspect of our future or the job market as a whole.  We can’t predict every aspect of our future, but we can focus on the present and how best to navigate the current challenges, as the action we take now will also influence how our future unfolds.  Consider reading  Graduating in a PandemicJob Search During the Coronavirus - Who’s Hiring, and Developing Professionally During COVID-19, for guidance during this time. BEAM coaches are also available to meet with you as you pivot into post-graduate life. 

What if I can’t find employment immediately and there’s a gap in my resume? Will this count against me with a potential employer?

Given the impact of COVID-19 on the job market, employers are aware that there may be challenges in securing a job immediately following graduation. Most of the reasons people find themselves unemployed are extremely common and can be easily and quickly explained as recruiters and hiring managers are already familiar with the narrative. Take a look at 5 Tips for Explaining Gaps In Your Employment History to help you comfortably address any break in your work life. While employers may not be concerned about a gap, particularly at this time, they will be interested in knowing how you spent your time while seeking employment.  For ideas and suggestions on engaging in professional development to keep your skills up-to-date and ensure you are job ready, see Professional Development During COVID-19

My career plans have changed since COVID-19.  I won’t be able to carry out my Plan A.  What are my options?  Should I just take anything I can get right now?  

Because of Covid 19, many people have had to make adjustments to their career or job search plans. Don’t abandon your dream job, but consider devising a Plan B and/or Plan C to get through the next steps. What have you done in the past that you would be willing to do again while the economy continues to recover? What is something you have had on the back burner, that you could now fully explore?  Is there a role, within the same or different industry, that would allow you to develop skills needed to prepare for the role you plan to eventually pursue? If possible, have an open mindset and stay positive during the job search. The current job market requires perseverance, resourcefulness and agility, qualities employers look for in new hires.