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For Everything Else, There’s Visa

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By Rahul Pruthi on April 28, 2011

It’s ironic how in the United States we outsource work across all industries to the smart crowds of folks sitting in India and China; but, when those same brilliant people want to find a job in the U.S., they end up having to leave the country due to visa issues or circumstances that are beyond their control.

The once-appealing image that the term “land of opportunities” portrayed for individuals looking to come to the United States for post secondary education is quickly fading away.

Thanks to Startup Visa activists like Dave McClure, Fred Wilson and Eric Ries, the importance of skilled immigrants and their ideas that contribute to the overall U.S. economic growth continues to make headlines.

To put it into perspective, over 1 million individuals immigrate to America each year, a third of which are on some type of work visa. Now, imagine if all those skilled individuals were sent back to their countries — then the U.S. can watch helplessly as innovation starts moving east in countries like India and China.

Without simply trying to solve the visa issue, there are many other steps international students can take to level up the playing field. If you want to make it big in the U.S. and want to differentiate yourself in today’s tech age, you need to understand the rules of the game. Even a degree from Harvard or an MBA with 4.0 GPA does not guarantee you success in the professional arena.

Instead, if you haven’t already, start focusing on the following few:

1. Social Presence: Create your online brand.

2. Professional networking: In addition to Linkedin.com, take it one step further. Adapt ideas from both coasts. The concept of morning meetings, connecting over coffee and learn from the start-up world that never to be shy to reach out to anyone. If you think you want to talk to a CEO, send him/her a note. Be polite — don’t ask for a job, be genuine and just connect.

3. Basic cultural differences: Talk to an American, understand the basic cultural differences of greeting, meeting and talking.

4. Be creative: Google “guerilla tactics to getting an interview” and start implementing a few of them and you would surprised how well they work.

If there are any techniques that have worked for you or you feel international students could benefit from, feel free to share them in the comments below.

Rahul Pruthi highlights what folks from abroad can do to make it big in the US, especially as technology is changing the path to success. Read his full Out-Cultured archive here.

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