career advancement program FAQs
Frequently Asked Questions
If you want a head start on a successful career, you need to think ahead. The Career Advancement Program provides career development and skills you need to succeed in our global economy. Here are answers to common questions from students or parents, so you can start thinking ahead too.
How do I apply to the Career Accelerator?
When you arrive for your first semester, you will learn more about the Career Accelerator during your orientation. Over the course of the term, you will have a number of opportunities to meet and speak with the course instructor, learn more about the program and understand how the Career Accelerator will support both your academic and career goals. The program will not officially start until your second term and you will be formally invited to join the program then.
Will I receive credit for the courses I take in the Career Accelerator?
Although the Career Accelerator is non-credit bearing, it has been carefully designed to integrate into other credit-bearing classes and activities. This means that you will meet some of the requirements of the Career Accelerator simply by completing coursework in certain classes and participating in some student life activities. Working with your Career Advisor, you will be able to complete the rest of the program requirements without adding significantly to your existing course load. The majority of the activities provided through the program are non-credit bearing and are put in place to enhance your academic experience.
Will I have a career advisor to work with?
Yes. The Career Accelerator is not only defined by learning and competencies but by the impact that coaching and mentorship have on young professionals entering the workforce. Mentorship and guidance through Career Center professionals, university resources, and peer-to-peer interaction are all available to support your goals. In addition to these resources, you will have the same Career Accelerator Advisor that will guide you through the entire program.
Can I do more than one Career Accelerator Track?
Students opting into the Career Accelerator will be part of the same cohort for the duration of the program. This means you will work alongside other students in different tracks. The program is the same for all students while the content is strategically differentiated for your learning goals. If there are particular skills you want to learn in addition to the program designed for you, your Career Advisor will be able to help you develop those skills through one to one advising and other resources available to you.
What are the requirements to obtain internship assistance through the program?
Students wishing to pursue an internship must successfully complete all required elements of the Career Accelerator. Students must:
- Be in full immigration compliance according to university standards
- Have completed all major milestone projects
- Continue to be in good academic standing
- Demonstrate excellent communication skills
- Review the internship opportunity with their Career Advisor, Academic Advisor and the International Student Services Office
What companies will I work with?
Our goal is to provide eligible students with a variety of professional opportunities of varying types and lengths that best suit their needs and interests. At the time you become eligible for internship placement assistance, you will work with a specialist that will define a detailed internship plan and help identify opportunities that are aligned with your career goals, giving you an opportunity for maximum learning.
Will the internship be paid?
Internships can be paid or unpaid, and this is usually determined by each company. We cannot guarantee paid internships, but we do ensure that employers provide a quality experience designed to help you learn and grow both academically and professionally. Details on internship compensation will be included in the job description, so applicants will know prior to accepting an opportunity.
When can I do an internship?
Typically students complete internships over the summer break as this allows for a more comprehensive learning experience. International students are required to be enrolled full-time during the Fall and Spring semesters; therefore, internships during the school year are less common. However, they are possible if they are approved for academic credit and coordinated through your academic department.
Can I do more than one internship?
Yes. It is possible to do more than one internship as long as you continue to meet all the requirements of your program.
What visa requirements must I meet to do an internship?
As an international student, you must have a valid F-1 Visa and be approved for Curricular Practical Training (CPT) or Optional Practical Training (OPT). CPT can only be used during your academic career, and OPT is typically used after you graduate although pre-completion OPT is also an option. There are limitations on each status and more information will be provided through the program and the International Student Services Office on your campus, but some details are summarized below. In order to participate and receive CPT authorization, students must meet the following requirements:
- Students must be in valid F-1 status and enrolled full-time.
- Students must have been enrolled on a full-time basis for one academic year before making an application (9 consecutive months).
- Students must be in a degree-seeking program.
- Employment must be an integral part of the student’s curriculum.
- Employment must be off-campus, not affiliated with the U.S.
What is Optional Practical Training (OPT)?
The following information pertains to a 12-month OPT. Optional Practical Training (OPT) is a temporary employment directly related to an F-1 student’s major area of study. Its purpose is to give students the opportunity to gain work experience pre- or post-completion of their degree and is limited to 12 months total for each degree level.
In order to participate in OPT, students must meet the following requirements:
- Students must be in valid F-1 status at the time of the application, and if applying for pre-completion OPT, enrolled full-time.
- Students must have been enrolled on a full-time basis for one academic year before making an application.
- Employment must be directly related to the student’s field of study.
- Students registered for thesis or dissertation hours may apply and engage in OPT prior to completion of studies.
- Students are eligible for one year of OPT per education level. This means a student may apply for one year of OPT for the bachelor’s level, one year for the master’s level and one year for the doctoral level.
- Students must not have used 365 days of full-time CPT or 12 months of full-time OPT (at the same or higher degree level).