Can You Find a Job in the UK as an International Student?

International Students in the UK

Many international students believe that it is impossible to find a job in the UK. While it is not true, we understand where the frustration comes from. Students choose to study in the UK, hoping to get a job after graduation. But, when the school is finished, they cannot find a job or internship even with a master’s degree from a reputable university, only having to go home. There are many reasons behind this. The important thing is, in order to succeed, people should be able to understand why they are failing to find a job. Finding a job in the UK as a graduate is not only possible but also not that difficult. Only from previous years’ UK Visa Jobs users, we know more than 100 people who got visa sponsoring jobs from top global companies. In order to find the answer to the question and help some students or graduates clear their frustration, we spoke to some of them and here are their answers to some key questions.

UK Visa Jobs: What do you say to international students who say it is impossible to find a job in the UK?

Jianan W., from China and currently an Audit Associate at EY, said: “I had the same feeling when I first started looking for a job in the UK because I got a lot of rejections and people around me also told me it was impossible to get a job. However, not long after, a friend of mine had a job offer from Barclays, and they sponsored her visa. It changed my perception. So, I decided to stay focused and applied for one or two jobs each week. With my hard work, l eventually landed a job at EY. During EY’s induction week, I realised that my cohort had at least 70 international students. Imagine, EY hired at least 70. There must be hundreds and hundreds out there working for other companies. I and others are real examples, and I would like to say, if you work hard, it is totally possible to find a job in the UK”.

UK Visa Jobs: Based on your experience, what do students need to do to be able to secure a job offer?

Hasan A., an Associate Consultant at Accenture, said: “The first thing students should remember is that most companies start hiring one year in advance in the UK. For example, if you come to the UK to do a master’s degree in September, you need to start looking for jobs straight away to be able to start working after you graduate. If you don’t do this, things will only get harder. I did not also know this until I attended a webinar you guys (UK Visa Jobs) organised. After taking your (UK Visa Jobs) advice, I started submitting applications immediately in October last year. Back then, many companies had already closed some vacancies. My options were limited. However, I secured a job at Accenture, and I am starting in a few weeks. I am very looking forward to it as the company is now working on my skilled worker visa application”.

Priyanka A., from India and currently working at HSBC, said: “I totally agree with what Hasan said. Apart from starting early, knowing what you want to do for your career is important. We have to face the fact that some jobs are more difficult to get than others. I studied marketing, and I wanted to work in marketing. However, it was almost impossible for me to find a visa sponsored marketing job. Once, I saw a graduate marketing job on UK Visa Jobs. I applied and managed to go to the interview stage, but I did not pass. My time was running out. So, I decided to consider other options. I applied for banking jobs as I thought they would also suit me. I applied to many banks, and in the end, HSBC offered me a position. After joining the commercial banking team, I had a chance to do a secondment in their marketing team. I think I will be able to transfer. If it happens, it will be a dream come true”.

“My experience was also similar to Priyanka’s”, Yichun X., a risk consultant at Deloitte, added. “I studied TESOL. Imagine finding a job in the UK with that degree in the same field. Even my university could not advise me on that. Before I came to do my master’s, my plan was to come back to China after finishing my degree. However, I fell in love with the UK after I came here. I also really liked the working environment. That’s why, in the end, I decided to try finding a job here. After many consultations, I decided to start with companies that hire more international students. So, my advice to other students is if finding a job in their field is difficult, they need to choose another career, if they want to continue staying here, and change back to their initial desired career when they are more free to do so. That’s what I am planning to do, at least. I might just switch my career once I have got my indefinite leave to remain. I also advise everyone to speak to career advisors at UK Visa Jobs. They are really helpful”.

Joe, from Nigeria, said, “My situation was different to others. I studied accounting and finance at Warwick, and I knew I wanted to get into the Big Four or banking. Looking at UK Visa Jobs, I realised that actually many banks and accounting firms sponsor work visas. But I only started my application when I finished my degree. So available options were limited. I was almost not getting a job. But in the end, I was lucky to have found an accounting job in a smaller accounting practice. If it were not advertised on UK Visa Jobs, I even would not have known they existed. But the most important thing is I got a job here, and I am so happy. Having heard what others said, I am now regretting that I did not start my job application early enough. If you are doing your undergrad, my advice is to start applying for jobs as soon as you start your final year.”

UK Visa Jobs: What do you enjoy the most about working in the UK?

Kelly C. said: “Women are more respected here than in my country. That’s why I decided to stay here. At my company, PwC, female employees get lots of support, and we have equal career opportunities.”. “For me”, Ankit said: “I also enjoy the development opportunities that I have in my company. Our company is small, but work-life balance is great, and they also pay a decent salary. I would not get this back home”. Deepika thinks she was attracted to the diversity here. “I can easily feel myself at home in London. It is such a lovely and inclusive city. Every weakened, I have something to do”.

UK Visa Jobs: Thanks for joining our call today. What final advice do you give to people who are looking for jobs now?

“Never give up!” Kelly said, “Don’t listen to your friends’ negative comments. But be prepared to work hard to find a job”. Ambika added, “Almost all of my friends went back home because they all gave up too easily. They just applied for a couple of companies and convinced themselves that finding a visa sponsored job here was impossible. I submitted almost 30 applications and went to 9 interviews and 3 assessment centres to finally get ONE job. It took me 8 months. If you applied for a job via UK Visa Jobs and get rejected, speak to the team. They are super helpful. They can help you analyse the reasons. You don’t even get this level of support paying thousands of pounds to your university”. Joe agreed with what others said and added, “Yes, UK Visa Jobs is a great recourse. All jobs are put in one place, which makes job applications very easy. I would like to personally that you guys (UK Visa Jobs). Speaking to UK Visa Jobs advisors helps a lot.” Hasan said: “My final advice is don’t apply for jobs aimlessly. Focus on the companies that hire many international students. Your chances are higher there, and you will be less disappointed.”