A diverse group of five international students pose inside the Illini Union South Lounge.

Benefits of CC-I Program

The CC-I program is a unique and innovative program dedicated to career/professional development for international students. This program has been offered by The Career Center since Fall 2012. Completing all requirements in the program will allow you to receive the Career Certificate - International Students (CC-I). 

This program helps international students plan their career, develop job search skills, and enhance self-promotion and networking skills. When you complete this program, you will have a higher level of career competence confidence as you seek an internship or job. You will learn practical information, as well as skills and strategies for your search.

In 2016, CC-I received the Services to International Students award, a national award presented by the National Career Development Association.

Eligibility and Application Process

Any undergraduate and master's-level international student may apply for the CC-I program. Due to the developmental purpose of the program, preference is given to 2nd-semester freshmen through 1st-semester juniors. The application begins in May for the fall semester CC-I program and in November for the spring semester CC-I program. You must also attend a mandatory information session about the CC-I before applying.

CC-I Requirements

To complete the CC-I program, you must:

  1. Attend and actively participate in at least eight of the weekly CC-I workshops; only one pre-excused absence is accepted.
  2. Complete assigned milestones and tasks associated with the CC-I program.

CC-I Workshops

The Career Center offers two sections of the CC-I workshops every semester. For more details, please check the CC-I information session workshop schedule that is available the first two weeks of each semester.   

  • Section A: Mondays, 4 p.m. - 5:30 p.m.
  • Section B: Tuesdays, 4 p.m. - 5:30 p.m.  

 

Workshop 1: Introduction to International Student Career Development

This introductory session will discuss the reality of the job market for international students. It will also serve as a guide for you to check your own career exploration and preparation.

 

Workshop 2. Networking and Elevator Pitch

This workshop is the first piece of gaining networking skills. Many international students lack an understanding of the importance of networking. How networking works toward securing a career opportunity will be discussed. Developing an elevator pitch is suggested as a tool of self marketing in any networking situation. In this workshop, you will create a draft of a pitch and have time to practice it with classmates.

 

Workshop 3. LinkedIn and Informational Interview

We will discuss how to best use LinkedIn, the world's largest professional network. We will also discuss how to prepare for and conduct an informational interview.  

 

Workshop 4. Resume and Cover Letter  

Your resume is an important tool in your job/internship search. This workshop will focus on how to format your resume, describe your experience, and showcase your global competencies. Questions such as "Where do I begin?", "How do I make my resume stand out without any work experience?", and "How do I customize my resume for a specific employer" will be highlighted. Valuable tips for cover letter writing are also provided.

 

Workshop 5. Job Search Resources

This workshop will teach you how to find and use valuable job search resources, especially resources that meet the unique needs of international students. You will learn how to navigate lists of companies who hire international job seekers, as well as resources that help you research target employers. 

 

Workshop 6. Effective Interviewing

This workshop covers pre-interview preparation, interview structure, question and answer preparation, and post-interview etiquette. 

 

Workshop 7. Internship Essentials and Panel

This workshop will include the basics of internships, including the process of the CPT, how to find an internship, how to convert your internship to a full time position, and more. In the second part of the workshop, you will meet international students who have completed internships. They will give you tips and suggestions from their actual experiences, including how they were able to land internships.

 

Workshop 8. Final Elevator Pitch Competition & Ceremony

The last session of the series will culminate with an elevator pitch competition. Show off the skills you've learned through the CC-I and win a prize!  At the end of the session, the CC-I ceremony will recognize your achievement in completing the CC-I program.