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Advice: American working in UK after finishing postgrad degree Watch

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    Hey guys!

    Had a question: does anyone (maybe some fellow Americans/internationals floating around here) have any advice about getting work in the UK. I'm currently finishing my MA at a top-10 university here in England, and have loved the UK. I'd like to stay and work for a while after I finish my degree. My visa lasts until January, but from what I understand I don't have enough points for the point based visa. It seems employee-sponsorship is the only way to go (unless I'm missing some magical visa-extender that I can't find anything about).

    My main question: Which UK employers will be interested in sponsoring me for a visa, if you happen to know?

    About me: I have a diverse background in politics, writing, and communications. So I'd be interested in really anything involving marketing, political analysis, writing, communications, business start-ups, technology, etc.

    Also, one last thing I wanted to add: please don't be offended. I know the job market is bad here as it's also bad back home, I'm not trying to steal your jobs It's really a compliment... I liked the rain enough to stay!
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    (Original post by ListenerFriendly)
    Hey guys!

    Had a question: does anyone (maybe some fellow Americans/internationals floating around here) have any advice about getting work in the UK. I'm currently finishing my MA at a top-10 university here in England, and have loved the UK. I'd like to stay and work for a while after I finish my degree. My visa lasts until January, but from what I understand I don't have enough points for the point based visa. It seems employee-sponsorship is the only way to go (unless I'm missing some magical visa-extender that I can't find anything about).

    My main question: Which UK employers will be interested in sponsoring me for a visa, if you happen to know?

    About me: I have a diverse background in politics, writing, and communications. So I'd be interested in really anything involving marketing, political analysis, writing, communications, business start-ups, technology, etc.

    Also, one last thing I wanted to add: please don't be offended. I know the job market is bad here as it's also bad back home, I'm not trying to steal your jobs It's really a compliment... I liked the rain enough to stay!
    Have you been looking at job websites? I have the same problem, as I'm not UK/EU citizen. I've looked at a few job centre kind of thing but they don't take international applicants..

    This country really doesn't like foreigners..

    Any help on this matter would help!
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    (Original post by rizlaswan)
    Have you been looking at job websites? I have the same problem, as I'm not UK/EU citizen. I've looked at a few job centre kind of thing but they don't take international applicants..

    This country really doesn't like foreigners..

    Any help on this matter would help!
    I've actually applied to like 20 jobs... I've gotten numerous offers for interviews, etc, but the clincher is that the only employer that was willing to sponsor my visa was HSBC, but it was for finances which is OK, but not really in my field of expertise (at all).

    It seems like my best bet is international corporations or American companies with offices in London who typically hire Americans.

    I honestly understand why their immigration is tough (the US's is also hellishly frustrating as any Brit trying to get work there will tell)... but it seems the best option is currently marriage :eek: Which isn't happening anytime soon.
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    (Original post by ListenerFriendly)
    I've actually applied to like 20 jobs... I've gotten numerous offers for interviews, etc, but the clincher is that the only employer that was willing to sponsor my visa was HSBC, but it was for finances which is OK, but not really in my field of expertise (at all).

    It seems like my best bet is international corporations or American companies with offices in London who typically hire Americans.

    I honestly understand why their immigration is tough (the US's is also hellishly frustrating as any Brit trying to get work there will tell)... but it seems the best option is currently marriage :eek: Which isn't happening anytime soon.
    I spoke to HSBC and they said they didn't support Visa so i didn't apply..!! that's annoying. yeh i know, i've applied to more than 40 now, but only the really big firms hire internationals.. HSBC would definitely get you to places, have you got an offer?

    marriage would certainly be the best option..!
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    Accord to this site HSBC does support Tier 2 Visa holders http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/si...sterofsponsors

    And I'm in the same boat or I will be. I'm making a list of orgs I am interested in and I will be hitting them hard for a job from the start of my postgraduate studies term.
    (I'm an American too however I would not only be interested in a job but permanent residency, leading up to citizenship)
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    (Original post by nicolew100)
    Accord to this site HSBC does support Tier 2 Visa holders http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/si...sterofsponsors

    And I'm in the same boat or I will be. I'm making a list of orgs I am interested in and I will be hitting them hard for a job from the start of my postgraduate studies term.
    (I'm an American too however I would not only be interested in a job but permanent residency, leading up to citizenship)
    Yes, a lot of companies listed on the registry don't actually support tier 2 visa tho - in their graduate positions. HSBC, transport for london, sainsburys being some of them (I met their HR people at a career fair..)

    That's a good idea, tho I would contact the companies directly to confirm.

    is permanent residency =/= citizenship?
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    I'm just saying I'm a bit more committed than perhaps most.
    I am going to be studying for an MSc Political Comm myself at the Uni of Glasgow.

    That is disappointing about transport for London :-(.

    I've got time to plan a strategy but this is discouraging.


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    (Original post by nicolew100)
    I'm just saying I'm a bit more committed than perhaps most.
    I am going to be studying for an MSc Political Comm myself at the Uni of Glasgow.

    That is disappointing about transport for London :-(.

    I've got time to plan a strategy but this is discouraging.


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    You might want to check on that. I know HSBC will support a visa for their grad schemes, but it is only for the Global Banking Scheme (think that's what its called?). My expertise didn't fit with this program, so I didn't pursue it further.

    Scotland has--I believe--a slightly more open attitude towards employing students from outside of the UK (or it seemed that way from friends of mine who worked in Edinburgh). The weather is ****, but the city is incredibly, incredibly beautiful.

    Myself, I want to stay in England. I'm hoping I'll have some $ left to spend the duration of my visa (til Jan 2014) trying to find a job.
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    I'm open to either England or Scotland.

    I only worried that being in Glasgow will limit my availability to network for jobs in cities like England. However, if the Scots are more open to employing an American that may help counter-balance things a bit.

    I'm trying to create a list of organizations in England and Scotland (2 lists) that I would be interested in working with after graduation.

    If you don't mind me asking what degree do you have (or will you have) since you discussed communications, politics, technology, marketing (it sounds very much like my background.)
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    the job market is tough over here, if I was you I'd have a solid plan in place rather than coming here expecting jobs to be falling off trees.
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    I don't think anyone expects that ^. Job market is tough everywhere in the Western world.
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    UK-Yankee is a forum for American expats in the UK. I'm sure they'll have some bright ideas if you post on there.
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    (Original post by SnoochToTheBooch)
    the job market is tough over here, if I was you I'd have a solid plan in place rather than coming here expecting jobs to be falling off trees.
    Did you read anyone's posts in this thread? We're discussing this in the most pragmatic and proactive way possible. No offense intended, but I'm hardworking, have a decent CV, and just like this country enough that I'd like to stay here for a while. The job market's tough everywhere; I'm ready to work. I'm not waiting for jobs to come to me... I'm actively seeking them. I am just asking if anyone has any advice which might be relevant to my particular set of circumstances. You can only benefit from networking, right?

    There's a lot of Brits that also want to work in the States; I think it's good. I've actually helped them out. It's a two-way street. I have no spite for internationals seeking work in the states. I'm sorry if my attempt at working here offends you; however, if you ever look for work in the states, it's always nice to have an American to ask for help.

    (Original post by nicolew100)
    I don't think anyone expects that ^. Job market is tough everywhere in the Western world.
    ^This.^ Well said.

    (Original post by Origami Bullets)
    UK-Yankee is a forum for American expats in the UK. I'm sure they'll have some bright ideas if you post on there.
    Thanks so much! I will certainly check this out. Again, I am not stuck on any one particular option. Just playing the field and seeing if any opportunities open up. Thanks so much for the advice!


    (Original post by nicolew100)
    If you don't mind me asking what degree do you have (or will you have) since you discussed communications, politics, technology, marketing (it sounds very much like my background.)
    No problem! I am finishing my MA in International Relations at Exeter. My BSc is in English Writing, with an emphasis in entrepreneurial business and marketing.
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    (Original post by ListenerFriendly)
    Did you read anyone's posts in this thread? We're discussing this in the most pragmatic and proactive way possible. No offense intended, but I'm hardworking, have a decent CV, and just like this country enough that I'd like to stay here for a while. The job market's tough everywhere; I'm ready to work. I'm not waiting for jobs to come to me... I'm actively seeking them. I am just asking if anyone has any advice which might be relevant to my particular set of circumstances. You can only benefit from networking, right?

    There's a lot of Brits that also want to work in the States; I think it's good. I've actually helped them out. It's a two-way street. I have no spite for internationals seeking work in the states. I'm sorry if my attempt at working here offends you; however, if you ever look for work in the states, it's always nice to have an American to ask for help.
    nowhere did I say I was offended, I was just saying, it's not easy for anyone here.
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    I think it ultimately comes down to networking, networking, interning, volunteering, networking and networking.

    I do think I am going to add some web programming to my background this summer somehow. I see jobs in the London area for communications graduates however they prefer some background in web programming (or infer that they do).
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    Hi ListenerFriendly,

    My advice to you is: don't count on being able to get a UK job.


    I'm a Brit who lived for almost a decade in the US, finished high school there, got my BA, my Masters, and worked as much as allowed on my student visa. I wasn't able to transition my experience into a long-term job due to visa restrictions, so I'm now back in the UK, not by choice (although obviously both places have pros and cons). Like you, I look great on paper and could do the jobs as well as any local candidate. But I found that if you don't have work authorisation and the employer won't sponsor you (most won't, as you say), you are SOL. Even if you want to work for the employer and they want to hire you, the visa is a huge barrier. For me, it was insurmountable. If you can overcome it, more power to you, but I would make some contingency plans as well.


    Keep networking in the US and laying groundwork for a possible return. You'll miss out on a lot of US-based opportunities, so make sure you don't lose any ground on peers. Think of this as the opportunity cost of choosing to study internationally. You may not get the "halo effect" of your university's good reputation, and your networking opportunities may also be limited, so you have to work around that. If you're determined to work in the UK, you may have to compromise on industry/locations/pay/working conditions. If you want a job suited to your qualifications, you may be better off in the US. Sad but true.

    One of my biggest challenges returning to the UK is that UK employers have no idea about my US university (which has a good reputation in the US though is not Ivy League), nor do they understand a GPA (mine is good), and even contacting foreign references is daunting for many of them. I imagine it would be similar in reverse (e.g., a US employer wouldn't have a clue that a 1st is better than a 2.1). I have a whole packet that I submit on request to employers explaining a standard US education, including how to interpret my SAT/AP scores, GPAs, transcripts, etc. I suggest you put something similar together that plays to your strengths. If the employer doesn't understand your background, you'll get overlooked, and I had not expected this to be as prevalent as it is. We study internationally, and we may one day work internationally, but for new grads, hiring is still very localised.

    Sorry if this sounds negative. I wish someone had told me these realities when I was in your situation, so I am saying it to help you. I am sure you're awesome, but the market is just horrible right now even without all the extra visa hassles internationals face, and that employers don't want to know about. I'm not saying don't try, but be prepared for it not to work, and try and have a back-up plan for US jobs too.

    Good luck.
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    I found advice from a UK employer when it comes to writing CVs if you are an American. Customize your CV to UK standards including giving your approx. UK equivalent to your US GPA.

    I for one am willing to take a lower end UK job as opposed to its US equivalent. It's a bit depressing given how many British citizens would love to work in the US and vice versa. The UK is our closest ally yet we make things so unbelievably difficult on each others citizens.


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    (Original post by barefeet1099)
    Hi ListenerFriendly,

    My advice to you is: don't count on being able to get a UK job.


    I'm a Brit who lived for almost a decade in the US, finished high school there, got my BA, my Masters, and worked as much as allowed on my student visa. I wasn't able to transition my experience into a long-term job due to visa restrictions, so I'm now back in the UK, not by choice (although obviously both places have pros and cons). Like you, I look great on paper and could do the jobs as well as any local candidate. But I found that if you don't have work authorisation and the employer won't sponsor you (most won't, as you say), you are SOL. Even if you want to work for the employer and they want to hire you, the visa is a huge barrier. For me, it was insurmountable. If you can overcome it, more power to you, but I would make some contingency plans as well.


    Keep networking in the US and laying groundwork for a possible return. You'll miss out on a lot of US-based opportunities, so make sure you don't lose any ground on peers. Think of this as the opportunity cost of choosing to study internationally. You may not get the "halo effect" of your university's good reputation, and your networking opportunities may also be limited, so you have to work around that. If you're determined to work in the UK, you may have to compromise on industry/locations/pay/working conditions. If you want a job suited to your qualifications, you may be better off in the US. Sad but true.

    One of my biggest challenges returning to the UK is that UK employers have no idea about my US university (which has a good reputation in the US though is not Ivy League), nor do they understand a GPA (mine is good), and even contacting foreign references is daunting for many of them. I imagine it would be similar in reverse (e.g., a US employer wouldn't have a clue that a 1st is better than a 2.1). I have a whole packet that I submit on request to employers explaining a standard US education, including how to interpret my SAT/AP scores, GPAs, transcripts, etc. I suggest you put something similar together that plays to your strengths. If the employer doesn't understand your background, you'll get overlooked, and I had not expected this to be as prevalent as it is. We study internationally, and we may one day work internationally, but for new grads, hiring is still very localised.

    Sorry if this sounds negative. I wish someone had told me these realities when I was in your situation, so I am saying it to help you. I am sure you're awesome, but the market is just horrible right now even without all the extra visa hassles internationals face, and that employers don't want to know about. I'm not saying don't try, but be prepared for it not to work, and try and have a back-up plan for US jobs too.

    Good luck.
    Hey, thanks so much for your very thoughtful and informative reply!

    While I've been very busy with finishing the MA, I've been doing networking in the US as much as I can, as well. I'm certainly not opposed to the idea of returning to the US (hey, the weather is better and the food is... cheaper ). So, I'd love to stay in the UK for a number of reasons besides I just like it here, but I'm not going to naively assume I'll get something.

    I really appreciate all of your advice and shared experiences! It's all very helpful.

    Thanks
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    You are very welcome, and I'm glad it was useful. My situation was especially frustrating because 1) my entire family was living in the US but I just didn't have the right visa to stay long-term, and 2) I graduated in 2009 so made all my decisions about majors/internships before the crash, but graduated when it was at its worst. You're probably luckier than I am on both counts.

    Your best bet might be to look for a US-based job with an international company that could transfer you to the UK after a year or two.
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    come to think of it, is it not some sort of discrimination? companies say that one is not eligible to apply without a work permit, which puts some people at a disadvantage because of their nationality..?

    It is against the law to treat someone less favourably than someone else because of a personal characteristic, eg religion or age. There are different kinds of discrimination. (including race/nationality)

    It can include, for example:
    not hiring someone
    selecting a particular person for redundancy
    paying someone less than another worker without good reason

    Discrimination does not have to be deliberate and intentional. You can discriminate indirectly with working conditions or rules that disadvantage one group of people more than another.

    https://www.gov.uk/employer-preventing-discrimination
 
 
 
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