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TECO-NY hosts Career Conference

International students often face similar anxieties and issues, such as worries about their visa status, and difficulties looking for work. TECO-NY holds career fairs and conferences regularly each year to help answer some common questions, offer advice about looking for work, and give a bit of inspiration. Over 200 students registered for the recent 2014 Career Conference event and attended, greatly exceeding the original estimate of 30! The auditorium was filled to overflowing: its maximum seating capacity is 84, so a live broadcast feed was set up in a separate viewing area accommodating all the interested students who couldn’t squeeze in.

This year’s event was a collaborative effort of the Education Division of TECO-NY, the U.S. Career Orientation Foundation, and the New York University Taiwanese Student Association. Three knowledgeable speakers were invited to offer useful pointers and inspire the students. The first was George Chen, a New Jersey entrepreneur from Taiwan, the founder and president of G&T International Trading Corporation, a recycling giant. He told them the story of his hard work and subsequent success. George is a devout Christian who also attributes his success to prayer and timely strokes of luck, such as the Overseas Chinese Investment Fund, providing much needed capital for him to start his business. He challenged the students to not think lightly of the idea of investing or starting a new business, pointing out that successful businesses require truly innovative ideas and tremendous discipline.

Many students could easily relate to the next speaker, Joe Chang: he’s young, he’s from Taiwan, and he found his first career opportunity at one of the career fairs at TECO-NY. Joe gave very practical tips on what managers hiring new staff look for in good resumes and cover letters. He showed some examples and pointed out aspects that are often overlooked by students, such as the size of the text.

The last speaker of the day was Mr. Lin Tao Esq. Mr. Lin is an attorney who is dedicated to helping Taiwanese students in that part of the US. He has worked closely with TECO-NY for many years. He explained the differences between the different visas that students might have, and the Curricular Practical Training (CPT) and Optional Practical Training (OPT) periods, and under what circumstances work is permissible. He reminded everyone to be prepared, so that deadlines would not creep up and suddenly surprise them.

All three speakers had lively Q&A sessions with the students and also gladly answered questions one-on-one. The event was helpful and inspirational – two very welcome boosts to students who are about to graduate and confront the job market.