Computer Career Strategies Workshop Empowers Students

Record number of students placed in paid U.S. CPT internships in November:

It’s an exciting time for the Computer Professionals program (ComProSM) at Maharishi International University. In November 2020, we had a record number of students hired for paid curricular practical training (CPT) internships, and the trend continues.

This is especially remarkable given the Covid-19 pandemic, and clearly indicates the resilience of the IT industry combined with a high demand for the professional skills of our ComPro students.

“These record numbers represent an active IT market that connects to our students who are uniquely well prepared for their CPT job search and interviewing,” says Jim Garrett, Director of Computer Science Career Development.

 

Uniquely prepared? How so?

Well, they’ve just completed the Career Strategies Workshop.

This three-week workshop takes place after two semesters of academic courses on-campus, and before the CPT internship. It is led by the expert coaches of our career center. A hands-on approach is used to develop the full spectrum of skills necessary for professional success. Students receive a wide array of resources to help them comfortably adapt to U.S. work culture.

 

Even during the pandemic, the career workshop is resulting in record internship hiring.

Even during the pandemic, the career workshop is resulting in record internship hiring.

 

“Our goal is to empower students to be self-sufficient in their search and interaction with recruiters and companies,” says Jim Garrett. “Completing this workshop not only improves student confidence, but more importantly, their level of professionalism. Technical skills aren’t enough to get hired for an internship. Students must present themselves professionally. They must engage. They have to see how to fit into the company, into their team. All these things may be subjective, but can be taught. We have proven strategies to do that.”

Workshop Topics include:

  • Finding an ideal curricular practical training (CPT) internship
  • Understanding ethical, legal, and social expectations in American business culture
  • Preparing a professional resume and cover letter
  • Identifying your marketable skills
  • Learning a formula for successful interviewing
  • Practicing coding challenges and technical responses
  • Networking for CPT placement success
  • Working with recruiting agencies and company recruiters
  • Connecting your skills to the job description
  • Using job boards and sites
  • Relocating to your internship city
  • Overview of practical training options and government regulations

 

Everything needed for the transition to a successful career

The ComPro program sets students up for success in a very holistic way: Academically, by developing high-demand technical skills; personally, with an ideal routine that includes daily practice of the scientifically validated Transcendental Meditation® technique, and professionally, with our Career Strategies Workshop.

“A data-driven approach is used to pinpoint areas of opportunity for students, then help them refine their skills and strategy to yield the best results: obtaining their CPT position,” says Sheri Shulmier, Co-Director of Computer Science Career Development. “Students are given step-by-step building blocks for a very natural learning journey. We alternate teaching, practicing and mastering the skills that will empower students for the rest of their lives.”

 

Become empowered for professional success

 

Unique Advantages

After finishing the Career Strategies Workshop, ComPro students are much better prepared for the interviewing process than the average CPT job seeker:

“When I saw what practices Amazon recommends to their interview candidates, to my surprise and delight, it’s exactly the skills we teach!” says Jim Garrett. “By the time students complete our workshop they’ve achieved a level of professionalism and competency most job seekers don’t have.”

Jim goes on to relate a recent conversation with a recruiter from Texas: “I was calling for a student reference, and we started talking about the ComPro program. The recruiter said, ‘You know Jim, I’ve got to tell you, your students interview better than people who have lived here their entire lives.’ ”

Another distinctive ComPro program advantage is that Transcendental Meditation (TM) is part of our curriculum. Students gain tangible benefits from their TM practice, including clearer thinking and the ability to remain calm under pressure. This is beneficial not only during a job interview, but also in a face-paced workplace. Scientific studies show that practicing TM leads to improved grades, enhanced work performance, and increased job satisfaction.

 

Ongoing Support

Our career center is recognized for the far-reaching support given to students. The Career Strategies Workshop goes above and beyond what most universities offer.

“After students complete their on-campus studies, several teams continue to support them,” says Sheri Shulmier. “The career center coaches are instrumental in preparing them for job search, but the support doesn’t end there. The operations team sees them through the hiring process, and the optional practical training (OPT) and distance education teams continue to offer support long after the students leave campus and start their internships.”