International Students

World wide careers

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Whether you are looking to work in the UK after graduation, or overseas, the Careers and Professional Development Service can help support you in achieving your career goals.

Working in the UK

Recruitment in the UK is often very different from other countries which can initially be confusing for international students. For example:

  • There is no placement service at Imperial College Business School – students find their own jobs and use our support to make sure they are best prepared for those opportunities
  • There is often a defined recruitment cycle (see Advertised jobs for more information) which starts in the Summer/Autumn term. Therefore you need to start your applications as soon as you join the Business School
  • You do not need to only apply to roles for which you have a relevant undergraduate degree – this is less important in the UK. Most firms are looking at your potential as well as your demonstrable interest in their business

Work restrictions

International students can only apply for opportunities where the company can support their visa application. This means that you will need to secure employment from an organisation which is a licensed sponsor. Employers must meet a number of different conditions to be able to sponsor international students, and therefore many are unable to do so. In general, you will find the larger companies that recruit lots of graduates are the most likely to be able to recruit international students. However, other companies working in areas where there is a skills gap are often able to recruit too.

To find out whether a company can sponsor you, you can:

  • Visit their website. In the careers section of their website they will often have this information in their FAQ’s or in their “Our requirements” section
  • Often the first question asked on the application form is “Do you have the permanent right to work in the UK?”. If you answer “No” and the company cannot sponsor you, you will be unable to proceed with the application. You must answer this question truthfully.
  • Look at the list of company sponsors on the UK Border Agency website. Please note this list is to sponsor internationals from all levels and experiences. Therefore you may find that employers on this list can sponsor international candidates at an experienced hire level, but not at a graduate level.

For general advice on visas and work permits, you should contact the International Office.

For general advice on finding a job in the UK, you should look at Finding Opportunities.

Application advice

Applications for vacancies in the UK are often done with an online application form or a CV and cover letter. For general advice on making applications, look at The Recruitment Process.

For international students, you should remember the following when making applications:

  • In general, CVs in the UK should not include a photo
  • On application forms, you are often asked for your UCAS points; this is a UK educational classification system. Do not try and translate your own grades to this system. It is important that you provide details of the grades you actually received in your home country. You need to write them exactly as you were given them (i.e. 89/100, A+, GPA 3.4 etc)

Improving your English

One of the most important things that you can do to increase your chances of getting a job in the UK is to improve your English. Here are some ideas on how:

  • Look at getting additional English support. You can do this by contacting the Business School English Support.
  • Make sure you speak English all day, every day
  • Spend your spare time reading the reputable business press (i.e. The FT, Guardian, The Times etc) and watching business news on TV (BBC News channel, for example)

Being an entrepreneur

Imperial has a number of opportunities for entrepreneurs to be sponsored in the UK under the Tier 1  (Graduate Entrepreneur) category. Check whether you qualify on the UK Home Office website. If you are interested in finding out further, visit the International Office’s website.

Working outside the UK

You can find more information about finding jobs outside of the UK on our International Opportunities page.