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How to address unemployment (international applicant)

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How to address unemployment (international applicant) [#permalink] New post 07 Nov 2010, 12:46
Hey guys,

I am hoping to start my MBA in the fall of 2012, and am looking for some advice. I'm sorry to be asking this in the middle of what seems to be a hectic application season, but I hope some of you will have some answers for me.

I have close to three years of work experience in IT, I used to work for a big-shot IT firm in India. I got married last year and moved to the US to be with my husband, who works here. Given the particularly harsh economic climate here (particularly for internationals), I haven't been able to find a job yet. I am wondering how to address this year-long unemployment in my application.

I have been doing some volunteer work during this time, but its just basic stuff and nothing eye-popping that would distinguish me from the regular applicant pool. (teaching high school students, teaching adult literacy classes, Toastmasters, doing some IT - related coursework etc) I enjoyed the time I spent on these activities, but I don't know how much value it would add to my application.

Also, seeing that I have a year to go before applying, could someone give me some suggestions on how to utilize this time well? (My job search is still on at full swing, but protracted unemployment is a possibility that I have to consider, given the H1B visa complexities) I'm sure I'm not the first person to deal with the unemployment situation, and I'd really appreciate some tips on how to navigate this phase.

I'm fairly clear about my career path, and already have a list of school that I'm likely to be applying to. My GMAT is done as well, and I have a pretty good score. My biggest concern is my current unemployment, and if adcoms would view me as someone who is potentially unemployable. Opinions are welcome!
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Re: How to address unemployment (international applicant) [#permalink] New post 07 Nov 2010, 13:53
Sapphire,

Given the number of international applicants and students at most B-schools, people are incredibly sensitive and understanding when it comes to issues about visas, so I think your situation sounds very understandable.

I wouldn't stress about that aspect of your application too much. It looks like you've actually used the time wisely so you have something to talk about. I'm particularly impressed with your teaching because it shows a great deal of leadership and an ability to communicate well with people, which are both things that B-schools look for.

I'd be open and honest about your situation in your essays, and since you have a year left, I'd look to see if there are any organizations you work with who are looking for a leader to spearhead any sort of initiative.
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Re: How to address unemployment (international applicant) [#permalink] New post 08 Nov 2010, 07:17
I'd agree with balki1867, the h1b visa issue makes it difficult, so if you note that in your essays and that it's outside of your control, adcoms will understand.

(teaching high school students, teaching adult literacy classes, Toastmasters, doing some IT - related coursework etc) - You've done a lot! Don't downplay this. Depending on your ug gpa or gmat scores, if your quantitative or qualitative scores aren't that high, consider taking some additional community college courses or leadership roles in toastmasters or other groups you work with.

best of luck!
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Re: How to address unemployment (international applicant) [#permalink] New post 08 Nov 2010, 08:37
Thanks balki and thisguy310 for your comments, thats reassuring!

I'm wondering, is there any specific type of volunteer activity that adds extra value to your application?
Re: How to address unemployment (international applicant)   [#permalink] 08 Nov 2010, 08:37
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