[Assam] [Frgraduates-list] Meirs & discrimination in jobs etc - my first job in US
jaipurschool at yahoo.com
Wed Oct 12 17:09:12 EDT 2005
umesh sharma <jaipurschool at yahoo.com> wrote: Date: Wed, 12 Oct 2005 22:05:58 +0100 (BST)
From: umesh sharma <jaipurschool at yahoo.com>
To: frgraduates-list at gse.harvard.edu
Subject: [Frgraduates-list] Meirs & discrimination in jobs etc - my first
job in US
I got my first job - by following advice of friends and seniors - of part time tutoring GRE students in DC - for a GRE/GMAT Test-Prep Institute (my 90th percentile in GRE seems to be a bigger draw in attracting employers). Ofcourse it also matters to whom you are applying to. I will be auditioning for a SAT tutoring program this Sunday and migh get a call for teaching elementary grades in a Charter School in DC.
Earlier, I spent 4 months of seemingly futile job search in areas/organizations which have landed jobs for many of my American classmates -of helping educational improvement in developing countires -working in international NGOs and also the World Bank for my seniors.
My seniors (females) who were from developing countries (from India and Brazil ) and were here for 5 years for the doctoral program had advised that it is extremely difficult to get a job in the US-being international students - in education. Most go back to their home countires without even availing the Optional Practical Training clause in their student visa -whereby they can gain on-the-job experience by working for one year after graduation - in USA. I consider it very valuable. I am finding that even for getting on-the-job experience - as part of my student visa allowance - if very difficult indeed.
My seniors (American girls) had advised that I try to contact senior officials at the World Bank - arrange for some meeting (over lunch) and keep meeting them. Thats how they got their initial break there. I did all that - with 25 people -incl. 3 Indians . Noone agreed to meet me. Some did keep my info. for future use.
My roommate's father (an Indian in US Army) has later advised that only those who have extremely high contacts can land any position in the World Bank, IMF etc. He said that I start becoming aggresive and start applying everywhere in public schools etc - thats how he had got his first job in US - after doing his PhD here twenty years ago. He said that I should put my plans or hopes to land great positions on hold - and get my initial break to manage the extremely costly living expenses here ($700 per month - equal to my annual expenses in India)
It is possible that the mostly male dominated World Bank (as seen from the names of the managers) would prefer to meet and talk to young American girls compared to some Indian male from terrorism ridden South Asia. Just like the current US Supreme Court nominee says that she got used to being treated as a woman first and a professional later-I guess US univ. graduates from developing countries should accept that they would be stereotyped on the basis of their home country -before they are judged on their merit. I have decided to mention my GPA and GRE, TOEFL scores in the first para of my cover letter for future applications - since that seems to have helped me in my tutoring jobs.
The professors both male and female - did put in a word for me to high officials in World Bank. A Chinese director (former international student) there did his best - forwarding my details to his mostly American colleagues. But I am yet to hear from any of those colleagues of his. He is still helpful but perhaps being an Asian in DC has its disadvantages for him as well.
Yet whenever I go to the World Bank area-- I see lots of brown skinned, emaciated looking men --(and a few women in saris) roaming outside or going in--most likely from india ( who are generally famously against any form of exercise atleast in US) . Might be they have some political or govt contacts - or becos they have a very high level of cronism - that Americans there do not like to help Indians like me for that reason.
Even at the temple a middle aged man ventured to say that I was in the wrong field . If I had been in the field of computers he could have helped me find a job. My land lord had started saying I should change field and get training in computer software -"they do it all the time." It will be easy to get a job since indians would help me get a computer job.
Education is a worng job for first generation Indians here - but I was glad to meet an second generation Indian American this Sunday at the temple who overheard my talking about early Indian history and human migration from Africa to India. He said that computer jobs have been important in help get Indians to USA but second generation has varied interests.
Now, I have been applying on www.Craigslist.com for any education related job since my finances are now below $1,000 level. Fortunately, I have got many responses for after-noon /weekend tutoring positions in K-8 schools (which do not need teacher license) and SAT & GRE tutoring. My first interview in US was this Monday at a Children Center - for handling kids of age 5-11 years after they come back from their elementary schools. The kids wait there - waiting to be picked up by their double income parents-mostly diplomats, lawyers, judges etc in a rich white neighborhood outside a mostly Black DC area. It seems the Harvard name helped me get that interview. Yesterday evening I got a phone call from www.ltsprep.com and today they asked me to contact their trainer and start training. I had to FAX my GRE scorecard to them. So I got my first job!!
(Today, when I got the phone call I was in the National Air & Space Museum looking at the first private spacecraft to go to space - and the 1900s gliders and planes. Perhaps I need to go step by step to improve my hire-ability).
Atleast that is a start. Atleast a US educated Indian who has previously taight in Indian schools - is considered suitable to work in US schools - in non-teaching/teaching assistant positions. It is true that I feel this challenging becos I have no previous experience of handling American kids. I am improving my accent by learning fro my Indian room mate - who can speak English with both US and Indian accent. US accent requires that your lower jaw and tongue should move sideways while speaking - while Indians' (who speak Hindi -south Indians have a different accent-which also my room mate can speak) lower jaw tends to go down and out while speaking any language.
Hopefully, by the time I get a position in some International NGO - in any part of the world - I would have learnt a lot about dealing with US students of age groups from pre-K to GRE students -which might be a plus - in my NGO interviews and later career as well.
PS: In India also my friends who joined foreign banks there in Delhi (like in American Express or CitiBank or HSBC or Standard Chartered ) told me that for initial positions - you need to have someone in your family - to get an opening- in any position. So there also those who were local to that city had much better chances. This is for those who did not graduate from
hi-fi MBA institutes.
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