The University hired Divya Mehta ’18 in July 2018 to serve as its first ever International Student Career Coordinator in the Office of Global Engagement. Mehta, who will hold the position for one year, will assist international students in the job search process.
“Given her own experiences as an international student at Brown, Divya brings an informed and empathetic perspective to this position,” wrote Asabe Poloma, assistant dean for international students, in an email to The Herald. Poloma, who will supervise Mehta, also added that the position “fills a long-time need for inclusive career and professional development support for international undergraduate students.”
In order to help international students, Mehta said she is working to promote collaboration between different resources on campus. “I’m trying to create collaborative events between CareerLab, OISSS, Dean of the College and Global Engagement to offer information, so that a student doesn’t have to run from office to office to get an answer,” she said.
Mehta will also plan this year’s Global Brown Center’s Career Con, formerly called the ISE Career Con. The event brings together international students, faculty and alums to discuss challenges and opportunities available in the job search process, as The Herald previously reported.
As a former international undergraduate student, Mehta said she understood the complexities of the job application process. “I have discovered that there are some deficiencies in terms of assisting international students in a more collaborative process with the … job search in the (United States.)”
Chantal Marauta ’19, an international student interested in pursuing marketing and advertising, said she believes that the University could further help international students by facilitating “the channels of connection between students and companies.”
“There’s been a dearth of resources on campus, and as a senior I feel like I’ve missed out on a lot of opportunities based on not knowing avenues available on campus,” wrote Maheen Syed ’19, another international undergraduate student, in an email to The Herald. “Having an international student who went to Brown and has a job in the (United States) in itself is so inspiring and I feel very comfortable approaching someone who’s lived through the experience in all senses of the word.”
Mehta intends to aid international students interested in pursuing graduate education by creating an informational series on the application processes for graduate, medical and law school. She has already created a Canvas page called “International@Brown” that includes an events calendar and a discussion forum. The page is accessible to all undergraduate international students on campus.
“We are hoping somewhere down the line we could create a mentoring initiative with (alums),” she added.
While Mehta’s position was created to focus primarily on undergraduate international students, Mehta said she faces a challenge when asked to provide assistance to international graduate students. “There is also demand for this particular capacity on the graduate level,” she said. “I am getting a lot of requests from graduate students to have conversations with them.”
Mehta said her position was created “out of student advocacy and student need.”
“I did not apply for the position, I created the position,” she added.