We Are International MBA Graduates: My VRIO Showed My Source of Competitiveness

by Jiamin Su


A recent survey of international students studying in the U.S. “Employment of Foreign Nationals” by the University of Houston found that most students are satisfied with their experience and want to stay in the U.S. after graduation. 

However, the study also found that students have significant concerns about their ability to secure internships and jobs in the United States. This sense of how difficult it might be to achieve career goals in the U.S. appears to be influencing many students’ assessments of whether studying in the U.S. is worth the money. 


From the article “Number of Foreign Students Working in the US after Graduation” by Imed Bouchrika, more than four in 42% of students cited the reputation of colleges and universities as the reason they chose to study in the US, while 23% said a desire to work in the US after graduation was their main motivation. However, the study also found that many students were disappointed by how difficult it was to find a job or internship in the U.S.—a perception that was undermining their resolve to stay in the U.S. after graduation. For example, 34% of students say they are not ready to explore careers in the U.S., down from 46% but still a significant percentage. When the unprepared portion of students asked why they felt that way, the main reasons were how difficult it was to find a job or an internship, and little knowledge about how to get CPT, OPT and work visas. Relatedly, when asked about the most significant hurdles they faced, students were most likely to mention “the reluctance of U.S. employers to hire international students in place of domestic graduates or to provide the necessary sponsorship.


Challenges of Being an International MBA Student

I’m a graduate student at Northeastern University in Massachusetts, USA. I’m graduating soon and I want to bring my knowledge and passion to the rapidly growing pet grooming fashion industry in my native China. People embrace pets as their companions, which gives them care and attention. The fashion industry uses this focus on pets to promote their fashion to reach the intended market.


My stakeholders are my family who supports me in taking my education to the next level, and they will help me by supporting me financially and emotionally in achieving my career goals. This will help me put my vision and mission first so that I can succeed in the fashion industry. Applying my skills such as critical thinking and creativity will allow me to acquire the knowledge and skills that are key to functioning in a competitive labor market and to be able to tackle the impressive challenges of a work organization.


Despite my challenges in learning English, lack of patience, and other weaknesses, I will seek to improve my personality and seek patience to achieve my goals in the fashion industry. This will help me meet challenges such as China’s rapidly changing dynamics and customer preferences. My VRIO analysis of my strengths demonstrates that my most powerful cards to play are me having an imaginative eye for fashion and my presence in the online fashion platform. 


My resources and capabilitiesVRIO
Understanding how to take care of animalsYes
Educational background in arts, business, and architecture.YesYesNoNo
Experience living and going to school in the USA (TX, OH, MA)YesYesYesNo
Speaks multiple languagesYesYesYesNo
Presence in the online fashion platformYesYesYesYes
Has an imaginative eye for fashionYesYesYesYes


I am a fashion consultant with a passion for fashion and pets. I believe in my background in business and construction skills, creativity and passion for pets, good leadership skills, multilingualism, good online platforms, and a good creative eye for fashion products. This will help me find a solution to some stakeholder objections about pet clothing that violates Chinese community norms. I will bring a group of trained people, like me, dedicated to addressing some of the stakeholder objections to pet clothing, and brainstorming ideas to move the idea of ​​pet clothing forward.


Five Steps for Capitalizing on Co-op or Internships


Unfortunately, I cannot find an ideal employer in the USA as my visa is related to a specific company. But I can still change the scope of my role in existing internships to suit my multidimensional personal needs. Below are the steps I found as best working for me. I hope that will help everybody. 


Step 1: Spend time as a volunteer/intern

Volunteering or an internship are two of the most useful and rewarding things we can do before graduation. Not only will I gain valuable experience and an introduction to the professional world, but it will also help me figure out the kinds of things that interest me the most. Many organizations run on volunteers, so I may just be contributing more than I realize.


Step 2: Review my digital skills

More and more jobs require daily familiarity with technology. This includes basic skills such as document creation and processing, email sending, and using MS Office (Word, Excel, etc.), Google Docs and Sheets, social media, and other handy programs. 


Step 3: gain work experience

It’s a good idea to get as much paid work experience as possible, whether it’s relevant to my field of study or not. Not only will I have a little pocket money, but I will learn important professional skills and be able to fill out more of my CV. Each state in Australia has different laws about the legal age to start work. Check the laws that apply to me.


Step 4: Chat with a career advisor

A careers advisor from my school will be able to help me choose the jobs to apply for, give advice on how to improve my resume, and help me improve my interviewing skills. As I graduation approaches, I may also find it helpful to discuss things with them.


Step 5: Request Letters of Recommendation

I can ask a teacher with whom I have a good relationship to write me a letter of recommendation. Letters of recommendation are a great thing to have and stick with so I can get them out when I need them.


About the Author

Jiamin Su is a student pursuing a Master of Business Administration at Northeastern University. She comes from Shanxi, China. She was considering her next journey as preparing to take back skills and knowledge to compete in her home country. She wants to be associated with fashion as a global player.

Jiamin Su’s Linkedin Profile