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International Students - Getting Involved In and Around Berkeley

In addition to relevant education, internships and job experiences, US employers also value well-rounded students with extracurricular activities and leadership experiences. Getting involved can result in gaining transferable skills that you can use in your career field of interest.

As you explore various ways to get involved, consider the Top Qualities Employers Seek in Job Candidates and see which ones you would like to develop and which activities would give you opportunities to grow in those areas:


Top 8 Qualities Employers Seek in Job Candidates*
  1. Problem Solving
  2. Teamwork/Collaboration
  3. Professionalism/Work Ethic
  4. Analytical/quantitative Skills
  1. Communication Skills (written)
  2. Leadership
  3. Communication Skills (verbal)
  4. Initiative
*Source: National Association of Colleges & Employers Job Outlook 2020 Survey


Student Groups

Be intentional about the activities you become involved with and remember that quality is more important than quantity. For example, holding a leadership position in 1 or 2 activities may be more valuable than being a general member in several different groups.

  • UC Berkeley Student Organizations - There are more than 1300 student organizations at Cal, focused on areas in academics, professional development, hobbies, sports, music, culture, etc. With so many organizations to choose from, it can be an overwhelming process to find an organization right for you. The LEAD Center staff are available to assist in guiding you in the process if you’d like a consultation. 


Volunteering is a great way for international students to gain skills, experience and give back to the community. It is also a helpful way to get hands-on experience to try out certain types of positions and work environments.

Professional Associations

Getting involved in professional associations is a fantastic way to learn more about career fields, find out about employment opportunities and network with other students and professionals in the field. There are many professional associations out there and the Career Center has compiled a selection of them by career fields. Select a career field of interest, then select “Student & Professional Organization.” A Google search may yield additional organizations.


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