April 21, 2007

Getting a US job after INSEAD/Oh the pain!

One of the more common questions asked about INSEAD is "how easy is it to get jobs in US after INSEAD" I'm not in INSEAD (yet), and here is my own perception. Getting a job in the US is certainly harder than if you tried from a US school. For a couple of reasons

a) Location - a lot of companies simply prefer local recruitment. That eliminates large number of US companies. It is also a lot harder for international students to go to US for interviews - the logistics itself eliminates many possibilities.

b) Awareness - INSEAD is not as well known in the US as the US biggies. But my own take is this is really not so much of an issue because it's not important whether your neighbor's hair dresser knows about INSEAD but whether those that matter in MBA recruiting know. In that list, a lot of people will know about top schools. It's more about networking there than flashing a school name badge which only gets you so far.

But in my mind, the biggest problem really is US immigration laws. As things stand, it's simply a major pain in the rear end to visit the US for a job search or to get US work permits. This keeps companies away from selecting students, it also dissuades many deserving students from even attempting.

Here are some reasons,

1. The H1-B sillyness makes it both unpredictable and ridiculously difficult to take up a job in US. This year's visas are being allotted in lottery which means almost 1 in every 2 applicants won't get the visa and those who were offered jobs can no longer really take them. And then the spouse cannot work.

2. The permanent residency laws that force employees to be chained to an employer for even up to 6-7 years. It's sort of strange that the law expects people, many who may have houses, children, and have worked for years, paid taxes, to leave the country in 15 (or 10 or whatever it is) days if they lose a job. The law treats employees like the 'daily wage' replacement workers instead of a global work force.

3. Policy that sort of clubs Ph.D's, master degree holders, engineers, doctors, and those who jump across the border all in the same lump. .

I've been to the US 8 times, and have been here for last 3 years. I love the country and the scale of opportunities but never really bothered to apply for a green card etc. because I like my freedom.

It surprises me that for a country which has benefited as much from immigrants is so unwelcoming of them - no matter how qualified. In contrast, UK's HSMP is progressive - if you're from one of the top 50 MBA schools as identified by UK treasury, you automatically get the chance to work in the UK. That simple. And now London is beginning to rival New York as the financial capital of the world.

So, in my case, I am looking at some possible companies where I am interested in applying to. But I'm not too optimistic - not because I think I'm too dumb to get in, but because my non citizen/resident status will disqualify me out right. So - bottom line - getting a job in US after INSEAD -

easy? No.
Hard? Yes.
Impossible? No.

Let's see.


Le blog hog said...

Hi Necromonger,

I agree that if one wants to work in the US immediatly after graduation, they should not go to INSEAD. I really hope Frank Brown does something to change the poor branding of INSEAD in N.America but I don't count on it.

Interesting about the change to the H1B. If a company can no longer be sure that a foreigner will receive a work visa even after paying the legal bills to sponsor them, I imagine most companies will not even bother.

If one really wants to work in the US, go to any US MBA program and you automatically have a 1 year work visa.

Gabriel said...

I'm sure your employer won't have any problem helping you if you come from INSEAD. Recruiters surely know the brand enough to trust it. In any case it is true that is much easier to go to the UK. Right now London is much more open to foreigners, and that's why they keep growing as an economic capital of Europe even without adopting the Euro.

Best regards