Seeking Professional Success, Cultural Identity, and Happiness as an International Student
Friday, September 18, 2020 — 1:30PM - 2:15PM
From networking and mentorship to balancing cultural identity, international students constantly face challenges beyond academics. Under stringent, unforgiving visa policies, they face unending dilemmas like sacrificing life passion for lucrative jobs. Navigating life within a new sociocultural setting involves academic, social, and professional challenges very closely intertwined with each other. In their quest to be successful in the United States, international students deal with many immediate challenges like not being eligible for opportunities, having very different cultural and social expectations than the norm, and coping with the constant pressure of maintaining immigration status. Furthermore, there are much deeper and complex issues: navigating cultural differences in schools and workplaces, defying stereotypes to pursue a road less taken by international students, daring to pursue their passion over what seems professionally practical, dealing with the impostor syndrome exacerbated by being an ‘outsider’, and managing the emotional response to rejections that are not necessarily due to lack of ability. This panel will highlight a variety of experiences and perspectives of panelists in tech from drastically different backgrounds who have dealt with these issues in their life. Additionally, it aims to inspire the audience to overcome challenges creatively, see positive opportunities in adversity, and empower themselves to lead a successful and fulfilling academic, social, and professional life despite restrictions on professional opportunities and cultural expression. Hear how panelists from around the world emerge stronger from these struggles and become pioneers in their communities.
Fatima Rafiqui, Ashwag Alasmari, Athena Xiao, Komal Dewan, Devyani Donde