GRADUCon 2019 - U.S. Job Search for International Students


As an international student, the process of navigating the job search and avoiding potential pitfalls within the American job market can be a disconcerting concept for many. Attend this panel if you’re an international student who would like to hear from someone who has been in your shoes, and to take away valuable advice on how you can be successful in a job search process that is different from what you may be used to in your home country. There will be a mini-workshop (20 minutes) presented by advisors from UChicagoGRAD and the Office of International Affairs, with job search tips and work visa authorization options and related information specific to international students, before the start of the panel proper. The panel will comprise of alumni from different countries to share their perspectives on how they have navigated the job search process, shown success in negotiating their job offers, and the types of realities international students would have to be prepared for in entering the U.S job market.


Kevin Park, Data Scientist, Zurich North America (MS Analytics 2018)

Kevin has over 5 years of experience in Financial Services (Trading, Portfolio Management, Equity Research, Derivative Market), and Business Intelligence/Strategy in Commercial real-estate. Apart from his professional experience, he served as a staff member of United Nations Interim Forces in Lebanon. He joined Predictive Analytics at Zurich North America as a Data Scientist, and is responsible for new generation commercial auto pricing model, middle market commercial risk insights and segmentation. Kevin also leads university recruiting process for Data Science/Analytic interns.

Oya Topçuoğlu, Lecturer, Northwestern University (PhD Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations 2017)

Oya Topçuoğlu is a Lecturer in the Middle East and North African Studies Program at Northwestern University. She holds a BA in Ottoman History from Boğaziçi University in Istanbul, and an MA and PhD in the Art and Archaeology of the Ancient Near East from the University of Chicago. Her research addresses issues of social identity and cultural exchange, and the effects of political change and ideology on the material record of the ancient Middle East. In addition to her work on iconography and symbolism, Oya studies the looting and trafficking of antiquities from Iraq and Syria, the political uses of the ancient past, and its role in the formation of national identities in the modern Middle East. She is particularly interested in the history of archaeology and museums, and cultural heritage preservation in her native Turkey. Oya teaches a range of courses in Near and Middle Eastern studies, including modern Turkish language and culture, and history and archaeology of the Middle East.

Samantha Fan, Assistant Director MAPSS & Lecturer in Psychology, UChicago Social Sciences Division (PhD Psychology 2015)

Dr. Fan is the Assistant Director and Lecturer in Psychology at MAPSS. Her primary research interest examines how culture plays a pivotal role in the development of self, particularly how the experience of hearing and speaking other languages besides one’s native language might initiate an enhanced sense of understanding and acceptance of others. Her doctoral research examined the social benefits and consequences of bilingualism. She has taught graduate and undergraduate courses on Advanced Statistical Methods as well as topics in Developmental, Cognitive, Social and Cultural Psychology .


Amima Diagne, Assistant Director for Student Services, Office of International Affairs, University of Chicago (AB Psychology 2009, MA Psychology Chicago School of Professional Psychology)

As the current Assistant Director for Student Services at OIA, Amima has a long history with the university. Amima attended The College from 2005-2009, where she earned a B.A. in Psychology. After graduating in 2009, she pursued a career in advertising, working with companies such as The Chicago Tribune and Leo Burnett. During this time, she regularly engaged in alumni activities and providing career advice and guidance to undergraduate students. In 2014, she decided to change career paths to focus on her passion for facilitating the professional and educational growth and opportunities of others. She returned to the University to work in the Office of International Affairs, where she seeks to provide holistic support and advocacy for UChicago’s international student community. Amima has also earned a M.A. in Industrial & Organizational (I/O) Psychology from The Chicago School of Professional Psychology, and is currently working towards her PhD in the same field.