From time to time I get emails from recent graduates and people wanting to get into the field of international student recruitment. In the UK the job title at universities is usually International Officer or Regional Manager; in the USA I think it’s called International Admissions Officer.
Many of the emails I receive are asking for advice on how to get a job in international student recruitment at a university. I thought it would be interesting to interview a few fellow International Officers from universities across the UK to find out how they got into field, what they do exactly, and where are they going from here.
Today’s interview is with an International Officer who works for a Russell Group university located in the north of England.
- How many years have you been working in international student recruitment? How did you get into the profession and what were you doing before? I’ve been working in international student recruitment for 3 years. I got into the profession by chance after applying for administrative job in the International Office at the university. Previously, I was working in training and development for Jarvis Rail.
- Which countries do you regularly travel to for student recruitment? Do you have a favourite country to recruit in and why? I usually recruit in India only but have covered for a colleague in Thailand and Turkey. I have to say Thailand, so far, is my favourite market. I think it’s my favorite as it’s such a vibrant fun place to go, very different culture but also the students are so friendly, polite and orderly compared to other markets. English levels and good and the quality of students is also good.
- Do you find students in one country are different from students in another, and do you have to alter or modify your recruitment style to depending on which country you are in? In the 3 countries I have had experience in I find the students very different and in turn find my approach different in each country. I have to keep in mind cultural sensitivities for each market and English language ability is very different in each. Relationships with agents are different too – in some countries they are very professional and slick, whereas in others they are very friendly/family like almost.
- How are the students in each (Thailand, India, Turkey) different?
Thailand – friendly, shy, bright students
India – very friendly, very close (in terms of personal space), demanding & ambitious
Turkey – I have only visited this market once but one thing that stood out was the very low level of England language ability considering these were students who wanted to study in the UK.
- Where do you see yourself going from here, professionally? I would like to continue in my role and possibly expand my market responsibilities to cover South Asia.