Passport to Payday

Navigating the U.S. Job Market
An Event for International Students

Passport to Payday is an annual event for international students at NDSU who would like to know more about navigating the U.S. job market. Through live, virtual presentations and information and resources below, students will learn about CPT, OPT, and internships, get an update on current immigration laws, better understand employment in academia, and information on preparing for the upcoming career fairs. 

This event is hosted by the NDSU Career and Advising Center and the International Student and Study Abroad Office.

Join us live on Thursday, January 28th from 5 to 6:30 p.m. to hear from:
Alli Goossens, Assistant Director, Internship Program
Amy Knudson, International Student Advisor
Deb Maertens, Assistant Director of Faculty Immigration
Snyder Gokey, Immigration Attorney, Gokey Immigration Law Office

>>> Register in Handshake to receive the URL for the live presentation <<<


Please find information on Curricular Practical Training (CPT) and Optional Practical Training (OPT) on the International Student and Study Abroad Services webpage.

>> NDSU ISSAS Immigration Resources 


Links and Resources:

Contact Information:

NDSU International Student and Study Abroad Services
Memorial Union 116
Staff Contact Page
Gokey Immigration Law Office
1129 5th Avenue South, Fargo, North Dakota 58103
701 356-5995 
Deborah Maertens
NDSU Faculty Immigration Services
Office of the Vice Provost for Faculty & Equity

International students are encouraged to seek out internship opportunities as their immigration status and academic schedule allows. Internships can be a wonderful way to learn more about an industry, and in some cases, can lead to longer-term employment.

Internship Can Help Students:

  • Test a career decision before graduation
  • Gain a competitive edge in the professional job market
  • Gain “real life” experience
  • Earn money to help with college expenses
  • Network with professionals and potential employers
  • Improve resume writing, job searching, and interviewing skills

#NDSUintern Experiences:

Interview with Swetha Thiyagarajan | Pharmaceutical Sciences (Ph.D.) | Biogran

[Link to interview transcript]


Interview with Adikie Essegbey | Construction Management (Master’s degree) | McKenzie County


Jasmin Kaempfer | Marketing/Sales (Bachelor’s degree) | Korber Medipak Systems NA, Inc. Fargo Automation Division


Where to look:

  • Upcoming career fairs will be a great place to start looking for jobs and internships!  Click here for more information about the Spring 2021 Career Fairs happening the month of February.
  • Handshake – Did you know that NDSU has a job board that is only for their students and alumni?  That means that the employers are posting in this system because they want YOU!
  • Looking for more options?  We’ve compiled a whole webpage dedicated to different job boards and some unique and helpful features of each.  Check out this page to learn more.
    • Considering applying for faculty positions down the road?  We’ve got a video for that too – click here for Faculty Job Search Tips and Tricks!
    • Maybe you are interested in applying for an industry position and have some questions on which documents to use, how to find “hidden” job markets, and  how to best us your time.  We have a video for that, too!

How to prepare:

Staying organized:

  • There is likely a lot of information you have to keep straight, so consider using tools to keep things organized!  Here’s a Job Search Log to help keep track of contacts, dates and times for follow up, website details, and so on.
  • Handshake also allows you to upload many documents to be used for applications through the system and for convenient storage. You can also track notes about interactions with each of the employers on the platform.


  • If you are looking for a demonstration of the CAREERLINK system and how to sign up for meeting times with employers, we will be hosting Virtual Career Fair Preparation workshops Friday, January 29th at 11 am via Zoom.  Email Amanda Reil for the Zoom link.
  • Get a discount off professional clothing and accessories during NDSU’s Suit Up! Text 701 to 67292 starting today to get your coupon!
  • FREE Professional Headshots can be taken February 1st from 1 – 3 pm in the Memorial Union.  Registration via Handshake (in the “Events” tab) is required!
  • Check out this webpage full of information about how to register, what to do to prepare, and what you should do to follow up with employers after the fair is over.
  • Chat with Career and Advising Center staff to make sure you are prepared and haven’t missed any opportunities for preparation!
    • Drop-in to meet with our staff in Ceres Hall 306 or our Zoom Career Studio weekdays from 9 am t0 4 pm.
    • Schedule appointments in advance via Navigate or by contacting our office at 701-231-7111 or