Hi guys!!! Today we are publishing another WAT myth from the Work and Travel chapter of the Half-American book.
Ready to dive? Let’s do it :)))
Myth № 3:
Experience working in international company will propel my career
Well, this one sounds more like a joke and probably the most misleading.
First, look at your university name and major, then look at your job offer title. Housekeeper, dishwasher, busser are typical positions offered in Work and Travel. In fact, program rules specifically state that you cannot work at any professional or skilled jobs. These are low-level, low-paying, repetitively robotic and no diploma required positions. Any barely educated and barely speaking person could do it, really anyone. If anyone could do it, then how would such experience add value to your resume? These jobs are not what you are studying for, right? Hope not. Are you studying engineering, law, economics, social sciences, medicine or any other noble majors? Well, you will have to forget it for the whole summer. Here is a little entertaining math of average housekeeping and dishwasher positions for you:
Housekeepers: you will work 5 days per week 12 weeks in the summer. Every day you will clean 8 rooms meaning you will scrub 8 toilets, fix 16 beds and change 64 towels per day or you will scrub 40 toilets, fix 80 beds and change 320 towels per week. For the whole summer you will have scrubbed 480 toilets, fixed 960 beds and change 3840 towels! That is just an amazing and super useful experience for you, is it not? Great resume building summer and best ever time investment – you have just officially completed internship in housekeeping! Ok, jokes aside for now, let’s take a look at dishwasher/ busser positions.
Dishwashers: let’s say each guest used 4 plates, 1 cup and 4 pieces of silverware. With 100 visitors per day you get 400 plates, 100 cups and 400 silverware to clean per your shift. Following above logic, per week you will wash 2,000 plates, 500 cups and 2,000 silverware. For the entire summer you will have cleaned 24,000 plates, 6,000 cups and 24,000 pieces of silverware! Amazing and wonderful experience “directly relevant” to your Bachelor degree and bright career!!! And we are not considering all kind of other stuff from kitchen cooks usually dumped at these soon-to-become-engineers, economists, lawyers and doctors.
You can do similar math for all kind of other “propelling your career” unskilled Work and Travel positions. But the bottomline is obvious and to understand does not require Bachelor degree. You can clearly see this “valuable” working experience of scrubbing international toilets and cleaning dirty dishes and clothes is absolutely irrelevant to your major and career. Actually, it will look kind of funny on your resume in the future. Imagine, potential employer reading your resume – “during my international assignment to United States I diligently scrubbed 500 toilets and washed 50,000 plates and spoons”!
Since it has zero relevance to your major, the resume will be quickly thrown to garbage with little smile. Why? Because, there are dozens of other candidates with internship record on their resume – think how you will compare to them? Companies are looking for real, major related experience in candidates – be it internship or part-time job. Again experience in your field of study and serious attitude towards your career building not traveling and having fun around. In fact, employers are not stupid and before any good company hires someone they do research and background check on the candidate. Very few employers know about the WAT program – so you won’t impress those with WAT line on your resume. Employers that never heard about it, the vast majority, will search internet for details. And guess what source they will check for thorough and real description not marketing myths? This book and website! Yep, that is how it is, don’t be naive. So, you get the point here – be realistic.
This is one of the reasons why local American students do not want to take up such positions. For them, it’s just a waste of time. They are well aware that such work and this so-called “experience” will not benefit them in the future. And for sure, this menial work, not related to their major, will not improve or enrich their resume.
If, for whatever reason, you decide to add Work and Travel time to your future resume, be generic without providing position details and titles. For your sake, don’t put on the resume number of toilets you scrubbed! And one more thing. Although it has no relation to reality, describe Work and Travel just like it was sold to you – “Participated in cultural exchange and international visitor program sponsored by the US Department of State”. I know, I know, you are smiling but that way it feels fair – at least after paying 3000 bucks and spending 3 months of your valuable life time you will get this record on your resume… Of course, there are rare exceptions. If your major is restaurant or hospitality business, then administrator or host position might be useful.
Anyway, thanks for reading, it was another Work and Travel myth of “successful career building and international experience”…
The best of luck in your resume building!!!
Want to earn promised “average” $6000, improve English and refund your taxes? Good luck… but before you pay $3000 to Work and Travel agents check out these myths about the program:
- Money Myth
- English Myth
- Tax refund Myth
- Medical insurance Myth
- Cultural Exchange Myth
- Sex. Money. Work and Travel. Part One.
- J-1 visa interview with commonly asked questions (more than 100)
as well as other useful Work and Travel tips in the book
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