Finance and Law

U.S. Immigration Policy is an Obstacle for Foreign Entrepreneurs

americanflagSince 9/11, U.S. immigration policy has experienced increased restrictions for foreign people entering the country compared to the past. Tighter security measures have taken place including fingerprinting, background checks and in-person interviews at consulates and embassies for visas. Although unlikely, immigration DNA testing can be a requirement in the future.

MIT’s Entrepreneurship Students

From a Forbes magazine column, Bill Aulet and Matt Marx teach an introductory entrepreneurship class at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology or MIT. Both instructors envision a graduating class of American entrepreneurs. However, most of the students are foreigners with student visas. Thus, many MIT entrepreneurial students lack visas to work in the United States because they are not US citizens or permanent residents. Unfortunately, foreign MIT students are leaving entrepreneurship classes with academic insight rather than applying what they learn to the real world.

Work visas, especially the H-1B, are a sponsorship from companies to employ foreigners for open positions. Thus, Aulet and Marx argue that the current immigration policy does not support entrepreneurship for foreigners. Not to mention, foreigners cannot have majority shareholder rights in a U.S.-based company even if it employs 25 or more employees.

Aulet and Marx mention that Australia, Singapore and Canada have more welcoming immigration policies for entrepreneurs than the United States. Thus, Aulet and Marx are arguing that the United States needs to change and improve the immigration policy.

Three Suggestions to Alter the U.S. Immigration Policy and Sentiment

Based on their expertise on entrepreneurship, Aulet and Marx suggest three facets to change the U.S. immigration policy.

First, an entrepreneur visa, such as an EB-1 status, should be created as foreigners have innovative ideas and education to establish new businesses. Currently, the United States has a similar visa for scientists. Aulet and Marx refer to the UK’s recent creation of a visa for entrepreneurs as an example of what the U.S. should do to attract immigrants.

Secondly, the U.S. approach to immigrants should be welcoming rather than alienating them. Due to fingerprinting and background checks, foreigners may feel themselves being treated as crime suspects.

Finally, Aulet and Marx infer to the drastic nature of start-ups. Thus, both professors argue that the immigration policy should consider the needs of entrepreneurs by reducing bureaucracy.

Thus, Aulet and Marx prefer immigration as a tool to promote entrepreneurship, which will result in economic growth and new jobs in the United States.

Immigration is a Long, Complex Process

Due to bureaucracy, immigrant entrepreneurs will be required to submit various documents. Sometimes documents can be lost along the way, which can cause legal issues including overstaying and deportation. Additionally, visa status changes can be difficult due to different paperwork. Thus, immigration lawyers are around to help foreigners with visa and other issues.

Business and EDU Career Marketing Technology

How Networking on LinkedIn During College Can Get You a Job

When you start out in college, one of the first things you should do and one of the best things you can do to start building your career is join the professional social network: LinkedIn. LinkedIn is quite a different social network than Facebook is, but is parallel in many ways. There are interest groups you can join, you can post status updates, and probably most important is your profile. Your profile can actually double as an online resume, so taking care and being thorough when filling it out is extremely important. Using LinkedIn as a networking tool can really help you when it comes time to apply for jobs, especially if you working on building up your network and making valuable connections throughout your time in college. You will be moving from the dorm room bedding  to a professional office in no time!

Networking on LinkedIn

Here are some tips for using LinkedIn to prepare for getting a job after college and building career contacts:

Building a Profile that Acts as an Online Resume: A public online resume is a valuable tool to have, especially since LinkedIn’s network is so large with over 200 million users and your profile is searchable across that network and the entire web. Since your LinkedIn profile is so important, here are 8 pointers for building it out to your maximum benefit:

  1. Customize your LinkedIn Vanity URL, you can change the URL string from a string of numbers to your name.
  2. Include your email in your name or the description so that new connections can get through LinkedIn’s barriers for making connections. Just understand that this will be a public email so make sure that your email is professional, not personal!
  3. Be descriptive and creative with your title or description. This is the section that appears under your name. It should explain what you do – or what you plan on doing after college. Something like “Anxiously awaiting my dream job” and specify in what field. This is one of the areas that you definitely want to see how it looks in the profile preview section.
  4. Customize your website and social media URLs. Instead of “my website” edit in a description or name; do the same for your social media links.
  5. Add a video to your profile. Make a quick video introduction and that can add personality and style to your LinkedIn profile while still remaining professional.
  6. Fill in everything in your profile. LinkedIn allows for you to add in courses taken, college groups, volunteer work, and even grades, awards, and honors; so get as specific as possible to highlight yourself in a positive light.
  7. Write in the first person. Even though LinkedIn is a professional network and this profile is like your resume, it is still a social network and should be a little more personal that a resume.
  8. Throughout your profile, use keywords and key phrases to fill your summary, to describe yourself, your jobs, and your college courses. This will help when people are searching for someone with your skills and qualifications, and will also help LinkedIn show your profile in the suggestions section.

Join Groups: Probably one of the best ways to make genuine and relevant connections is through common interest groups. You can join up to 50 groups, so take advantage of all those connections and all that you can learn from those groups. There are many different group options: school alumni, location, networking, job search, and industry specific groups.

Change the Default Invitation: Personalize the connection requests you send by changing the default message and letting that person know why you really want to be a connection.

Follow the Golden Rule: Once you are set up on LinkedIn, treat fellow connections the way you would like to be treated. Post an update at least once a day. Find interesting articles to share that show you are educated about the industry you are looking to be employed in. Recommend and endorse connections that you know before they endorse you; do not expect reciprocation for them, but just know that you will likely get it. Everyone likes positivity so be supportive of other job seekers and share jobs that you see that might help someone else. No need to worry about posting that you are looking for a job, that is what LinkedIn is all about, just be specific and not pushy.

Use LinkedIn’s Job Board: LinkedIn has a job board that you can use to your advantage when searching for and landing that perfect job. LinkedIn really helps job searchers by suggesting relevant jobs you might be interested in based on your profile details and then you can also search for jobs posted on the network in your industry or area.


The Challenges And Rewards Of Working In Information Technology

Information technology can be a rewarding career but it can come with a number of challenges too. The following are just some things you might want to take into consideration if you are thinking of IT as a career choice.

  • You will need to work hard. Many IT experts live and breathe technology to make sure they do everything to the best of their ability. It is constantly evolving, and if you are going to keep up with trends you might not be able to just leave your work at the office. Often you will have to spend your own personal time in research and learning.
  • You need to be incredibly disciplined. Sometimes you will have to do jobs that are particularly challenging. IT requires focus and this isn’t always easy to do, especially if you are working from home. The ability to think outside the box is an excellent skill to have when working in IT.
  • You will need excellent interpersonal skills because you will be working as part of a team. You won’t always be able to tackle a problem and find the solution by yourself – sometimes brainstorming and collaborating is the best way to work through a problem. You will also be dealing with people in other departments such as marketing, finance, and administrators.
  • IT involves a lifetime of learning. The technology game is one which is constantly evolving with new and innovative ideas to be learned every day. Just when you think you’ve got everything figured out, social media, gadgets, technologies, and goals change. When you’re working in the technology industry there is a bit of a ‘survival of the fittest’ vibe – not in the physical sense, but in the realm of knowledge.

Of course those are just a few of the challenges, but the rewards may be worth it for you. Let’s look at a few of the advantages of working in IT.

  • IT really is for everyone – whether you are male or female, rich or poor, technical knowledge puts everyone on an equal footing. IT gives you the opportunity to change your life for the better. Even if you are living in a third world country, as long as you are ‘plugged in’ there is potential for improvement and financial reward.
  • You can start your own online business in IT with very little overhead costs. You could quite literally start a business for less than $100 if you are motivated to do so. This gives you the opportunity to work from home, be your own boss, and is perfect for those with children as it gives you the flexibility you need for family time too.

While other people are being laid off during the recession, there are plenty of opportunities in the IT field, especially after completing specialized courses like diploma of information technology and these will likely increase over the coming years with the rate that technology is advancing. There are many opportunities for education, for advancement and for promotion.

Toni Meadows is a retired Business professor who now blogs about education and it’s importance in society. He has a Management Diploma and worked in some of the Fortune top 100 companies during the peak of his career.