MILCHO Kyurkchiev, a 25-year-old business student from Bulgaria with a passion for graphic arts, was surprised to find that a local company was looking for a food photographer when she attended a job fair for foreign students at Shanghai Jiao Tong University yesterday morning.
"Foreign students are increasingly attracted to education and work opportunities in Shanghai, but they lack access to such job fairs to talk to local employers," said Wang Haihui, director of the International Office of Antai College of Economics and Management at the university.
Giulia Barresi, a business student from Italy, said she usually looks for jobs on the internet and through "networking events."
"I would love to find a job here because China is the future for business and Shanghai is such a metropolis with diverse cultures," she said.
At Antai College, the number of business students enrolled in the Master of International Business program has increased by 800 percent over the past three years, and the college said a survey indicated that 80 percent of its approximately 100 students hoped to stay in Shanghai to work.
The students are greatly encouraged by the latest visa policy, which allows foreign graduates of Shanghai universities with a master's degree or greater to work for firms in the Shanghai Free Trade Zone and Zhangjiang National Innovation Demonstration Zone even if they don't have work experience, according to Wang.
Meanwhile, representatives from some companies said they were excited about talking to foreign students for the first time.
"We believe having a multicultural staff gives us a competitive edge in the consulting business," said Jeannette Zhao, human resources manager at May Time Consulting.
Feng Lijuan, who works at 51job.com, a human resources firm, said that due to language barriers and cultural differences, Chinese companies still tend to employ Chinese nationals, but foreign graduates from Chinese universities are increasingly sought by multinationals, which have their eyes on the booming Chinese consumer market.
"Foreigners have mainly studied humanities in China in the past, but business studies are increasingly popular because that's where the jobs are," she said.