Leaving Tokyo On A Jet Plane
December 13, 2007 6:26 AM   Subscribe

Help my Japanese friend find a job in the US!

She'll graduate in March with a PhD in Marine Biology, speaks and writes fluent English, and has experience in the museum environment. She's willing to relocate anywhere, but is drawn toward Washington DC, as that's where her museum work was done. She's also willing to work outside her field to get her foot in the door.
She's starting to network and reach out to her friends and former co-workers in the museum field, but not sure if that's enough.
I've volunteered to help her in her search, but because I know nothing about these things (overseas employment/visas in the US), just referred her to Monster and Yahoo! Jobs.
Yeah, I know. Kinda useless.
I would love to present this thread to her as a small gift to aid her in her search. I'm looking for websites, articles, anecdotes, stories, forums, anything and everything that might help someone from Japan get a job here in the US.
Thanks so much.
posted by willmize to Work & Money (6 answers total)
What kind of a job would she get if she were in Japan? Then, look for those jobs in the US. And it sounds very limited to only look at museums. If she has a PhD in marine biology and wants to work in a museum, then I'm assuming it's a museum of national history, and she'd be the curator of the marine biology section? That's an incredibly limited field! She should first decide what she wants to do (teach, research, applied work, etc.), then look for jobs in that field.
posted by peachy at 7:20 AM on December 13, 2007

Also, is she already here in the U.S., getting her PhD at a U.S. school? If so, then these are questions she should be asking her research mentor and other faculty in her program. It would be pretty shocking, actually, if her program didn't provide job training and advice.
posted by peachy at 7:23 AM on December 13, 2007

Thanks for the questions! She's in Japan, graduating from a University in Japan. I know she's investigating the museum employment angle here in the US from her contacts, but I was hoping to be able to provide more general information on finding a job here in the US. Anything from visas to stories and advice from other Japanese ex-pats here in the States.
posted by willmize at 8:07 AM on December 13, 2007

First thing she needs to do (if she's a PhD candidate in the US) is go see her DSO and apply for OPT.
posted by Pollomacho at 10:44 AM on December 13, 2007

Wow, sorry, missed the last comment!

In her case she's going to need the job first. She could apply for researcher position at Woods Hole that has an Exchange Visitor program.
posted by Pollomacho at 10:51 AM on December 13, 2007

How much practical experience does she have? Perhaps a zoo or a large aquarium (DC and Baltimore respectively) would offer a semi-academic position to a well-qualified candidate. Depending on her expertise, a plethora of other options are available to her. Any Ph.D in some form of biology should have a place to go in Biotech too. Options, even highly academic/researchy ones are available beyond museums.

If she is comfortable in front of people, a professorship might even be an option. Cutting it short at museums would be a shame, there is demand for that knowledge beyond that tiny niche.

Good luck!
posted by milqman at 11:17 AM on December 13, 2007

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