for MBAs

Below are a couple of workshop options specially designed to provide international MBAs with an edge when job searching. The programs bewlow have distinct learning outcomes, therefore one does not replace the other.

Option # 1 - The International Advantage Bootcamp. Approximately 2 1/2 hours long.  Sample program below. 

Finding your sweet spot (40 min)

  • ISEL model, what it means, why it works (Chapter 16)
  • ISEL success stories: learning from those who did it
  • Students work individually and starting completing their ISEL profile

Company target list (40 min) (Chapter 16)

  • How to build a diverse list that minimizes risk
  • Company research considerations for international MBAs
  • Identifying suitable jobs for international MBAs
  • Helpful websites, databases, and basic internet research
  • Students start to create their own company target lists
  • Use xls template

Creating and engaging with contacts inside target companies (25 min)

  • Outreach methods
  • Email templates that work for international students
  • Informational interviews with an accent and an international twist

Managing the conversation (25 min) (Chapter 16)

  • Introducing vulnerability and honesty into the conversation
  • Understanding points of reference, context, and cultural translations
  • Connecting the dots: life before U.S + life as an MBA + life post-MBA
  • Validating direction while displaying global thinking skills


Working with Marcelo Barros, we were able to extend our capacity to address the unique needs of our international graduate business students. We collaborated with Marcelo and designed the International Advantage Career Boot Camp which provided strategies to excel in U.S. social, academic, and professional settings, and demonstrated a strengths-based method for finding and landing a job in the U.S. to fulfill students’ OPT or secure an H-1b visa.

Stephanie B. Francis
Graduate Career and Development Director | Sacramento State

Marcelo provided a very practical framework and process to assist students in their job search process. The process Marcelo recommended is helpful to international students as well as domestic students. It is espeacially powerful for international students, because it compels them to use their situation as an advantage. There was a high level of interactive engagement with students throughout Marcelo’s presentation. It was a pleasure having him speak and I am sure we’ll invite him back on campus again.

Randall J. Lewis | Executive Director
Krannert Professional Development Center | Purdue University

I had the pleasure of attending Marcelo's workshop "U.S. Job Search Strategies for International Students" at Stanford Graduate School of Business. As an International student, I aim to work in the US at the end of my studies, and Marcelo provided me and my classmates with useful tools and resources for approaching this challenging task. We worked on a personal SWOT analysis and we discussed the ISEL model (Interest, Skills, Experience, Language) to understand how to best position ourselves to a potential US employer. He also recommended us various free sources to gauge which employers are the most likely to provide a visa sponsorship. As importantly, Marcelo changed our mindset, focusing our attention on what we can influence (a successful job search and an impact on the employer's business) rather than what is beyond our control (the H1B lottery). I truly enjoyed his total competency on the matter, his great communication skills and natural energy. Highly recommended! Federico Mossa, 1st year Stanford MBA candidate focused on Media and Technology

Federico Mossa | 1st Yr.
Stanford MBA candidate focused on Media and Technology

Option # 2 - Individual student meetings focused on ISEL model

When job searching, nothing, in my opinion, is as effective as receiving 1-on-1 help, particularly if you are an international MBA. Unlike option 1 which is a group session, in this session, I meet individually with students - 30 min. meetings - to review their ISEL profile and provide customized feedback on what they can do to increase their chances of securing a job.


At the Joseph M. Katz Graduate School of Business, we recognize both the unique challenges and opportunities our international students face when trying to achieve their job search goals. Having been through the process himself, Marcelo Barros has a distinct approach to engaging with the students that convey a sincere desire to help them be successful and immediately builds a trusting relationship. Given the impact of Marcelo’s first ISEL session at our campus, we have decided to add Marcelo’s International Advantage session to our international student orientation.

Melissa F. Shapiro | Director, Career Management Center,
Joseph M. Katz Graduate School of Business | University of Pittsburgh

I attended Marcelo's session at my university. He taught us how to create our own SWOT matrix, except with a twist and a better approach. This piece really helps you straighten your thoughts and highlights your strengths and gaps. Thereafter, I also did a one-on-one with him where we discussed my ISEL profile in detail and he gave me more specific advice. I wish I had done this exercise early on in my MBA. I haven't read the book but I would recommend that international students do read it, and do so early on in their program so that they know what they need to work on right away and can play to their strengths.

Hiral D | MBA
Joseph M. Katz Graduate School of Business | University of Pittsburgh

The Neeley MBA program worked with Marcelo to do a two-part, virtual ISEL workshop. Marcelo explained his ISEL model to students via a webinar, and then met with each one-on-one for 30 minutes to go over their models. I received highly positive feedback from the students, who were able to think about how they could differentiate from their other international classmates. We did this in late September/early October, which was a great time to propel them into the fall recruiting reason. On the staff coordination side, Marcelo is by far the most well-versed consultant we’ve hired to work with international students. He was transparent with our students in what he could deliver, and he was highly communicative when it came to coordinating all of the details.

Ashley (Sroufe) Feldhues
TCU (Neely School of Business) | MBA Career Coach

Option # 3 - Networking Workshop

Drawing on the content of Chapter 5, Become a Global Networker, of my book, this workshop focuses on helping international students develop the right set of communication skills necessary for them to develop genuine and meaningful relationships with a new base of U.S contacts they will need to create in order to achieve their job search goals.


I attended Marcelo's seminar on Networking in the US, and found it helpful. He answered some of the most pressing yet hard to ask questions that we have as international students in the US. The session was interactive, and he provided real life examples that made his advice both authentic and relatable. 

Anna Sanga | MBA Candidate at NYU Stern
Beauty & FMCG Professional | Asia/New Market Entry | Business Development & Strategy

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