Why Mapis?

Do you want to know why Mapis was created? HINT: We are here to help international students in the United States. Read more in this blog post!

Hello! My name is Diana Vicezar and I am an international student from Paraguay studying at Pitzer College in Claremont, CA. I am the founder of Mapis, the career platform for international students in the United States. We recently launched our closed beta version and have received a lot of support and feedback from the international student community. Today I want to share with you why I am building Mapis so you can understand the motivation behind this platform.

During the summer of 2020, amid a pandemic and in preparation for my first semester of college, I decided to spend my free time connecting with other international students. From May to December 2020, I had conversations with over 100 graduate and undergraduate international students studying in the United States. However, what started out as a way to make new friends and get some academic advice ended up motivating me to create Mapis.

The problem

A common topic in all of these conversations was the stress and anxiety these students were experiencing during their internship application process. According to them, this was due to the lack of professional development resources available to them at their schools. Concerned about the stories I heard from my fellow students, I began reading about the support available to international students applying for internships and jobs in the United States.

After months of research and further conversations with students, I confirmed that the main reason was, in fact, the lack of career exploration resources for international students. 

While job hunting is difficult for all students, international students have additional challenges in getting work experience in the United States due to our visa restrictions. In addition to this, most international students do not receive a proper career development education tailored to their needs.

Some international students have no knowledge of how to write a resume or a cover letter and some of them are not even aware of the work authorization programs, Curricular Practical Training (CPT), and Optional Practical Training (OPT) until their last years of college. With a small number of companies offering job opportunities and therefore facing higher competition, international students need to start looking for opportunities and resources early on as a way to excel in our applications. That's when Mapis comes in! 

We deserve to have access to opportunities and guidance tailored to our needs and circumstances 

I decided to create Mapis because I realized that there was a desperate need for an effective platform that could centralize all the opportunities available to international students and provide us with further support throughout our career exploration. Mapis is a platform designed specifically for international students.

At Mapis, we are on a mission to help international students access the career guidance they need during internship and job hunting in the United States by:

1. Providing access to professional and academic opportunities open to international students (internships, entry-level jobs, fellowships, conferences, exploratory programs, etc.)

2. Hosting exclusive events on career development topics led by experienced professionals working at top US companies

3. Coaching students in their career exploration and opportunity search processes through 1-1 advising sessions

We launched our closed beta version on February 22nd (Yes, 2/2/22) to international students studying at colleges, universities, community colleges, vocational, and technical schools in the United States. We currently have 100 active users in our closed beta (international students coming from colleges and universities in 20+ states) who give us feedback on how to improve. In addition, we have international students from 100+ colleges and universities on our waitlist for the upcoming version of the platform. 

We are working hard to improve Mapis based on the feedback we receive from our users and are very excited to see the impact we can have on the international community in the US. Thank you for your support and feel free to contact us if you have any questions or comments.

Written by Diana Vicezar.

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