Are you curious about the story behind Mapis? Our platform was founded with the goal of helping international students in the United States find the right job and internship opportunities. To learn more about our mission and how we strive to support international students, be sure to check out this blog post.
Welcome to our blog! My name is Diana Vicezar and I am an international student from Paraguay studying at Pitzer College in Claremont, California. I am also the founder of Mapis, a career platform designed specifically for international students in the United States.
Recently, we launched our closed beta version of Mapis and have received a lot of support and feedback from the international student community. In this post, I want to share with you the motivation behind the creation of Mapis and the problems it aims to solve.
As an international student myself, I know firsthand the challenges and difficulties that come with trying to find internships and jobs in the United States. In the summer of 2020, I decided to connect with other international students to learn more about their experiences and struggles. From May to December 2020, I had conversations with over 100 graduate and undergraduate international students studying in the United States.
One common theme that emerged from these conversations was the stress and anxiety that many international students feel during the internship application process. According to them, this was due in part to the lack of professional development resources available to them at their schools.
I began researching the support available to international students applying for internships and jobs in the United States, and after months of study and further conversations with students, I confirmed that the main issue was indeed the lack of career exploration resources for international students.
International students face additional challenges when it comes to getting work experience in the United States due to our visa restrictions. In addition, many international students do not receive proper career development education tailored to their needs. Some are not even aware of work authorization programs like Curricular Practical Training (CPT) and Optional Practical Training (OPT) until their final 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 in order to excel in their applications. That's where Mapis comes in!
Mapis was created to address the desperate need for an effective platform that could centralize all the opportunities available to international students and provide further support throughout the career exploration process. Our goal is to help international students access the career guidance they need during internship and job hunting in the United States by:
- Providing access to professional and academic opportunities open to international students (internships, entry-level jobs, fellowships, conferences, exploratory programs, etc.)
- Hosting exclusive events on career development topics led by experienced professionals working at top US companies
- Coaching students in their career exploration and opportunity search processes through 1-1 advising sessions
We launched our closed beta version on February 22nd 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 from colleges and universities in over 20 states) who provide us with feedback on how to improve. In addition, we have international students from over 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 we are excited to see the impact we can have on the international student community in the United States. Thank you for joining us on this journey and for your support. We hope Mapis can help you achieve your professional goals in the United States.
Written by Diana Vicezar.