Students in valid F-1 and J-1 status, with an I-20 or DS-2019 issued by William & Mary, are eligible to work for William & Mary or VIMS within certain limits.
Employment authorization is not necessary for W&M or VIMS employment during the academic year and official breaks. Many types of work qualify:
- Working for W&M or VIMS academic departments and offices
- Graduate assistantships
- Campus service providers contracted through W&M or VIMS, such as those found in the W&M food courts, bookstore, and other Auxiliary Services
- Some W&M and VIMS partners
- Some research organizations with which W&M and VIMS have special research agreements (such as Jefferson Lab)
W&M or VIMS employment does not extend to employers not contracted through W&M or VIMS (even if some of the work will take place on the W&M or VIMS campus). For example, Teach for America (TFA) sometimes hires student representatives to advertise this organization on the W&M campus. Because TFA is not contracted with W&M, this work would not qualify as W&M employment.
A good rule to follow: If the paycheck is from W&M or VIMS, it’s probably fine. If the paycheck is not from W&M or VIMS, ask the Reves Center first.
Non-W&M or VIMS Employment/Earning Money
If you would like to work in a job that does not qualify as W&M or VIMS employment, F-1 students can do so through CPT or OPT. Your work for CPT or OPT must be related to your major. J-1 students can consider applying for AT. Another option is to do an unpaid internship.
During Fall and Spring Semesters
F-1 and J-1 students may work up to a total of 20 hours per week during the fall and spring semesters. This total is the aggregate of all employment (i.e., one could work 10 hours per week in the Swem Library, and 10 hours per week in the dining hall, totalling 20 hours).
During Official Breaks
During Winter Break, Spring Break, and Summer Break, F-1 and J-1 students may work for W&M full-time (more than 20 hours a week).
Students may work for W&M or VIMS after graduation only if they have a valid work authorization such as Optional Practical Training (for F-1 students) or Academic Training (for J-1 students). Without this work authorization (or another type of work authorization), they cannot continue working for W&M or VIMS.
Finding a W&M Employment
There are many options for W&M or VIMS employment. Many offices hire students 1 semester prior to starting work (such as in spring to start in the fall), so apply early. Some resources for finding a W&M or VIMS job include:
- Academic Departments (Chemistry, etc)
- Auxiliary Services (W&M Bookstore, Dining Services, Child Care Center, Conference Services, Tribe Computer Store, Tribe Square Businesses such as Pita Pit and the Crust, Alumni Association, etc).
- Campus Center and Sadler Center
- Financial Aid: Though international students are not eligible for many types of financial aid, there are many employment opportunities advertised on the Financial Aid student employment website that international students can participate in.
- Rec Sports
- Residence Life: Residence Life hires very early, so plan ahead!
- Reves Center: The Reves Center occasionally hires student staff. These jobs are typically advertised on the "What in the World?" listserv.
- Swem Library
- Tribe Tutor Zone
- Writing Resources Center: The WRC hires in the fall after fall break.
These are just a few of the places on campus that typically hire students. Some jobs are not listed online, so it may be helpful to go in-person to inquire.
Applying for W&M or VIMS Employment
- Cohen Career Center: Use the Career Center to update your resume; they have workshops and also many advisors who can help you. U.S. resume formats are often very different from international resumes, so it's important to update your resume to give yourself the best chance of getting a job. The Career Center can also help you practice interviewing, and more! The Cohen Career Center is a resource for undergraduate students, graduate Arts & Sciences Students, and any other graduate students who are interested. School of Business students can also access the Business School's Career Center, and School of Law students also have the Law School's Career Services as a resource.
- Practicing English: If you're worried about your spoken English, it may help you to use some of the W&M's English language resources, such as a conversation partner program. These resources can help you feel more comfortable as you apply for jobs. Generally it's not advised to list "practicing English" as a reason that you're applying for a W&M or VIMS job, however.
- Unpaid Internships: An alternative to working on campus is participating in unpaid internships or volunteering. This can also help make you more marketable. The Cohen Career Center has a great Tribe in Action Internship Program, and the Office of Community Engagement has a volunteering directory.
Once You're Hired
When you're hired as an international student for a W&M or VIMS job, there are special steps you need to follow to get paid. See our international employment resource.