Launched by two Indians, Student Circus helps freshers find employment after college
London, September 3:
Concerns about the ability of international students to stay on and work in Britain is seen as one of the reasons why the number of students from India have fallen sharply in recent years. Under changes, brought in 5 years ago, students have up to four months after they finish their studies to find a job, something which can prove daunting for many, and greatly reduce Britain’s attractiveness as a place to study, given the large levels of investment put into obtaining a degree. Two former Indian students-turned-entrepreneurs, from Mumbai and Jaipur, hope to help change that through Student Circus, an online portal specifically targeted at helping international students in Britain find employment.
The founders, Dhruv Krishnaraj and Tripti Maheshwari, say they stumbled upon the idea following their own struggles, and also those of their friends, in finding a job after completing their degree. It was not necessarily a lack of willing employers: around 30,000 UK companies have the necessary license to hire workers on a tier 2 visa. Or the costs: hiring an international student directly after their studies is considerably easier than hiring directly from abroad. “We realised we just weren’t applying for the right jobs…as an international student you have to focus on firms willing and able to give job visas, but that is difficult in a pressed amount of time…you need to be smart in your job search and that is why we came up with the idea of Student Circus,” says Maheshwari.
They’ve focussed on whittling through the 30,000 companies that have a tier 2 sponsorship license to identify those who were actually willing to hire foreign students, particularly on their graduate training programmes. Since starting out in January, Student Circus has signed up over 3,000 students from 112 universities across the UK, with four universities already signing up for all the students. In addition to helping students identify the right opportunities, they’re also expanding into legal advice (via law firm Veale Wasbrough Vizards) and online training for students on the rigorous graduate training programme selection process deployed by many of the largest companies.
They’ve so far attracted considerable interest from businesses, especially in shortage areas such as engineering, though law and finance have also proved popular areas. As it grows, the company plans to extend its coverage to jobs at smaller boutique firms and other sectors from fashion to media, and hope to branch out to services for firms, too. With the pressure on universities to prove their attractiveness for foreign students, they believe more and more universities will sign on, too. “There are far more jobs out there for foreign students than many think there are,” says Krishnaraj, noting that over 6,000 have transferred from tier 4 (student) visas to tier 2 (work) visas in the past year across the whole of the UK.
Growth has also come from an unexpected quarter, with the EU students concerned around the uncertainty of their position in the aftermath of Brexit signing up to Student Circus.
“If things go rough they need the security that if things get rough they have someone who could sponsor their visa…we never imagined that would be the case but we now have another whole area open.”
(This article was published on September 3, 2017)
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