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Student Advisor (International)

Date: June 26, 2014
Reports to (Job Title): International Manager
Jobs Reporting (Job Titles): None
Location: Waterloo Campus
Grade: USG 8 / 9

Primary Purpose

The International Student Advisor ensures maximum success of the student and the employer supervisor on their work term, and is the primary point of contact for both the student and the employer supervisor during the work term. The International Student Advisor ensures that all relevant information is exchanged with the Account Manager for that employer on all student/employer matters that relate to the work term. The International Student Advisor guides students through their international job search, as well as prepares students prior to their departure.

Key Accountabilities:


Be primary contact for co-op students during their international work term for process inquiries, and ensure information exchange with Account Managers.

  • Support students in knowledge of CECA processes, including core employment process and DFATD travel advisories and potential travel restrictions

  • Respond to student concerns and queries. Support students through unusual employment issues, such as harassment, discrimination and termination.

  • Contact students on work terms as per student advisement guidelines (e-mail/telephone/Skype)

  • Attain student feedback on work term, employer, salary, work experience, process and value of learning.

  • Provide feedback to Account Manager for job development when students have arranged their own jobs

  • Facilitate the smooth transition of students from work term to academic term through securing employment for their next work term and ultimately the smooth handover to the student’s subsequent student advisor.

  • Ensure structured career reflection opportunities for students on work terms or subsequent academic terms and co-facilitate employment workshops for unemployed students, in partnership with Career Advisors,

  • Provide guidance on options for academic sequence changes.

  • Provide support to unemployed students, leveraging employer relationships within the International team.

  • Ensure engagement of relevant uWaterloo and CECA resources to resolve career or personal issues (e.g. Career Advisor, On-Campus Counselling) and follow-up to ensure satisfactory resolution.


Build relationships with employer supervisors and ensure the workplace is suitable for Co-op Credit and the overall learning experience. Coach employer supervisors in managing effective co-op work terms


Ensure adherence of creditable work term jobs to program/faculty specific requirements (e.g. admission levels, work relevance criteria, job type/sequence requirements), and approve co-op job postings for students that arranged their own jobs to support international risk management. Verify job (verify existence of company, relevance of job , safety check)


Support implementation of university-wide, faculty, or CECA student development initiatives (e.g. WatPD, a

professional development program for students at uWaterloo).


Support International employment:

  • Support students who want to find jobs outside North America

    • Refer to CCA / Career Advisors for information about International job search techniques

    • With CCA, present workshops on topics related to working internationally

    • Connect students to Account Manager (International) to identify employers who hired Waterloo students before in area of choice

    • Refer to International Employment Specialist for visa consultation when necessary

  • Support students prior to their departure to foreign countries

    • Provide one-on-one advisement

  • Contribute to international team projects as assigned

Position Requirements




MS Word Excel PowerPoint Other
Average Average Average Average Online based communications (Email / Skype)

Nature and Scope

Interpersonal Skills:

A supportive “people person”, the International Student Advisor uses their ability to put people at ease, listening and verbal communication skills, and advising skills to be students’ primary contact during their work terms and subsequent academic terms. The Student Advisor brings career planning knowledge, planning skills and a customer service focus to the role. The Student Advisor is a problem solver and a team player, and is adept at working across various cultures.

Level of Responsibility:

This role operates with minimal supervision. The Student Advisor does not supervise others: the job has defined specialized and routine tasks and receives specific guidance (e.g. regarding creditworthiness criteria, instructions to supervisors regarding student job performance evaluations, certain best practices in supporting students – much of this guidance will come from the Student Experience Manager). The Student Advisor provides co-worker support through knowledge sharing with Career Advisors and other colleagues, impacts job development through job approvals.

 The Student Advisor develops plays an important role in the risk management process. In case of crisis or emergency (students caught in a natural disaster or political unrest in a country), the International Student Advisor will be the primary point of contact for the students and will have to support them through the crisis; in this case, they will have to provide timely and impactful advice to the students to manage complex situations (often under stress, with incomplete information etc.)

Problem Solving

The International Student Advisor solves problems such as managing unmatched expectations for the student and the employer supervisor. They manage issues relating to student performance on the work term, unusual employment issues such as termination, harassment and discrimination and unemployed students. They overcome student challenges in transitioning from one work term,through the academic term and into the subsequent work term. In addition to this, the International Student Advisor will have to solve problems in crisis situations (e.g. tracking students when communications are failing, retrieving and communicating important information in a timely fashion etc.) 

Financial Accountability


Internal and External Contacts


The International Student Advisor discusses information and problems relating to student careers and work terms with co-workers in CECA including International Manager, Account Manager, International Employment Specialist, the Career Advisor, the Co-op Student Experience Manager, and co-workers outside CECA such as Counseling Services Student Success Office. 


The Student Advisor discusses with students’ supervisors in the workplace and may have to interact with them to solve student or employer related issues.

Decision-Making Authority:

The Student Advisor approves jobs for Co-op Credit that have been arranged by students, and applies judgment to provide career and co-op advice, decisions around employment status and where warranted failed work terms and referrals to other support functions. The Student Advisor determines when to refer the student to another support person or department. They also make decisions on academic sequence changes when the need occurs.

Physical and Sensory Demands:

This role requires exertion of physical or sensory effort resulting in slight fatigue, strain or risk of injury.

Working Environment:

This role involves moderate psychological risk resulting from unavoidable exposure to hazardous, disagreeable or uncomfortable environmental conditions. The International Student Advisor may have exposure to emotionally disturbing experiences and/or interactions with people who are upset, angry, abusive, aggressive, unstable or unpredictable (e.g. Dealing with stressful situations such as employer wanting to terminate a student’s employment or an employer harassing a student). Travel may be required outside Canada. There may be unusual hours or schedules (e.g. meeting with a student after normal business hours, or interacting with a student in a different time zone), irregular and/or high volumes and multiple and/or tight deadlines beyond one's control as this role is impacted by student volume changes per term, and constant interruptions as students try to reach them during the working day.