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For Chinese studying in US, graduating into an uncertain future

More Chinese students are enrolled at American colleges than ever before, but US degrees that aren't from Harvard aren't widely valued at home, meaning connections are still what matter most.

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It’s Saturday night, and Wei, a senior majoring in economics and math, is having pizza and French fries with his American roommates in the dining hall of a prestigious liberal arts college in New England. Soon they head out to watch football, then to a frat party.

By 2 a.m., Wei is back in his room, browsing corporate websites – Goldman Sachs, McKinsey & Co., Bain & Co. – to check out their recruitment process and job applications. He can’t sleep, because he’s worried about his future.

“I don’t think I can find a job in the United States easily because of my visa status and the competitive job market,” says Wei, who asks that his last name and school not be identified, as do the other students interviewed for this article. “But back in China, I have nowhere to go either. No one has ever heard of my college – it doesn’t even sound like a university. How can I even get an interview?”

 
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