Why Indian students in the US, including those from elite Ivy League universities, are failing to land internships this summer

Indian students studying in the United States, including those enrolled in prestigious Ivy League universities, are facing difficulties securing internships for the upcoming summer due to a slowdown in job growth in the country. According to individuals knowledgeable about the situation, many students have been unable to obtain internship offers, which are essential for gaining practical experience before entering the highly competitive job market.
The global economic slowdown has significantly impacted entry-level job opportunities, students, education consultants, and Indian-American professionals in the US have said. According to an ET report, they also claimed that the situation has been exacerbated by the tendency of many companies to hire local students during an election year.
Furthermore, Indian students graduating from US universities this year are facing additional challenges, such as high inflation rates, rising living costs, local unemployment, and sponsorship issues.

Indian Students Facing Competition

Indian Students Facing Competition

“There were about 400 undergrad students in the final year in the East Coast and West Coast, including in Ivy League schools, whom I counselled over the years, who have not got any internship offers this summer,” said Adarsh Khandelwal, co-founder of the education consulting company Collegify.
The Ivy League, a group of eight private universities located in the northeastern United States, including prestigious institutions such as Harvard University, Yale University, and the University of Pennsylvania, is renowned for its academic excellence and social prestige.
According to Khandelwal, “Indians, even in top US colleges such as NYU Stern, UC Berkeley, Brown University, University of Pennsylvania and University of Texas at Austin, are struggling. A lot of these kids have reached out to us seeking help to get placed in India.”
Khandelwal cited an example of a 22-year-old Harvard University student in his final year, majoring in economics and psychology, who has been unsuccessful in securing a summer internship despite applying to numerous companies over the past six months.
The current job market has proven challenging even for students in the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields, who were highly sought after before the Covid-19 pandemic. Technology, consulting, and new-age companies are now either laying off staff or implementing hiring freezes.
Khandelwal stated, “There are hardly any jobs for vanilla coding skills, unless there is an element of AI (artificial intelligence) or emerging technology in it.”
An Indian American employee at a leading consulting firm, who wished to remain anonymous, revealed, “My firm prefers to hire Americans over Indians.”
This situation persists despite American colleges continuing to attract foreign students, including those from India, with the number of Indian students pursuing higher education in the United States reaching an all-time high.

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