CLI-based GPT-4 Assistant
CLI-based GPT-4 Assistant

By Hari Sharma (Aakash)

Wed May 08 2024

Overcoming Communication Fears & Hesitation: Tips for International Students and Graduates

Recently, I spoke with an IT graduate from Charles Darwin University who is currently working for the Northern Territory government. He shared his initial struggles with communication, his fear of connecting and networking with people, and facing interviews. His self-doubt was so profound that he hesitated to network or face interviews, fearing his communication skills were not good enough.

Fortunately, he found a mentor who encouraged him to improve his skills and gave him hope that he could succeed. He worked on his communication skills, pushed himself to apply for jobs, and attended interviews. His efforts paid off; not only did he secure a job, but he also earned a promotion within just eighteen months.

I have been having conversations with many individuals who share similar stories. The feeling of not being good enough, unable to communicate effectively, and doubting oneself deeply. With such doubts, when they apply for hundreds of jobs and receive no responses, frustration naturally sets in, and the feeling of giving up becomes overwhelming. This is a common experience for many international students and graduates, including myself.

After speaking with successful professionals who have navigated this journey and reflecting on my own challenges and how I overcame them, I have compiled some strategies and techniques that I believe will help you if you are facing similar situations:

Enhance Your Communication Skills

Good communication is crucial in the professional world. If you are concerned about your English skills, take proactive steps to improve. I personally watched many English movies, listened to podcasts, read through English training books, and seized every opportunity to enhance my English skills. Engage in conversation clubs, or practice with language learning apps. Remember, communication is not only about language skills; it also involves understanding body language, honing your listening skills, and providing meaningful input wherever you can.

Participate in Networking Events

Networking is a powerful tool to open doors to job opportunities. Attend industry conferences, seminars, and meet-ups to connect with professionals. Don’t just be a wallflower; prepare interesting questions and topics to discuss. This will not only boost your visibility but also help you gain insights into the industry and potential job leads. Does it feel uncomfortable? Yes, it does. But if you push yourself a little, turning anxiousness into excitement, it becomes an amazing experience.

Engage in Student Clubs at the University, and Lead Wherever You Can

Participating in programs and activities at the university is another way to get ahead, demonstrate that you are proactive, learn skills, and be visible. Grab the opportunities to lead and organize those events. Push yourself to say ‘Yes’ to opportunities. Look out for various programs designed for students. The Student Ambassador Program by Study Northern Territory is one of the best programs that I have personally participated in. If you are in Darwin, Northern Territory, apply to become a student ambassador. You can find similar programs in other states.


Volunteering is a great way to connect with others, develop language skills, and gain additional skills that will be useful for you. I recommend aligning your career goals with your volunteering tasks so that both organizations and you can benefit from the volunteering opportunities. Meeting amazing people who are willing to support others is another benefit of volunteering.

The Need for a Little Push

While it’s easy to advise others to do this and that, I understand that it’s not easy. I always needed a little push from myself (and others at times). Just know that being anxious is part of the process. Recognize that the anxiousness is excitement, and push yourself a little, even if you don’t feel comfortable doing many of the things mentioned above. The more you do it, the better it feels, and you will start becoming more comfortable.

If you want to talk to me and need some help, feel free to connect with me on LinkedIn Or stay in touch with Skillaroo on LinkedIn.

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