April General Meeting

  • April 18, 2017
  • 11:45 AM - 1:00 PM
  • Abilene Country Club


Registration is closed

Please join us for our April monthly Big Country SHRM meeting at Abilene Country Club from 11:45 AM to 1:00 PM.  


Employment Opportunities for International Students in Abilene, Texas


Abilene,Texas houses three major universities—Abilene Christian University, Hardin-Simmons University, and McMurry university with a large international student enrollment of 270+, undergraduate and graduate students. Most international students invest in a four-year degree, however, these students face the dreadful reality of decreased job opportunities upon graduation. International students face a unique challenge in employment because of:

·       Cultural barriers and misconceptions about international student’s competence in an American workforce;

·       Employers’ lack of knowledge about the proper steps to take to offer employment and internship opportunities for non-natives

Speaker Bio    

Jill Fortson came to ACU in 2005 and joined the Career Center team in 2011. As part of her role as the director, she works with both undergraduate and graduate students to connect them with internship opportunities as well as post-graduate employment opportunities and prepare them for life after graduation.  Jill received her undergraduate degree in Psychology & Counseling from Liberty University in Virginia and a Masters in Organizational Development from ACU. She is both PHR® & SHRM-CP certified and currently serves on the Board of Big Country SHRM. She has been married to Greg for 30 years and has three sons, Jonathan, a sophomore at Texas Tech, and twins David & Benjamin who are in the 8th grade at Clack. Originally from Akron, Ohio, Jill is a Cleveland Cavs fan as well as a secret Browns fan, but don't tell anyone. :-)

Lucy Dawson currently works as the immigration specialist at Abilene Christian University, where she manages the university immigration compliance and student  advising for the international students and scholars.  She has over 10 years of experience in international education, with tenures as an international student advisor at Texas Tech University and the University of Houston.  Lucy has presented multiple sessions for her professional association, NAFSA (Association of International Educators) on immigration topics, and is frequently involved in assisting international students and their employers navigate immigration issues. Lucy also enjoys teaching ESL, playing french horn, and continuing her study of Mandarin. 

 There will also be a panel present to answer any questions the audience may have! Please submit your questions prior to our monthly meeting here:




Learning Objectives:

  •  HR professionals understand the changing student population demographic with the influx of international student enrollment in the U.S
  • HR professionals learn the top majors and job demands for international students
  • HR professionals recognize the cultural barriers and misconceptions that prevent international student hiring
  • HR professionals know the legal process of hiring international students—steps and limitations
  • HR professional realize the major economic and communal benefits of hiring international students, a step to creating a global minded community. 









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