“Life After Leo,” an event organized by Multicultural and International student services, was held on Nov 17 in the Career Planning Suite. The event specifically focused on prospects for international students after graduation.
The guest speaker was Christian Zeller, managing director of Maney/Gordon/Zeller Law Firm based in Tampa. Zeller is also an immigration and nationality law attorney who frequently visits Saint Leo to speak to international students about what options there are for them in the United States following graduation.
“Mr. Zeller has been kind enough to come to Saint Leo for the past few semesters to work with our international students and give them some options as far as what happens after graduation. It’s extremely beneficial for students to see what their choices are as far as optional practical training, H1B possibilities, and permanent residency. Often I get questions about immigration, so of course, it is a great service to have the viewpoint of a lawyer so that they can fully understand the process, especially after optional practical training,” said Paige Ramsey-Hamacher, the event’s organizer.
Zeller provided key information about optional practical training (OPT) and STEM OPT extension opportunities as well as H1B and H-4 limitations and green card probabilities.
It was clear that the attending students found the session extremely useful for the future. Sam El Nehamni, who is originally from Lebanon, completed his bachelors in criminal justice and is currently studying for a Master’s Degree in Business Administration. He is considering staying in the U.S. for employment.
“I’m graduating in May 2016, so it depends if things work out for me, or if I can find an employer who will sponsor me. I have family who live in Atlanta so it would be nice to stay in the area. My two brothers have American citizenship so it would be cool to get a job here,” said Nehamni. “The talk helped me to have a clearer understanding of the where I stand right now, how to get a job and what are the best routes to follow with immigration. It was great to have a professional immigration attorney speaking to us as often it is hard to find the correct information because immigration can be a confusing process.”
The event was a great success for the Multicultural services and proved to be a helpful service for international students.