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Student ReviewJun 17, 2024 4:30:18 PM4 min read

Day 1 CPT: How it saved my American Dream when my OPT ended

Day 1 CPT: How it saved my American Dream when my OPT ended

At a Glance

Struggling to find a job after graduation? When you think about it, it's quite unfair that international students have only 90 days to secure employment. Depending on the market, your major, and even your luck, finding a job can be quite difficult. Does this mean your US journey has to end? One of our students shared her experience of facing the end of her OPT unemployment period without securing a job and how she found her second opportunity through Day 1 CPT. She discusses how she made her decision on which Day 1 CPT university and program to choose, hoping this will help many others like her.


The Struggle After Graduation

In December 2023, I graduated with a master's degree in Human Resources from a school in New York. Like many of my peers, I faced the harsh reality of a challenging job market. My grace period was almost over, and I had spent a few months searching for job opportunities with little success. With less than 30 days left, I knew I needed to explore other options.

I considered several alternatives: returning to my home country, applying for the UK's High Potential Individual work visa, and enrolling in a Day 1 CPT program. My primary goals were to gain work experience in the U.S., utilize my OPT, and stay in New York with my partner if possible. After weighing my options, I realized that a Day 1 CPT program was the best fit. It allowed me to remain in New York and continue my job search for an additional two years (though I hoped it wouldn't take more than six months, to be honest).

Several of my friends recommended CPTDog’s free service for Day 1 CPT applications. At first, I was skeptical about the ‘totally free’ consultation, but my friends assured me that they weren't charged from start to finish. So, I decided to give it a try and submitted a free consultation form on their website. The next day, Shama called me.

To this day, I am deeply appreciative of Shama, not just for the time she spent helping me, but for her empathy. I was extremely stressed out and even got emotional during one of our calls, breaking down in tears. Shama was incredibly supportive, guiding me through the entire process and reassuring me that I wasn’t alone.

Finding the Right School: Comparing Options

Since I wanted to stay in New York, Shama suggested four schools on the East Coast: New England College, St. Peter’s University, Monroe College, and Harrisburg University. She explained the pros and cons of each school, and to make my decision easier, I created a graph to visualize which option would be the best fit for me.

School Major (related to my future job) Tuition/Year Onsite Requirement Location Workload Job Required for the Program?
NEC EMBA $9,000~ 1/Month Henniker, NH Low-Medium Yes
SPU MSBA $15,000~ 1/Semester Jersey City, NJ Medium-High No
Monroe MBA $12,000~ 1/Month New Rochelle, NY Medium No
Harrisburg MSPM $16,500~ 3/Semester Harrisburg, PA Medium No


Harrisburg University was about three hours away from me and also the most expensive of the four schools, so I quickly eliminated it as an option.

I was initially attracted to New England College (NEC) because of its low tuition. However, the difficulty of getting there and the requirement to have a job for their EMBA program made it impractical, so I decided to remove NEC from my list as well.

This left me with St. Peter’s University and Monroe College. After considering the importance of having a major closely related to my future job and comparing the tuition costs, I ultimately chose Monroe College’s MBA program.

My Experience with Monroe College

A few weeks ago, I received an offer for an HR Coordinator position from a company in New York City. Although I missed the H1B lottery deadline for this year, I am still eligible to participate in next year's lottery because I am enrolled in Monroe College's program.

Attending a Day 1 CPT school was a transformative decision that set me on the path to success. The support and guidance I received, particularly from Shama at CPTDog, made a significant difference during a stressful and uncertain time.

Monroe College's MBA program has provided me with the flexibility and resources I needed to continue my job search while staying in New York with my partner. Securing an HR Coordinator position in New York City has been a rewarding step forward, and I'm hopeful about my future opportunities, including participating in next year's H1B lottery. Hope my experience inspires some of you!

Tips for Navigating the Day 1 CPT Journey

  • Research thoroughly and consider all your options.
  • Use reliable services like CPTDog for free consultation.
  • Choose a program that fits your career goals and location preferences.
  • Stay positive and persistent in your job search.

Still Have Questions? ⇣

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Student Review

Occasionally, CPTDog's students contribute to our blog, sharing insights from their Day 1 CPT journey with newcomers. If you're interested in submitting articles to share your unique experiences with us, we'd love to hear from you. Reach out to get started!